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Marlow, V. (1991). Erlenmeyer, A. (Berlin). ‘Die Funktion des Religiosen und der Über-Ich-Begriff in C. G. Jungs Theoriebildung. Historische und klinische Aspekte (The function of religion and the concept of the super-ego in the formation of C. G. Jung's theories. Historical and clinical aspects)’. Analytische Psychologie, 21: 98-119. 1990.. J. Anal. Psychol., 36(3):394.

(1991). Journal of Analytical Psychology, 36(3):394

Erlenmeyer, A. (Berlin). Die Funktion des Religiosen und der Über-Ich-Begriff in C. G. Jungs Theoriebildung. Historische und klinische Aspekte (The function of religion and the concept of the super-ego in the formation of C. G. Jung's theories. Historical and clinical aspects). Analytische Psychologie, 21: 98-119. 1990.

Review by:
Veronika Marlow

This is a revised version of the introductory paper for the new term given in 1989 at the C. G. Jung Institute, Stuttgart, entitled Practice of analytical psychology and religion. The author looks at the position of religion within psychoanalysis at the time of Jung's separation from Freud, still a subject of interest in analytical psychology today.

The paper presents the view that Jung's separation from Freud has led to a loss of theory so that the concepts of analytical psychology are insufficient for the understanding and treatment of severely ill patients. The author postulates that in clinical work a ‘personalistic’ developmental theory is needed, as evolved by Freud and his successors.

Jung's view of religion is one which is based on the structure and dynamic of the collective psyche, an expression of man's basic need, not deduced from the individual's experience of the parental imago which is the psychoanalytic view, but an expression of the relationship of the ego to superior collective dominants.

Basing his paper on the foreword to the fourth Swiss edition of ‘Symbols of Transformation’ (1952), the author shows aspects of Jung's de-identification with Freud which concern mainly these views on the origin of religion.

By rejecting the concept of the castration complex Jung also rejected, in the author's view, the personal father who pronounces the castration threat, in his forbidding, normative function. In his place Jung puts the symbolism of the sacrifice, now seen from the perspective of Christianity. The author quotes Abraham as saying: At this point Jung stops being a psychoanalyst and becomes a theologian.

With the rejection of the castration complex Jung also rejected Freud in his role of strict, legislative father of psychoanalytic theory and father of the transference, thus preventing the acknowledgment of a super-ego in the psychoanalytical sense in his later theoretical structure.

The author maintains that the super-ego accounts for the influence of historical and social reality on psychic development which is not met adequately by other aspects of Jungian theory. He therefore suggests the exploration of archetypal images as to their historical and social nature and how this is passed on in the sense of super-ego contents.

This very rich and thought provoking paper is amplified by an extensive bibliography.

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