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Ryan JS. C.G. Jung and Modern Man's Search for a Soul. 1990.
Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://e-publications.une.edu.au/1959.11/11119
C.G. Jung and Modern Man's Search for a Soul
"What is religion? This is one of those questions to which people will give a wide variety of answers varying with their experience of life ... how they were brought up, ... what life has done to them as persons. But whether they are for it or against it, ... people yet believe that the word religion identifies for them something that is or was. And will be?" --Kathleen Bliss, The Future of Religion (1969), p. 1. Religion, or religious thinking, was once at the very centre of the life of western societies. That it has been, progressively, of less significance in British or American or other Western society, in the last three centuries, is a matter complex of verification yet warranted as a conclusion when one sees that that religious practice was a mixture of odd piety, good intentions, psychological rationalization and of sheer superstition. This increasing secularization did not, of course, eliminate the emotional aspects of man's nature, or his need for such reassurance. Certainly the 'Christianity' of western societies appears no longer capable of providing this reassurance for the mass of men who now lack ultimate explanations and ultimate satisfactions. It is with the dilemmas of individual private man, adrift in such societies, that Jung was concerned, rather than with the structured position of religion within the institutional framework of those societies. For as a doctor psychologist he had to help persons for whom the hall-marks of nineteenth century Christianity were almost meaningless. For convenience these losses may be deemed to include: faith and religious understanding; acceptance of revelation; a belief in God; Theism; the confidence to interpret scripture; religion as a moral code; and the will to believe.