Encyclopedia of Psychology and Religion

2014 Edition
| Editors: David A. Leeming

Archetypal Cultural Psychology

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-6086-2_9100

The analysis of culture using Carl Jung’s archetypal theory, as distinct from clinical practice, is widespread. Following Freud, he directed thinking in the wholly new path of looking at the unconscious factors not only behind individual but also behind collective cultural phenomena, from religion to gender. He rejected Freud’s excessive emphasis on sexuality and his rejection of religion, that Freud called an illusory infantile father complex. As Jung developed his theory of the collective unconscious, he saw more archetypal themes in culture.

Jung saw that mythsare not just illusory fantasies to be disposed of by rational thinking, but are highly symbolic. As Freud had seen deeply into the Oedipus and Narcissus myths, Jung saw the deep meaningfulness of patients’ dreams and fantasies and flung open the doors to interpreting all myths. He looked into astrology; Greek myths such as Hermes the trickster; Roman myths such as Mars, God of war; feminine Sophia as gnostic wisdom; and...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Philosophy and ReligionIthaca CollegeIthacaUSA