A strategy for a loss of faith: Jung's proposal by John P. Dourley

By John P. Dourley

Publication by way of Dourley, John P.

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19 Orthodox theological descriptions of God appeared even to the youthful Jung as transparently anthropomorphic. Whenever he tried to argue with his father that experience should be the basis of faith and not its opposite, he met with simple incomprehension. Nor was all the difficulty on the part of the father. Jung assumes some responsibility for the failure of their dialogue when he admits that as a young man he could not help his father because their conver- 17 Ibid. , p. 42. 19 Ibid. Page 16 sations were too conscious, too much in Jung's thinking function.

In this context Jung's analysis does two things. It reveals the issues at stake in his dialogue with his father to be lifelong impelling forces in the formulation of Jung's mature psychology, and it strongly suggests that those still influenced by Christianity are forced by its limitations to continue to grapple with the problems encountered by his father. The deeper question is to what extent Christianity could divest itself of those characteristics which so pathologized Jung's father and still remain itself.

Modernity is 49 "Answer to Job," Psychology and Religion, CW 11, par. 647. , par. 728. Page 27 well aware that in the current conflict between religious and/or political absolutes, apocalyptic consciousness and the one-sided certitudes it generates could prematurely terminate the human endeavor before it works its historical task of bringing the divine shadow to redemption in itself. For these reasons Jung's eschatology is incompatible with those mainstream Christian eschatologies imagining a final split of the good and the damned.

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