PsychoHeresy: Carl Gustav Jung



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PsychoHeresy: C. G. Jung’s Legacy to the Church

by Martin & Deidre Bobgan

Educational Background: *Martin: University of Minnesota, B. A., B. S., M. A.; University of Colorado, Doctorate in Educational Psychology. *Deidre: University of Minnesota, B. S.; University of California, M. A. in English.



http://www.psychoheresy-aware.org/jungleg.html

The overwhelming majority of Christians have probably never heard of C. G. Jung, but his influence in the church is vast and affects sermons, books, and activities, such as the prolific use of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) by seminaries and missionary organizations. A current, popular example of Jung’s legacy can be seen in Robert Hicks’s book The Masculine Journey, which was given to each of the 50,000 men whoattended the 1993 Promise Keepers conference. Christians need to learn enough about Jung and his teachings to be warned and wary.

Jung’s legacy to “Christian psychology” is both direct and indirect. Some professing Christians, who have been influenced by Jung’s teachings, integrate aspects of Jungian theory into their own practice of psychotherapy. They may incorporate his notions regarding personality types, the personal unconscious, dream analysis, and various archetypes in their own attempt to understand and counsel their clients. Other Christians have been influenced more indirectly as they have engaged in inner healing, followed 12-step programs, or taken the MBTI, which is based on Jung’s personality types and incorporates his theories of introversion and extroversion.

Jung and Freud

Jung’s legacy has not enhanced Christianity. From its inception psychotherapy has undermined the doctrines of Christianity. Sigmund Freud’s attitudes towards Christianity were obviously hostile, since he believed that religious doctrines are all illusions and labeled all religion as “the universal obsessional neurosis of humanity.”1 His one-time follower and colleague Carl Jung, on the other hand, may not be quite as obvious in his disdain for Christianity. However, his theories have disdainfully diminished Christian doctrines by putting them at the same level as those of all religions.

While Jung did not call religion a “universal obsessional neurosis,” he did view all religions, including Christianity, to be collective mythologies - not real in essence, but having a real effect on the human personality. Dr. Thomas Szasz describes the difference between the psychoanalytic theories of the two men this way: “Thus in Jung’s view religions are indispensable spiritual supports, whereas in Freud’s they are illusory crutches.”2 While Freud argued that religions are delusionary and therefore evil, Jung contended that all religions are imaginary but good. Both positions are anti-Christian; one denies Christianity and the other mythologizes it.

After reading Freud’s Interpretation of Dreams, Jung contacted Freud and a friendship with mutual admiration ensued and lasted about eight years. Even though Jung had served four years as the first president of the International Psychoanalytic Association, the break between Jung and Freud was complete. Jung departed from Freud on a number of points, particularly Freud’s sex theory. In addition, Jung had been developing his own theory and methodology, known as analytical psychology.





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