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Tuby, M. (1987). Edinger, Edward, F. The Bible and the Psyche: Individuation Symbolism in the Old Testament. Toronto Inner City Books, 1986. Pp. 172. £7.95.. J. Anal. Psychol., 32(4):389-391.
   

(1987). Journal of Analytical Psychology, 32(4):389-391

Edinger, Edward, F. The Bible and the Psyche: Individuation Symbolism in the Old Testament. Toronto Inner City Books, 1986. Pp. 172. £7.95.

Review by:
Molly Tuby

Edited by:
Andrew Samuels

It was with eager anticipation that I started reading The Bible and the Psyche by Edward Edinger, an author whose writings have guided me time and time again in my professional work as well as in my personal search. It has always seemed to me that the Bible offers the richest and most profound validation of the life work of Jung: the uncovering and the elaboration of the process he called individuation. I was looking forward to a parallel being drawn between two ways of apprehending life and the world—an undertaking of monumental scope. However, the actual reading of the book proved discomforting as well as rewarding. Jung himself, in his Introduction to The Secret of the Golden Flower, warned of the danger in psychological interpretations: that it ‘entails the risk… that this unique treasure will be swallowed by still another science.’

Edinger prefaces his first chapter with a statement from the Visions Seminars (Vol. 1, p. 156): ‘We must read the Bible or we shall not understand psychology. Our psychology, whole lives, our language and imagery are built upon the Bible.’ A welcome reminder. In his sub-title, the author prepares us for a phenomenology of the objective psyche; he quotes Jung's comment that the statements expressed in Holy Scriptures are ‘also [my italics] utterings of the soul … transcending consciousness’ (Coll. Wks. 11, para. 557)—products of the collective unconscious. But we know that Jung also looked at the Bible from other angles.

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