Jung's Engagement with Christian Theology

Charlene P. E. Burns

in Teaching Jung

Published in print September 2011 | ISBN: 9780199735426
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199914524 | DOI:

Series: AAR Teaching Religious Studies Series

Jung's Engagement with Christian Theology

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The author of this chapter teaches Jung's analysis of Christianity in her undergraduate religious studies courses at the University of Wisconsin, Eau-Claire. Many of the students come from conservative Christian backgrounds, so their encounter with Jung's ideas regularly elicits strong responses and sometimes surprising transformations. As her chapter explains, the author has discovered that Jung's own methodological commitments provide the necessary tools for effective teaching in religious studies and other disciplines. In her classes, the students examine the epistemological, philosophical, and theological underpinnings of Jung's ideas, particularly in relation to Immanuel Kant's philosophy and Friedrich Schleiermacher's theology. This gives students a broader context in which to understand Jungian theory and their reactions to it. The chapter draws attention to possible problems and pitfalls generated by the arousal of cognitive dissonance in educational experience, such as when a lifelong Christian first encounters a psychological analysis of religious belief, and shares methods for avoiding those problems and transforming the students’ personal reactions into a positive force in religious studies pedagogy.

Keywords: Christianity; faith; Jung; Immanuel Kant; Friedrich Schleiermacher; cognitive dissonance

Chapter.  8267 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Religion

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