Pastoral Psychology

, Volume 64, Issue 3, pp 287–295 | Cite as

Personhood and Pathology: The Jungian Psyche and Maximian Anthropology

  • David W. Alexander


This paper explores connections between the psychic anthropology of C. G. Jung and that of Maximus the Confessor, a 7th-century Eastern Christian philosopher. Both saw the ability to fully bear one’s experiences without avoidance through fantasy as a key to human health and the target of therapy. Maximus understood avoidance of experience as a partly conscious turning of the self away from God in order to create fantastic fields of control, and Jung understood the phenomenon as a movement of the unconscious motivated by involuntary reactions to shadow material. Both encouraged humans to fully embrace reality in each moment.


Jung Maximus Desert fathers Psyche Anthropology 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Independent ScholarFPOUSA

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