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Psychology and Religion (The Terry Lectures Series) Paperback – September 10, 1960


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Psychology and Religion (The Terry Lectures Series) + The Future of an Illusion (The Standard Edition)  (Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud) + The Sacred and The Profane: The Nature of Religion
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Product Details

  • Series: The Terry Lectures Series
  • Paperback: 138 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press; Reprint edition (September 10, 1960)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0300001371
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300001372
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.3 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #98,535 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Carl Gustav Jung (1875-1961) was a Swiss psychiatrist, an influential thinker and the founder of analytical psychology (also known as Jungian psychology). Jung's radical approach to psychology has been influential in the field of depth psychology and in counter-cultural movements across the globe. Jung is considered as the first modern psychologist to state that the human psyche is "by nature religious" and to explore it in depth. His many major works include "Analytic Psychology: Its Theory and Practice," "Man and His Symbols," "Memories, Dreams, Reflections," "The Collected Works of Carl G. Jung," and "The Red Book."

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Customer Reviews

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I liked this book (written in 1938) very much.
Kim Burdick
For anyone interested in the interface between psychology and religion this is an essential book.
Thomas B. Kirsch
If you are a Jung fan, you will want to read everything you can get your hands on.
Cynthia K. McWilliams

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Kim Burdick on May 31, 2011
Format: Paperback
I liked this book (written in 1938) very much.

I laughed when I read these older reviews as it appears that each of us sees something different in this book. Reading this book is as fascinating as looking at a Gestalt image. Whatever life experiences we bring to Jung's table, is what we will see.

Jung used a patient's dreams as a convenient framework for his discussion. He tells us about dream symbolism; the importance of confession and conscience to healing; Catholic and Protestant creeds, and a bit about Eastern religions, yet the lessons I am receiving from this book center on religion, faith, and current world news.

None of the ghastly global situations that are so real to us had yet occurred when Jung wrote this book. Even the Holocaust of WW2 was far in the future,yet this book could have been drafted while watching CNN this morning.

A few quotations:

"Unfortunately there is no doubt about the fact that man is, as a whole, less good than he imagines himself or wants to be. Everyone carries a shadow..."

If a man imagined that I was his arch-enemy and killed me, I should be dead on account of mere imagination. Imaginations do exist and they may be just as real and just as obnoxious as physical conditions.

"Nobody can know what the ultimate things are. We must, therefore, take them as we experience them. And if such experience helps make your life healthier, more beautiful, more complete and more satisfactory to yourself and to those you love, you may safely say: "This was the grace of God."

Kim Burdick
Stanton, DE
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Thomas B. Kirsch on January 14, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
These are the Terry Lectures from Yale University in 1937, given in English. Unlike much of Jung's writing, theses lectures are very accessible and show the relationship between psychology and religion. Jung focuses on the religious experience itself, and how important it is to the health of the psyche. Religious experience is not an illusion as Freud stated, but Jung is more in line with William James when he talks about the varieties of religious experiences possible. Jung also makes the distinction between immediate religious experience and religious creed which is a distillation of religious experience. For anyone interested in the interface between psychology and religion this is an essential book.
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24 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Barnaby Thieme on September 12, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This collection of three lectures given by Carl Jung in 1937 presents an early version of his mature view on the role of the unconscious in formulating religious symbols. The three foci of this book are a case study of a neurotic man plagued by irrational fears of cancer, a natural history of the generation of religious symbols, and a consideration of the psychological consequences of the crisis of faith that was striking the heart of Europe.

Jung's case study is absolutely fascinating -- he presents and interprets a small number of the patient's dreams and relates them to the symbolic literature of the Gnostics, Hermetics, and Alchemists, three of Jung's favorite symbolic modalities. It's extraordinary to see a modern man completely disinterested in religion or esoterica unwittingly produce symbols that clearly serve the same psychological function as similar images in these somewhat obscure traditions.

His social analysis is crude and in my eyes profoundly misguided. Jung waxes nostalgic for a medieval Europe governed by the Catholic church in which the common folk could assimilate the transpersonal symbolic structures of the ecclesiastical matrix as a bulwark against the intrusion of the unconscious into their daily lives. He polemicizes in a most disagreeable fashion against the Protestant church and blasts the Utopian fantasies of Communism. In historical analysis Jung shows himself to be studiously disinterested in the material facts of history, to the severe detriment of his analysis.

Perhaps Jung can be forgiven for making a classic error of Modernism and nostalgically aggrandizing a great old Europe that never was.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Steven H Propp TOP 100 REVIEWER on August 25, 2010
Format: Paperback
This 1938 book is based on a series of lectures given at Yale University, and is divided into chapters on "The Autonomy of the Unconscious Mind," "Dogma and Natural Symbols," and "The History and Psychology of a Natural Symbol."

Here are some representative quotations from the book:

"Speaking for instance of the motive of the virgin birth, psychology is only concerned with the fact that there is such an idea, but it is not concerned with the question whether such an idea is true or false in any other sense."
"I am not at all certain whether the unconscious mind is merely MY mind, because the term 'unconscious' means that I am not even conscious of it. As a matter of fact the concept of the unconscious mind is a mere assumption for the sake of convenience."
"My psychological experience has shown time and again that certain contents issue from a psyche more complete than consciousness... Consequently I explain the voice, in the dream of the sacred house, as a product of the more complete personality to which the dreamer's conscious self belongs as a part, and I hold that this is the reason why the voice shows an intelligence and a clarity superior to the dreamer's actual consciousness."
"But the gods in our time assemble in the lap of the ordinary individual and are as powerful and as awe-inspiring as ever, in spite of their new disguise--the so-called psychical functions."
"The inherited quality, I fancy, must rather be something like a possibility of regenerating the same or at least similar ideas. I have called the possibility 'archetype,' which means a mental precondition and a characteristic of the cerebral function."
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