Carl Gustav Jung (1875-1961) was a Swiss psychiatrist. Initially a collaborator with Sigmund Freud, the two later split and Jung went on to found the Analytical Psychology school of psychotherapy. His approach focussed on what he called the process of individuation, in which the conscious and unconscious impulses in an individual are brought into harmony. He coined many concepts with a currency beyond psychiatry, including archetype, the collective unconscious, complex and synchronicity.
Following a spell of “creative madness” in 1913, he increasingly applied his theories to more diverse subjects – myths, alchemy, gnosticism, even UFOs. In this entertaining interview, Robert Segal tells David about Jung’s impact on theories of religion. Why was Jung so fascinated by religious ideas, and why do his ideas remain so influential today? Did he mean them in the way they have been subsequently appropriated?
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This is the first episode on a series on early 20th century theorists of religion. Following episodes feature interviews with Paul-Francois Tremlett on Levi-Strauss and Ivan Strenski on Durkheim.