The split between psychology and religion

SPIRITUALITY TODAY
Autumn 1988, Vol.40 No. 3, pp. 249-261.
James Arraj:
Jungian Spirituality:The Question of Victor White

IN 1960, when Fr. Victor White lay dying in England, C. G. Jung wrote to the Mother Prioress of the convent where the Dominican scholar had been cared for: “I had nursed the apparently vain hope that Fr. Victor would carry on the magnum opus.” Intriguing words from one of the giants of twentieth century psychology with regard to an English priest and Thomistic theologian. Behind them lay one of the most significant modern attempts to mend the split between psychology and religion, an attempt that had brought these men together and later almost destroyed their friendship.

More than a dozen years before his death, Victor White had sent Jung some of his first writings, including his essay “On the Frontiers of Psychology and Theology,” which expressed his interest in bringing Jung’s thought into closer relationship with philosophy and theology. Jung had responded warmly. At seventy, far from retirement, he was about to enter one of the most productive phases of his career, finally articulating his feelings about religion, so deeply rooted in his childhood. From his earliest years, Jung had experienced powerful dreams and visions, unsought revelations so personal that they only reached the public in the posthumous Memories, Dreams, Revelations These were occasions that he felt revealed to him the mystery of God, so that “God was for meat least, one of the most certain and immediate of experiences.” (more)

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