Encyclopedia of Psychology and Religion

2014 Edition
| Editors: David A. Leeming


Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-6086-2_55

The concept of atonement is closely associated with forgiveness, reconciliation, sorrow, remorse, repentance, reparation, and guilt. It is a spiritual concept which has been studied since time immemorial in Biblical and Kabbalistic texts.

It is in a linked pair (or Syzygy) with forgiveness.

It is also associated with the Christian idea of confession and repentance which requires atonement.

Atonement is an archetypal idea and as such originates in an archetype (which Jung describes as “an irrepresentable, unconscious, pre-existent form that seems to be part of the inherited structure of the psyche and can therefore manifest itself spontaneously anywhere, at any time” (Jung 1958, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, par. 847).

To atone is an act of conscience. True atonement must come from the ego since it must need a conscious humbling rather than moral superego flagellation from “on high” (“Ego” is used here in the Freudian sense, whereas from a Jungian perspective, true atonement would...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Association of Jungian AnalystsLondonUK