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Jung and Postmodern Religious Experience

Semester and Year FA 2013
Course Number IDSEM-UG1328
Section 001
Instructor Lee Robbins
Days TR
Time 9:30 AM - 10:45 AM
12:00 AM - 12:00 AM
Units 4
Level U
Requirement   HUM



C.G Jung wrote: “I am not addressing myself to the happy possessors of faith, but to those many people people for whom the light has gone out, the mystery faded, and God is dead.” The course unfolds around the question: How does a person locate meaning in the postmodern age when traditional belief systems have been emptied of symbolic authority? In his discovery of the symbol making function within the human psyche, Jung offers a possible answer. Variously described as the religious, imaginative or creative instinct, this psychological function offers the possibility of losing and finding multiple meanings throughout the cycles of life. We begin by defining pre modern, post modern and post secular within their historical context with special attention to the role of language. We identify the influences that shaped Jung’s discovery, focusing on the classical elements that characterize a religious experience. Finally, we look to figures in the history of culture that have lost and found meaning, Jung himself in his Red Book and the Buddha. Readings may include selections from the Collected Works of C.G. Jung; Julia Kristiva, This Incredible Need to Believe ; Nietzsche, The Gay Science ; William James, The Varieties of Religious Experience ; Gaston Bachelard, Poetics of Reverie ; Ernst Cassirer, Language and Myth ; Caputo’s The Prayers and Tears of Jacques Derrida and On Religion ; Richard Kearney, Anatheism .


All Syllabi

Course Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)