Introduction: Depth Psychology and Mystical Phenomena—The Challenge of the Numinous

  • Thomas Cattoi
  • David M. Odorisio
Part of the Interdisciplinary Approaches to the Study of Mysticism book series (INTERMYST)


The essays in this volume continue in the trajectory established at the turn of the nineteenth century when the “new science” of psychology and professional interest in esoteric and “occult” phenomena converged and led to what Ellenberger refers to as the “discovery of the unconscious.” These essays span the interdisciplinary fields of theology, religious studies, and psychology “and/of/in dialogue with” religion with a specific focus on inquiries into the nature of self and consciousness, questions of “mysticism” and “mystical experience,” and approaches to these areas from within a variety of depth psychological hermeneutic “keys.” While a number of these topics have been approached in the past in various capacities and from varying psychological perspectives, this volume’s unique contribution lies within the specifically depth psychological nature of the inquiry and, even more so, with its often underlying Jungian orientation. This move was only of partial intent on the part of the editors, but should be noted as marking what has now become a rare collaboration among scholars of religion and depth psychologists of a more analytical/Jungian “flavor.”


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Jesuit School of Theology at Santa Clara UniversityBerkeleyUSA
  2. 2.Pacifica Graduate InstituteSanta BarbaraUSA

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