Recent conference contributions and talks from ‘One World’ project Principal Investigator, Professor Roderick Main

In June and September of this year, Professor Roderick Main (Principle Investigator of the ‘One World’: logical and ethical implications of holism project), delivered two conference papers whose themes were closely tied with the ‘One world’ project. The abstracts for these conferences paper are given below and will be archived in the “conferences” section.

On 3 to 4 June 2016 Roderick Main delivered a plenary lecture as part of the international conference ‘The Many Faces of Panentheism: Reinforcing the Dialog between Science and Religion’, Collegium Helveticum, Zurich.  Roderick’s paper was titled:

‘Panentheism and the undoing of disenchantment: towards Jungian psychosocial studies’.

Abstract
In this paper I argue that improved dialogue between science and religion might well be fostered by panentheism.  However, in being brought closer within a panentheistic framework both science and religion would have to transform from their mainstream expressions and acknowledge again, albeit in new ways, elements split off in the long process of development towards their modern forms – the process neatly encapsulated in Weber’s notion of disenchantment.  Jungian depth psychology is one modern discipline that, in an explicit reversal of disenchantment, has attempted to integrate science and religion, and in doing so has taken a form that is demonstrably panentheistic.  This is especially clear in Jung’s simultaneously published late texts Answer to Job and Synchronicity: An Acausal Connecting Principle, which promote integration from the sides of religion and science, respectively.  However, in pursuing this integration Jungian psychology has become largely alienated from mainstream disciplines throughout the sciences, humanities, and social sciences.  The alienation is nowhere clearer than in the relationship, or conspicuous lack of relationship, of Jungian psychology to sociology, the paradigmatic disenchanted discipline.  For Jungian psychology both to retain its integrity and to have the kind of commerce with sociology that has long been enjoyed by other forms of depth psychology, such as those of Freud, Klein, and Lacan, would require the development of an altogether different kind of sociology, one in which sociology’s roots in disenchantment were undone.  I conclude by sketching what an enchanted, panentheistically grounded sociology and associated Jungian psychosocial studies might look like and shall suggest that they could provide distinctive and valuable perspectives for addressing some of the pressing environmental, social, and cultural problems that face the world today.

On Saturday 24 September 2016 Roderick Main gave two talks in Edinburgh in the C. G. Jung Seminars Scotland (CGJSS) series.  The titles of the talks were :
‘The cultural significance of synchronicity for Jung and Pauli’
‘Synchronicity today’.
 
The cultural significance of synchronicity for Jung and Pauli
In this talk I discuss the cultural significance of C. G. Jung’s concept of synchronicity, as this was envisaged both by Jung himself and by the physicist Wolfgang Pauli, Jung’s most important discussant in developing the concept.  For both thinkers the principle of synchronicity was, above all, an attempt to develop an expanded, more holistic understanding of science.  I argue, however, that their motives for proposing this development were not just, as might be expected, scientific, philosophical, and psychological (including personal), but also historical, social, political, and religious, and involved consideration of esoteric as well as mainstream currents of thought.
 
Synchronicity today
In this talk I aim to provide an update and overview of the current state of thinking on synchronicity.  My main focus is on developments, both theoretical and clinical, within Jungian psychology.  But I also discuss some of the ways in which the concept of synchronicity has penetrated wider academic and popular culture.  Overall, I hope to demonstrate the continued and increasing significance of Jung’s radical concept.

Contact: rmain@essex.ac.uk

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