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Life Arts    H4'ed 4/10/14

Jay Sherry Sees Jung as an Avant-Garde Conservative (BOOK REVIEW)

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Not surprisingly, Jung also subscribed to this view -- and advanced it later on after his famous break with Sigmund Freud (1856-1939). Freud of course was a secularized Jew.


Dr. Sherry says, "Adopting Burckhardt's view of the assimilated Jew as the 'agent of modernity' he [Jung] was alienated more from their atheism rather than their ethnicity" (page 40).


After Jung's break from Freud, Freud, according to Dr. Sherry, dismissed Jung's new methodology as "'Aryan religiousness'" (quoted on page 41).


For his part, after his famous break with Freud, Jung constructed the elaborate contrast between Germanic and Jewish psychology (see, for example, page 118)  


In a nutshell, Jung held out for an experience of religiousness over against Freud's explicit atheism. The experience of religiousness that Jung held out for was Rudolf Otto's experience of the numinous. Basically, what Otto refers to as the experience of the numinous is the equivalent of what Mircea Eliade refers to as the experience of the sacred in his book The Sacred and the Profane: The Nature of Religion (1959).


But we should note that atheists and agnostics and people of monotheistic religious faiths and people of polytheistic religious traditions can all experience the numinous. We could say that the experience of the numinous is an equal opportunity employer. However, Jung and Freud had not figured this out.


As I read Dr. Sherry's book, I noted all the words associated with roots imagery: roots/ rootedness (pages 8, 59, 115, 126, 128, 212); rootless/ rootlessness (pages 25, 54, 59); uprooted/ uprootedness (pages 9, 127, 191, 211).


In the contrast that Jung constructed between Germanic psychology and Jewish psychology, he characterized modern Jews as rootless -- uprooted, presumably from their ancient Jewish religious roots (he always seems to be referring to secular Jews).

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Thomas James Farrell is professor emeritus of writing studies at the University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD). He started teaching at UMD in Fall 1987, and he retired from UMD at the end of May 2009. He was born in 1944. He holds three degrees from Saint Louis University (SLU): B.A. in English, 1966; M.A.(T) in English 1968; higher education, 1974. On May 16, 1969, the editors of the SLU student newspaper named him Man of the Year, an honor customarily conferred on an administrator or a faculty member, not on a graduate student -- nor on a woman up to that time. He is the proud author of the book (more...)

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