God?

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Abstract

Reviews the book, Beyond Psyche: Symbol and Transcendence in C. G. Jung by Mark R. Gundry (see record 2006-09003-000). Mark R. Gundry's project in this book is clearly outlined in four steps, with a chapter devoted to each. His first step is to show that Jung's critics, have not succeeded in dismissing Jung's psychology as a “dishonest” substitute for religion. He argues that the critics are guilty of the same weakness of which they accuse Jung, that is, of not being able to articulate their personal relation to the underlying hermeneutics. Gundry feels this demonstration frees him from taking sides and liberates him to take his second step: a fresh look at the philosophical and historical influences on Jung's early formation of the central principle of his psychology–the “reality of the psyche.” Relieved of the burden of the question of theory, Gundry then takes his third step: examining Jung's concept of the “symbolic life” as it is lived on the individual level. Having embraced the truth intention of the symbol-forming experience at the core of lived symbolic life, Gundry then is prepared to take his fourth step and the essential object of his project. This requires arguing that Jung failed to go “far enough” in his characterization of the center of symbolic life (the “still point,” as Jung called it). Gundry concludes that his solution avoids the problem of placing God forever out of reach, trapped in the psyche as “only an image.” Instead, he suggests that a “theological horizon” opens up “beyond psyche” and becomes the basis for a “theology of symbolic life that includes transcendent presence not as a peripheral phenomenon, but as integral to the very structure of symbolic function.” (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2007 APA, all rights reserved)

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