Sunday, June 12, 2011

Readings: An Unwarranted Assumption?

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In the penultimate chapter of his study Answer to Job [pp. 170-171], Carl G. Jung discusses the important role of the feminine archetype in the psychology of religion within the context of the 1950 a.d. papal declaration of the Assumption of the Virgin as Church dogma. After pointing out that "It does not matter at all that a physically impossible fact is asserted, because all religious assertions are physical impossibilities. If they were not so, they would...necessarily be treated in the text-books of natural science", Jung goes on to say:

The logic of the papal declaration cannot be surpassed, and it leaves Protestantism with the odium of being nothing but a man's religion which allows no metaphysical representation of woman. In this respect it is similar to Mithraism, and Mithraism found this prejudice very much to its detriment. Protestantism has obviously not given sufficient attention to the signs of the times which point to the equality of women. But this equality requires to be metaphysically anchored in the figure of a "divine" woman, the bride of Christ. Just as the person of Christ cannot be replaced by an organization, so the bride cannot be replaced by the Church. The feminine, like the masculine, demands an equally personal representation. [italics added]

Something to ponder here for both Catholics and Protestants.
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4 comments:

Fiocle said...

Sounds about right..coming from one who should know!
I am liking Jung more and more.

Janette said...

"the bride cannot be replaced by the Church" we find communion within our own hearts, we build our temple within.

Ron King said...

There is a lot here to ponder. With the Assumption is there an unconscious reality being expressed? In the Genesis myth the woman is not made from the earth, but is mysteriously constructed from the man's body. Theoretically, this could symbolize that she is not connected to this earth as the male is. She has evolved to a position one step removed from the earth. Also the man did not properly identify her until he had knowledge of good and evil and then he named her Eve, which is related to life giving. The DNA of the mitochondria, which inhabit every cell in the body and are the source of life for every cell, are exclusively passed from women. So in the myth of Genesis the first man could have no life if it were not for the mitochondria contained in his cells. What does this say about women?
Christ could not have existed without the unseen and unknown life-giving power of the woman. When I put this together with the Apostles Creed where it is stated "We believe in the Holy Spirit the Lord, the Giver of life who procedes from the Father and the Son..." my thoughts focus on the feminine and leave me at odds with certain dogma.
Why isn't Mary considered the first apostle and therefore, the first priest? Why can't the mass be celebrated by both the feminine and the masculine?

Rodak said...

These are all excellent questions. The direction you are taking is different from Jung's direction in this book. In the end, he seems to equate Mary with Sophia and to consider the female aspect a necessary addition to the divinity, in order to add the moral dimension to godhead. It is a most interesting book. I recommend it.