Carl Jung and Maximus the Confessor on Psychic Development : The dynamics between the ‘psychological’ and the ‘spiritual’ book cover
1st Edition

Carl Jung and Maximus the Confessor on Psychic Development
The dynamics between the ‘psychological’ and the ‘spiritual’

ISBN 9780415625173
Published March 17, 2014 by Routledge
222 Pages 5 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

In what ways does psychological development differ from spiritual development and psychological experience from spiritual experience?

Bringing together two disparate theories under a trans-disciplinary framework, G. C. Tympas presents a comparison of Carl Jung’s theory of psychic development and Maximus the Confessor’s model of spiritual progress. An ‘evolutional’ relationship between the ‘psychological’ and the ‘spiritual’ is proposed for a dynamic interpretation of spiritual experience.

Carl Jung and Maximus the Confessor on Psychic Development offers a creative synthesis of elements and directions from both theories and further explores:

-          Jung’s views on religion in a dialogue with Maximus’ concepts

-          The different directions and goals of Jung’s and Maximus’ models

-          Jung’s ‘Answer to Job’ in relation to Maximus’ theory of ‘final restoration’.

Tympas argues that a synthesis of Jung’s and Maximus’ models comprises a broader trans-disciplinary paradigm of development, which can serve as a pluralistic framework for considering the composite psycho-spiritual development.

Constructively combining strands of differing disciplines, this book will appeal to those looking to explore the dialogue between analytical psychology, early Christian theology and Greek philosophy.

Table of Contents

Introduction. The ‘Psychological’ and the ‘Spiritual’: An evolutional relationship. Jung and the Post-Jungians on Religion: Breakthroughs and Limitations. Maximus and Jung on the Foundations of the Psyche. The Directions and the Stages of Psychic Development. The Psychic Functions and the Spiritual Experience. The Ultimate Goal: A question of wholeness or holiness? ‘Answer to Job’: A dark side or an eschatological light? Conclusion: A transdisciplinary paradigm of psychic development.

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G. C. Tympas has degrees in medicine and theological studies and a PhD in psychoanalytic studies from the University of Essex. His research focuses on the relationship between early psychic models and psychiatric nosology and he is currently a priest and pastoral counsellor of the Greek Orthodox Church in London.


'A scholarly yet boldly imaginative account of the fascinating overlaps, echoes and resonances between the thought of C.G. Jung and that of the early Christian theologian Maximus the Confessor. Tympas opens up a genuinely two-way street, so that we find each of these giants illuminating the work of the other in a fresh and original manner. At a time when there is more interest than ever in the psychology of spiritual experience, the interdisciplinary product will be of considerable interest to all those interested in the fields of analytical psychology and religious studies/theology.' - Professor Andrew Samuels, University of Essex

'Recently there has been a growing awareness of the wealth of psychological wisdom to be found within the Byzantine ascetic tradition. Dr Tympas brings Carl Gustav Jung into dialogue with Maximos the Confessor, one of the giants of the Byzantine tradition, exploring with learning and insight areas where their approaches to the development of the soul or psyche seem to overlap. Dr Tympas does not oversimplify; he is as attentive to points of contrast as to points of convergence. This is an important book on a subject of increasing importance today.' - Andrew Louth FBA, Professor Emeritus of Patristic and Byzantine Studies, University of Durham, UK and Visiting Professor of Eastern Orthodox Theology, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam

'This book will be invaluable for all serious scholars of Jung and Christianity…' - Professor Renos Papadopoulos, from the foreword