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The Jung Cult: The Origins of a Charismatic Movement

Overview

In this provocative reassessment of C. G. Jung's thought, Richard Noll boldly argues that such ideas as the "collective unconscious" and the theory of the archetypes come as much from late nineteenth-century occultism, neopaganism, and social Darwinian teachings as they do from natural science. Noll sees the break with Sigmund Freud in 1912 not as a split within the psychoanalytic movement but as Jung's turning away from science and his founding of a new religion, which offered a rebirth ("individuation"), ...
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Overview

In this provocative reassessment of C. G. Jung's thought, Richard Noll boldly argues that such ideas as the "collective unconscious" and the theory of the archetypes come as much from late nineteenth-century occultism, neopaganism, and social Darwinian teachings as they do from natural science. Noll sees the break with Sigmund Freud in 1912 not as a split within the psychoanalytic movement but as Jung's turning away from science and his founding of a new religion, which offered a rebirth ("individuation"), surprisingly like that celebrated in ancient mystery cult teachings. Jung, in fact, consciously inaugurated a cult of personality centered on himself and passed down to the present by a body of priest-analysts extending this charismatic movement, or "personal religion," to late twentieth-century individuals.

In this provocative assessment of Jung's thought, Noll boldly argues that such ideas as the "collective unconscious" and the theory of the archetypes come as much from late 19th-century occultism, neo-paganism, and social Darwinian teachings as they do from natural science. Written for the general reader, this book will also be an important source for historians of science and psychiatry. Illustrations.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Clinical psychologist Noll surveys the intellectual, cultural, and philosophical movements active in central Europe at the turn of the century and traces their influence on Jung and his circle. Without disparaging Jung's contribution to psychology, Noll demonstrates how Jung's experiences with occultism, neopaganism, and German utopianism led him to formulate such concepts as the collective unconscious, archetypes, and individuation. Contending that Jung, after his break with Freud, modeled his school of psychoanalysis on ancient mystery religions, Noll shows how followers continued to perpetuate this personality cult, ignoring Jung's early life and work. This fine work of scholarship is recommended for academic and public libraries.-Lucille Boone, San Jose P.L., Cal.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780684834238
  • Publisher: Touchstone
  • Publication date: 6/5/1997
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 416
  • Sales rank: 739,183
  • Product dimensions: 0.92 (w) x 5.50 (h) x 8.50 (d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Acknowledgments
Abbreviations
Introduction 3
Pt. 1 The Historical Context of C. G. Jung 11
Ch. 1 The Problem of the Historical Jung 13
Ch. 2 The Fin de Siecle 27
Ch. 3 Freud, Haeckel, and Jung: Naturphilosophie, Evolutionary Biology, and Secular Regeneration 40
Ch. 4 Fin-de-Siecle Occultism and Promises of Rebirth 58
Ch. 5 Volkisch Utopianism and Sun Worship 75
Ch. 6 Wandlungen und Symbole der Libido: Solar Mysticism as Science 109
Pt. 2 Prelude to a Cult: Chronology and Biography 139
Ch. 7 Spirits, Memory Images, and the Longing for Mystery: 1895-1907 141
Ch. 8 Otto Gross, Nietzscheanism, and Matriarchal Neopaganism: 1908 151
Ch. 9 "The Mothers! The Mothers! It Sounds So Strangely Weird!": J. J. Bachofen, Otto Gross, Stefan George, and Jung 161
Ch. 10 Visionary Excavations of the Collective Unconscious: 1909-1915 177
Ch. 11 The Collective Unconscious, the God Within, and Wotan's Runes: 1916 218
Pt. 3 The Jung Cult 247
Ch. 12 "The Silent Experiment in Group Psychology": 1916 249
Ch. 13 "The Secret Church": The Transmission of Charismatic Authority 275
Notes 299
Index 377
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