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Charet, F.X. (1990). A Dialogue Between Psychology and Theology: The correspondence of C. G. Jung and Victor White. J. Anal. Psychol., 35(4):421-441.

(1990). Journal of Analytical Psychology, 35(4):421-441

A Dialogue Between Psychology and Theology: The correspondence of C. G. Jung and Victor White

F. X. Charet, Ph.D.

Introduction

The dialogue between C. G. Jung and the Dominican theologian Victor White which began in 1945 and ended in 1960 is, in many respects, suggestive both with regard to Jung's views of the main tenets of Christianity, and in any attempt to foster a reconciliation between Jungian psychology and Christian theology. The dialogue also occurs during a most important period in the creative life of Jung. It was at this time that his later more mature and more theoretical works appeared. The most significant of these are his writings on Christianity and alchemy. In the case of the former A psychological approach to the dogma of the Trinity (Jung 12), Aion (Jung 13) and ‘Answer to Job’ (Jung 14) are directly relevant to the correspondence under discussion in that, to some extent, these works seem to have been fashioned into their final form as the result of Jung's exchange with White. At the same time it is the contents of these works that caused Jung and White to be so profoundly at odds with one another. Reading the Jung/White letters allows us to peer into the background of that controversy which raged about Jung's ‘Answer to Job’ where he, in effect, as one of my former professors put it, cornered God the Father, pinned him to the nearest couch and promptly set about psychoanalysing him. This resulted in Jung finding God guilty of being unconscious, having projected his shadow upon humanity, and of perpetuating a considerable amount of injustice and evil.

About three-quarters of the letters from Jung to White have been published with sufficient annotations on, or quotations from, White's letters to grasp his point of view. The remaining letters were omitted because they were either insufficiently important or of too personal a nature. It is my intention in this article to look briefly at the differences

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