C. G. Jung on religion

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Punita Miranda

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Abstract :

This paper considers Jung's lifelong engagement with the phenomenon of religion. More specifically, it examines the development of his theories in relation to the stages of his life and how religion gradually assumed a definite place in his theory and practice; moving over from psychiatry through psychoanalysis and typology to the theory of archetypes, and finally to the psychology of religious motifs. This study is based on a large literature review of the Jungian works and accounts about the author. From the years spent composing his "The Red Book", Jung struggled to understand the psychological and historical effects of Christianity. The older he got, the more he felt a powerful sense that it was his task to treat the spiritual and religious ills of his patients. His whole oeuvre can be understood as an attempt to grasp the future religious development of the West, in the conviction that religion is necessary for the spiritual evolution of mankind. A strong example of Jung's influence in the second half of the 20th century were the annual Eranos Conferences, which he promoted to discuss innovative ideas about religion. The conferences became one of the most important forums of dissemination of his religious ideas to a broader public. In the course of his research he actively cultivated dialogue with theologians and historians of religion, and everything he published had to do with religion to a greater or lesser degree. He even employed religious terms for his therapeutic format, like in the first of the four stages of his analytical process: confession, elucidation, education and transformation.

Keyword :

Jung, Carl Gustav, 1875-1961, religion, psychology
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