The Many Faces of Panentheism
In this article, I draw on historical and conceptual arguments to show, first, that disenchantment and the influential view of the relationship between science and religion to which disenchantment gives rise are rooted in the metaphysics of theism. I then introduce the alternative metaphysical position of panentheism and identify Jungian psychology as an important, if implicit, mid-twentieth-century instance of panentheistic thought. Using the example of Jungian psychology, I demonstrate how the viewpoint of panentheism undoes the implications of disenchantment for the relationship between science and religion, promoting greater opportunities for dialogue and reconciliation between science and religion. I note, however, that these closer relations may depend on understanding science and religion differently from how they are understood under disenchantment. While the original tension between science and religion is eased, another tension—between panentheistic and disenchanted understandings of science and religion—is exposed. I conclude by reflecting on some implications of this discussion for sociology.
Résumé of older publications
(Asterisked publications are of particular relevance to the current research proposal.)
Principal Investigator: Professor Roderick Main
Roderick Main – Recent publications (since 2010)
*Main, R., ‘Psychology and the occult: dialectics of disenchantment and re-enchantment
in the modern self’, in C. Partridge (ed.) The Occult World (London and New
York: Routledge, 2015) pp. 732-743.
*Main, R., ‘Synchronicity and the problem of meaning in science’, in A. Atmanspacher
and C. Fuchs (eds.) The Pauli-Jung Conjecture and Its Impact Today (Exeter,
UK: Imprint Academic, 2014) pp. 217-239.
*Main, R., ‘The cultural significance of synchronicity for Jung and Pauli’, Journal of
Analytical Psychology 59:2 (2014) pp. 174-180. [Also published, with the
approval of both editors, in E. Kiehl (ed.) Copenhagen 2013 – 100 Years On:
Origins, Innovations and Controversies. Proceedings of the XIXth Congress of
the International Association for Analytical Psychology (Einsiedeln, Switzerland:
Daimon, 2014) pp. 148-155.]
Burnett, L. Bahun, S., and Main, R. (eds.) Myth, Literature, and the Unconscious,
(London: Karnac, 2013).
*Main, R., ‘Myth, synchronicity, and re-enchantment’, in L. Burnett, S. Bahun, and R.
Main (eds.) Myth, Literature, and the Unconscious (London: Karnac, 2013) pp.
*Main, R., ‘Secular and religious: the intrinsic doubleness of analytical psychology and
the hegemony of naturalism in the social sciences’, Journal of Analytical
Psychology 58:3 (2013) pp. 366-86.
*Main, R., ‘In a secular age: Weber, Taylor, Jung’, Psychoanalysis, Culture & Society
18:3 (2013) pp. 277-294.
Main, R. and Burnett, L., (eds.) International Journal of Jungian Studies, guest-edited
special issue on ‘Myth, Literature and the Unconscious’, 4:2 (September 2012).
Main, R., ‘Anomalous phenomena, synchronicity, and the re-sacralisation of the modern
world’, in J. Kripal and S. Kakar (eds.) Seriously Strange: Thinking Anew About
Psychical Experiences (New Delhi: Penguin Viking, 2012) pp. 1-27, 275-283.
*Main, R., ‘Synchronicity and the limits of re-enchantment’, International Journal of
Jungian Studies 3:2 (2011) pp. 144-58.
Main, R., ‘Jung’s uncertain separation of psychology from philosophy: A response to
Segal’, Journal of Analytical Psychology 55:3 (2010) pp. 385-88.
*Main, R., ‘Jung as a modern esotericist’, in G. Heuer (ed.) Sacral Revolutions (London
and New York: Routledge, 2010) pp. 167-75.
Co-Investigator: Dr David Henderson
Henderson, David (ed.) (in press). Psychoanalysis: Philosophy, Art and Clinic.
Newcastle upon Tyne, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
Henderson, David (2014). Apophatic elements in the theory and practice of
psychoanalysis: Pseudo-Dionysius and C.G. Jung. Research in Analytical
Psychology and Jungian Studies . Hove and New York: Routledge/Psychology
Press. ISBN 9780415857840.
Henderson, David, ed. (2012) Psychoanalysis, culture and society. Newcastle upon
Tyne, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing. ISBN 9781443837316.Henderson, David (in press). ‘Freud and Jung: The creation of the psychoanalytic
universe’. Psychodynamic Practice. ISSN 1475-3634.
Henderson, David (2014). ‘Nkisi nkondi: an image of transference and projective
identification in the analytic process’. Psychodynamic Practice 20 (1): 62-67. ISSN
Henderson, David (2013). ‘Where is love? Contribution to a symposium on Plato’s
Symposium and psychoanalysis’. JCFAR: Journal of the Centre for Freudian
Analysis and Research 23: 57-64. ISSN 1351-5470.
Henderson, David (2011). ‘Aspects of negation in Freud and Jung’. Psychodynamic
Practice 17 (2): 199-205. ISSN 1475-3634.
Henderson, David (2010) ‘The coincidence of opposites: C.G. Jung’s reception of
Nicholas of Cusa’. Studies in Spirituality 20: 101-113. ISSN 0926-6453.
Researcher: Dr. Christian McMillan
McMillan, C. (2015). ‘The “image of thought” in Jung’s Whole-Self: a critical study.’ Unpublished PhD thesis. University of Essex, UK.
*McMillan, C., ‘Archetypal Intuition: Beyond the Human (A theory of Archetype, Not a Theory of Knowledge)’ in D. Henderson (ed.) Psychoanalysis, Culture and
Society (Newcastle upon Tyne, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2012) pp.