- Hardcover: 416 pages
- Publisher: Routledge; 1 edition (May 3, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1583911944
- ISBN-13: 978-1583911945
- Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.2 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 2 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,240,986 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Jung-White Letters 1st Edition
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"…The publication of The Jung-White Letters is a truly interdisciplinary undertaking that could have far-reaching implications for multiple fields of study." – Kevin Lu, International Journal for the Psychology of Religion
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Trying to avoid this erosion, Jung searched for a dialogue with influential figures of the Christian churches. He maintained relationship with many, but Victor White, a Dominican theologian, was the one with whom he kept the closest ties, and in whom Jung deposited his main hopes of trying to influence the Vatican.
Their relationship was forged in many personal encounters and letters. Through these letters, that covers a period of fifteen years (1945-1960), we can understand the problems Jung faced to convince Father White of his ideas.
All was going exceptionally well, and the two could be considered close friends until Jung published his famous book - Answer to Job - in which Jung states that God needed man.
This was the point of rupture in their close relationship and, despite Jung's explanation that he was referring always to the Image of God that we all hold inside our unconscious, the break was inevitable. It is extremely difficult to convince someone with rational arguments when the discussion turns emotional, and for Father White, a devoted Catholic, a rational discussion was impossible when the subject was God.
The importance of the letters is that they depict all the discussion and arguments between Jung and White. This discussion, that could have resulted in a new direction for the Catholic Church, was blocked by the emotional factor.
Jung saw himself as an empirical psychologist, and Father White was a Catholic theologian to his bones. In my view, their exchange had all the ingredients of failure, but the letters bring valuable insights in the thinking of both writers.
Anyone interested in understanding Jung's view on the Christian religion, especially the Catholic religion, is bound to enjoy this book.
I'm Roberto Lima Netto, a Jungian. I write Jungian books - The Jungian Bible,The Little Prince for Grownups -- and Psychological thrillers - The Amazon Shaman, - In Search of Happiness.
The Jung-White Letters (JWL) contains almost all the letters exchanged between Jung and White, in sequence. It is a complete conversation, rather than the one-sided discourse in C.G. Jung Letters, as it includes 75 letters from White to Jung, an additional 16 letters previously unpublished by Jung to White, and 30 or so letters exchanged with associates.
This book is most unlike other of C.G. Jung's writings. Whilst there is some deep debate in this book, it reads more like a novel. There are two central characters, with others playing small but important cameo roles, and there are plots and sub-plots.
The main story line revolves around the developing relationship between two intellectual giants: from the polite and formal introduction it blossoms into a great friendship, but then deteriorates rapidly. For Victor White, the story is one of wrestling between, on the one hand, what he is required to teach and affirm as a Catholic Priest and, on the other, what through his personal reflection and Jungian psychology he has come to understand is the truth. For Carl Jung, initially there is great satisfaction in finding someone who is able to interact with him on the same intellectual plane and who understands the real relevance of analytical psychology for the Church. However, as the relationship deteriorates it seems that Jung feels betrayed and even starts to question himself ("I.. with all my experience of nearly eight decades must admit that I have found no rounded answer to myself").
This book can be read on many levels. There are some letters that provide further clarification or insight into Jung's writings. There is philosophical debate on the nature of good and evil. But what makes the book most entertaining is the conflict of characters, as they wrestle with each other's and their own flaws. As such, it is a gripping read.