Encyclopedia of Psychology and Religion

2014 Edition
| Editors: David A. Leeming

Jung, Carl Gustav, and Religion

  • Leon Schlamm
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-6086-2_366

C. G. Jung’s writings on religion were primarily focused on the value and function of religious experience in the historical development of human consciousness and particularly in the individuation process. Drawing heavily on Rudolf Otto’s (1869–1937) account of numinous experience (derived from the Latin term for deity: numen), identifying the qualitatively unique, nonrational, mysterium tremendum, and fascinans moments of religious experience, Jung celebrated its significance for analytical psychology but, unlike Otto, located its source in the unconscious rather than beyond the psyche. As a phenomenologist of the psyche rather than a historian of religion or theologian, Jung explored the healing function of numinous experiences which provides the psychological foundation for religious creeds, while bracketing out any examination of metaphysical speculation about the objective reference of such experiences as beyond his professional competence (Otto 1923/1958; Jung 1934–1939, 1938, 1952/1973...

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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of European Culture and Languages, Religious Studies SectionUniversity of KentCanterburyUK