"ANSWER TO JOB": AN INTERPRETIVE AND CRITICAL ANALYSIS OF CARL JUNG'S "ANSWER TO JOB" AS IT REFLECTS HIS PSYCHOLOGICAL THEORY, HIS RELIGIOUS UNDERSTANDING AND STATEMENTS IN LIGHT OF CHRISTIAN TRADITION

PENELOPE JEAN RYAN, Fordham University

Abstract

Carl Jung's Answer to Job is a significant but complex work which reflects much of his psychological thinking and theory. This dissertation examines the significance of this work through a textual analysis aimed at discovering the various themes and ideas woven throughout this work.^ Answer to Job is a paradigm of the individuation process, the lens through which all of Jung's theories may be viewed. The book also considers the evolution of the God image in the Judeo Christian Tradition. It is also a psychological commentary on the entire Hebrew Christian myth as it is enshrined in both the Old and New Testaments as well as a psychological statement on the historical development of Christianity. Finally, Answer to Job is an analogy for the development of consciousness.^ This work of Jung's is also significant since it brings together most of the religious symbols and models with which Jung was occupied for years in an attempt to explain his theories. The God image and the Christ image as they reflect his concept of the Self, his interest in the Trinity, and concern with Mary the Mother of Jesus all find a place for discussion in Answer to Job. Jung's method of presenting his theories was dependent on interpreting such symbols. This dissertation, then, examines the way Jung made use of religious language and symbols as well as his method itself in an attempt to interpret and understand Answer to Job.^ The problem of evil was a central concern of Jung's life and work. It is a major theme in Answer to Job; a point which received a great deal of criticism from religious thinkers. As it is presented in this work it reflects Jung's painful struggle with evil and ultimately with God. Jung gives voice to many who question how there can be evil in a world which was created by a good God. Answer to Job can be seen as a cry of existential anguish from a man desperately seeking a solution to the greatest of all philosophical riddles, the problem of evil. This dissertation examines Jung's concern with this problem in Answer to Job. It also examines Jung's objection to the concept of the privatio boni as an explanation for the cause of evil. It attempts to answer his objections in light of Christian tradition. ^

Subject Area

Theology

Recommended Citation

RYAN, PENELOPE JEAN, ""ANSWER TO JOB": AN INTERPRETIVE AND CRITICAL ANALYSIS OF CARL JUNG'S "ANSWER TO JOB" AS IT REFLECTS HIS PSYCHOLOGICAL THEORY, HIS RELIGIOUS UNDERSTANDING AND STATEMENTS IN LIGHT OF CHRISTIAN TRADITION" (1983). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI8323546.
https://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI8323546

Share

COinS