Anima, Gender, Feminism

Susan Rowland

in Teaching Jung

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

Series: AAR Teaching Religious Studies Series

Anima, Gender, Feminism

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In this chapter, the focus is on Jung's ideas about the anima archetype as a figure of the “inner feminine” in men. The chapter scrutinizes Jung's theory from a feminist perspective and finds much to question and critique in terms of reified gender stereotypes. The archetypes of anima and animus have long been attacked as Jung's own personal (and highly questionable) views of the proper roles of men and women, cast in universalistic terms. However, along with applying the necessary critique, the chapter also shows how Jungian psychology may be recruited as an ally in the feminist project of challenging patriarchal authority in religion, culture, and politics and also in the psychological sphere. Jung's call for a greater attention to the wisdom of nature and the deeper rhythms of instinctual life and his acute psychological diagnosis of the ailments of modern society correspond to major themes in feminist theory and practice over the past several decades. For teachers who hesitate to include Jung in their classes because of his views on gender, the chapter offers an articulate and creative response.

Keywords: anima; animus; archetypes; gender; feminism; Jung

Chapter.  6622 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Religion

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