|By James Arraj. 128pp, paper, $9.95. Printed copies are available. Copyright 1991 James Arraj.
"It would, I think, be fair to characterize the present state of scholarly relations between Jungian psychology and theology as chaotic," wrote James Heisig, in introducing his thorough bibliographical essay, "Jung and Theology". He continued, "If one takes the trouble to study the shelves of books and the reams of articles that have appeared on the subject, one is consistently left with the impression of an adventuresome, potentially fruitful and perhaps even revolutionary inter-disciplinary project that has somehow failed to make a presentable case for itself."
Even though Heisig's work covered the literature through August 1972, and progress has been made since then, his words are still uncomfortably accurate. The shelves of books and the reams of articles have multiplied, yet the foundations for a Jung-Christian dialogue are not firmly in place, and its promise has not been realized.
PART I examines the basic positions that have emerged during the course of the discussions and debates between Jung's psychology and Christianity. They range from an identification of the Christian life with Jung's archetypes and the process of individuation to an outright rejection of his psychology as a threat to it. In contrast to these extremes a genuinely interactive approach holds the most promise for the future.
PART II looks at the relationship between Jung's psychology and the philosophical psychology of Thomas Aquinas.
PART III examines the impact that Jungian psychology could have on a theology smart enough not to accept Jung's comments on the Trinity as theology, but daring enough to use his psychology to explore how revelation is effected by being received into an archetypically conditioned psyche.
PART IV touches on how Jung's psychology could meet the great need the Church has for a viable empirical psychology which could be employed in the field of Christian spirituality.
"The author urges that the theologian study the archetypal structures of the human soul because these will not fail to influence the production and reception of dogmas... The effort of the author is interesting, honest, and conciliatory." Revue Theologique de Louvain
"The last part is a fervent plea of the author in favor of the role that Jungian psychology can play in a Church in need of a viable empirical psychology which would invigorate Christian spirituality." La Revista de Espiritualidad
"Arraj has a clear style because it is strengthened by his concrete questions.Thus, for example, in order to respond to the abstract question of the difficulty that arises between Catholic spirituality and Jungian psychology, he relates it to the personal relationship between Jung and the Dominican priest Victor White. His hypothesis, in part, is that White was bothered in the depths of his soul, in spite of his friendship with Jung, over the inability of the latter to understand that metaphysics and theology are authentic ways of knowing. Analyzing this friendly impasse, that finally ended that friendship, Arraj highlights the epistemological problems that are involved in all dialogue, including that of the two friends Jung and White. Catholic spirituality presupposes a philosophy of knowing from a Thomist origin, while the implicit philosophy of Jung has a strong Kantian idealism. This is a primary unresolved problem." Gregorianum
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