The Religious Function of the Psyche

Paperback (Print)
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $8.95
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 81%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (10) from $8.95   
  • New (4) from $40.27   
  • Used (6) from $8.95   


Traditional concepts of God are no longer tenable for many people who nevertheless experience a strong sense of the sacred in their lives. The Religious Function of the Psyche offers a psychological model for the understanding of such experience, using the language and interpretive methods of depth psychology, particularly those of C.G. Jung and psychoanalytic self psychology. The problems of evil and suffering, and the notion of human development as an incarnation of spirit are dealt with by means of a religious approach to the psyche that can be brought easily into psychotherapeutic practice and applied by the individual in everyday life.
The book offers an alternative approach to spirituality as well as providing an introduction to Jung and religion.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780415144018
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 11/28/1996
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Table of Contents

List of figures
Introduction: The new psychological dispensation 1
1 The Religious Attitude in Psychotherapy 5
2 Personal Spirituality Based on Contact with the Numinosum 11
3 The Transpersonal Self: A psychological approach to the divine 39
4 The Archetype as Synthetic Principle: Making psychology and spirituality synonymous 57
5 Mythical, Symbolic and Imaginal Aspects of the Psyche's Religious Function 84
6 A Psychological View of Some Traditional Religious Ideas 105
7 A Depth Psychological Approach to the Problem of Suffering 126
8 Suffering: The search for meaning 152
9 Sin and Evil: A psychological approach 185
10 Psychotherapy and Spiritual Practice 204
11 The Rationale for a Contemplative Psychology 220
Appendix 229
Notes 240
References 246
Index 252
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 1 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 19, 2014

    I Also Recommend:

    Lionel Corbett, M.D., a teacher of depth psychology at Pacific

    Lionel Corbett, M.D., a teacher of depth psychology at Pacifica Graduate Institute, Santa Barbara, California, states that psychology is, in fact, the basis of our spirituality and sets out to provide incontrovertible proof. He points to our spiritual future:

    “The next stage in our spiritual evolution is emerging…and requires
    the development of a personal connection with the sacred,
    unencumbered by doctrine, dogma, or preconceived ideas about the divine.
    It also involves approaching problems such as the existence of evil and suffering
    with all the new insights that developments in depth psychology can bring
    to bear on this and other human predicaments.” (p.6)

    In Part 1 “Meeting the Mystery: Developing a Personal Spirituality, Corbett calls for a return to a personal approach to spirituality involving embodied experience and powerful emotions rather than doctrinal formulas. He points out that when religious ideas are divorced from natural psychology there are serious ruptures. If someone believed in Christianity, for example,

    “such a person would not be found committing atrocities or war crimes, and the
    Sermon on the Mount would not be ignored when it was politically convenient to do so.
    The teachings of Jesus would fit naturally and instinctively into his or her behavior
    they would not need to be reinforced by threats of eternal damnation and
    they require no hierarchy.” (p.33)

    In Part 11, Through Psyche’s Lens: A Depth Psychological Approach to Spiritual Questions, Corbett counsels we integrate our shadow material into conscious awareness instead of leaning on religions “that offer repentance, confession and the grace of God as antidotes to the shadow.” (p.173)

    In a riveting chapter, A Depth Psychology of Evil, Corbett describes Jung’s understanding of the message of Jesus: Instead of subordinating oneself to Christ, we should, instead, seek to be similarly free-spirited, questioning of authority, confrontational and willing to suffer the consequences. Corbett rails against the laundering of religious personalities:

    “In Jung’s mythology, the divine penetrates the human psyche with darkness
    as well as light and our task is to struggle with the tension produced by
    aspects of the Self pulling in opposite directions. Rather than take on such
    a painful and difficult task, many people choose one of the traditional
    solutions to evil: let God take care of it in his own time. (p.173)

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)