I need some help getting started on the following question:
Using Carl Jung's work as a reference, discuss whether Christ is the symbol of the self, or the self a symbol of Christ.
Jungian Influence on Christianity
Hi there! Thanks so much for letting me respond to your post and offer you the best I can. I hope you find the content of this response most helpful for engaging the subject and recognizing your questions and opinions are worth sharing!
Firstly, as far as the directions go, it seems like this is a rather large research paper on Jung's formulations of Christianity in psychological terms. I'm sure he's a very influential person in this matter, because essentially he was one of the first to break ground on the false dichotomy between the two disciplines. I'll be giving you as much thought, ideas, resources, and even structure that I can; please know that I mean for all of it to help, and if at any time you don't feel it helps enough, you can ask me more questions to clarify things in a message.
Secondly, as far as content ideas go, I'm sure you understand that this is a very complex question, but it's all rooted in the "self" or concept thereof. Both areas (religion and psychology) have much to say about that concept. In fact, because most of the differences resolve themselves when considering the human factor of interpretation, I'm sure you'll find it reasonable when I advise the consideration of arguing both & neither, to some extent.
The ironic thing is that both sides also employ the same basic modus operandi to come to a conclusion. Jung was mostly concerned with fitting his scientific findings into his theological background; the Church (perhaps obviously) more concerned with fitting historically revealed faith with the new findings. For that reason, you can be sure that the Church would never officially say that Christ is anything other than the hypostatic union of God and man?going beyond that should only reveal perfection in every human aspect. So inasmuch as one might say "Christ is the symbol of the self," that would be considered incorrect?Christ himself is the Self, in other words the chief man. Is man, then the self that symbolizes Christ? Inasmuch as people can mature and grow perhaps in a physical or psychological manner, yes. Christ was still fully man. But does that mean that all people are symbols of Christ? That would be dangerous, ...
The expert determines whether Christ is a symbol of self for Carl Jung.