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Wharton, B. (1983). White, Victor. God and the Unconscious. Dallas, Spring Publications, 1982. Pp. xxxiii + 245. Paperback. N.p.. J. Anal. Psychol., 28(4):396-397.

(1983). Journal of Analytical Psychology, 28(4):396-397

White, Victor. God and the Unconscious. Dallas, Spring Publications, 1982. Pp. xxxiii + 245. Paperback. N.p.

Review by:
Barbara Wharton

Edited by:
Corinna Peterson

That the conflict between gnosis and faith is still a live one is sufficient justification for this new edition of Father White's book first published in Great Britain in 1952. It includes Jung's Foreword to the original edition.

The author explores the frontiers between theology and psychology, evaluating the differences and acknowledging the common ground. He writes with clarity, with theological precision, and with considerable scholarship, as well as with psychological insight. In so far as the book consists of a collection of essays and papers written for different purposes and for different audiences it could be said to lack homogeneity, but this very unevenness makes it more readable, and the consistency of the author's conviction and genuineness holds it together.

White is not content with the defensive position that creates a dichotomy between soul and psyche, but is at pains to develop what he appreciates as Jung's essential contribution in acknowledging the relevance of religion to psychic health. Moreover, he sees analysis as serving a spiritual function in so far as it involves a response to the leadership of manifestations of the unconscious which are closely parallel to, even if not sometimes actually a vehicle of, the redemptive functioning of faith and grace(p. 58).

The conclusion that emerges from the book, however, is that the possibilities of dialogue between White the theologian and Jung the psychologist were limited.

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