Answer to Job (by Carl Jung)?

So I have been kinda interested in Carl Jung lately and recently read his book “Answer to Job” where he gives a “psychological interpretation” of Job. The synopsis from Wikipedia:

Answer to Job argues that while Job submitted to Yahweh’s omnipotence, he nevertheless proved to be more moral and conscious than God, who tormented him without justification under the influence of Satan. This scandal made it necessary for God to become united with man. Satan was banished from heaven and God incarnated as purely good, through a virgin birth, into the sinless redeemer Jesus Christ. Eventually, however, God will incarnate his evil side as well. For this to happen, the Holy Ghost left by Christ on earth has to enter “empirical”, sinful human beings in whom the divine can be realized completely. Jung turns to the Book of Ezekiel, the Book of Enoch, and especially the Book of Revelation to consider how this may unfold. He suggests that the modern era, in which humanity wields immense technological power, will be crucial to this second divine birth. Consequently, he interprets the 1950 papal dogma of the Assumption of Mary as easing the transition towards completeness by re-emphasizing the feminine aspect of God.

The basic thesis of the book is that, as well as having a good side, God also has a fourth side—the evil face of God. This view is inevitably controversial, but Jung claimed it is backed up by references to the Hebrew Bible. Jung saw this evil side of God as the missing fourth element of the Trinity, which he believed should be supplanted by a Quaternity. However, he also discusses in the book whether the true missing fourth element is the feminine side of God. Indeed, he saw the dogmatic definition of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary by Pope Pius XII in 1950 as being the most significant religious event since the Reformation.

Another theme in the book is the inversion of the biblical assertion that God sent his son Christ to die for the sins of humanity. Jung maintains that upon realizing his mistreatment of Job, God sends his son to humankind to be sacrificed in repentance for God’s sins. Jung sees this as a sign of God’s ongoing psychological development.

What are your thoughts on this?

2 Likes

Certainly it does not consider the dogmas of faith, such as those below:

  • God’s Nature is incomprehensible to men.
  • God’s Essence is also incomprehensible to the blessed in Heaven.
  • God is absolutely perfect.
  • God is absolute Moral Goodness or Holiness.
  • God is absolute Benignity.
  • God’s knowledge is infinite.
  • God is infinitely just.
  • God is infinitely merciful.
  • God has created a good world.
  • The Son of God became man in order to redeem men.
  • Fallen man cannot redeem himself.
  • Christ by His Sacrifice on the Cross has ransomed us and reconciled us with God.
4 Likes

Oh I know, Jung didn’t really care about metaphysics though. He was approaching this from a psychological perspective, not a metaphysical one.

The experience of theosis is a partaking of the divine nature, and will not be contrary to the revelation (mysterion, μυστήριον).

Ummm did I ever say it would be?

No you did not.

1 Like

As much disrespect as I have for Jung, being that he and Freud revolutionized psychotherapy and psychiatry, in a bad way mostly, I would like to learn more about him, because I kinda know enough about Freud but haven’t really delved into Jung’s propositions. Thanks for starting this thread; I will be watching and gleaning facts, hopefully.

1 Like

:roll_eyes:

At this point, the article (and perhaps Jung?) lost all credibility in my eyes.

Soooo… Jung has the charism of authoritative interpretation of the Bible? Even when he interprets non-canonical books?

Hard pass.
:man_shrugging:

2 Likes

Job was not an Israelite. He was from ur. He He did not received justification as Abraham did. He was righteous through his daily efforts doing good in his daily life. But Satan try to argue with God about whether he was truly righteous when tested.

This shows our human righteousness always give room for the accuser (satan) to dispute our human righteousness. In the end, Job recognize the fact that he need a mediator to argue his case against God.

God then justify Job as more righteous compared to the other fellows who wrongly accuse him in this way: that Gods justice on the basis of natural morality alone: that God reward good deeds, therefore Job must have done something bad worthy to receive punishments. Job insisted that even he has done all good deeds (nothing immoral), he still in need a mediator to defend his case against God. Job hoped for a redeemer to redeem him for eternal life.

God then remind Job, that even according to nature, there are many things Job completely ignorant about. Job wish to argue with God is silenced, by Job acknowledging his shortcomings even at the natural moral level.

The message from the book of Job

  1. human effortful righteousness can never enough to justify him against God
  2. Our enemy is sin, and more than sin itself, is also the accuser (satan) who use God’s law to rightfully (and many times wrongly) accuse and accuse our human shortcomings.
  3. The most righteous moral person on earth when tested by God, he cannot argue based on merely his good moral deeds alone. Just because a moral person do good, He stll owe that goodness he does from God. So God does not owe anyone, and is still righteous and has the right to test anybody He wants.
  4. The most moral person will be found guilty if God scrutinize him
  5. Moral teaching only a guidance for human behavior. As for God, He is not under human moral law. God can choose to give and take away life, and remain righteous, for all things are His creation and therefore belong to him.
  6. Jesus redemtion saves Abraham (an israelite) & Job (a gentile).

Job 19
25 For I know that my redeemer lives,
and he, the last, will take his stand on the earth.
26 I will be there behind my skin, and
in my flesh I shall see God;
27 with my own eyes I shall see Him—I, and not another.
How my heart yearns!

Jung synthesized using ideas of Pierre Janet (dissociation), German Romanticism, and Hellenic Mythology. Jung saw God and Christ as being symbols of the Self. He wrote:

The God-image is the expression of an underlying experience of something which I cannot attain to by intellectual means.

Re: Letter to Valentine Brooke in C.G. Jung Letters, Volume 2, 1951-1961, edited by Gerhard Adler, (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul), pp. 520-3

Stating that Job is more moral than God is obviously heresy. And it, as usual, is based on misconceptions about what God is and, in my opinion, the genre of the Book of Job.

2 Likes

God owes us nothing.

1 Like

Worse than heretical; it’s satanic - irregardless of whether it’s from a metaphysical or psychological"perspective".

When we are stricken by misfortune events, many of us would doubt God. We ask, “Why God?! WHY?!”. Inside that “why?!” is the human morality of Job’s friends, who wrongly apply that moral law on God. We often take it for granted all the goodness we receives, and assumes those we got it because of our mere human efforts.

Whereas Job insisted not to fall there. He said “Naked I came from my mother’s womb. God gave, God has taken away. Blessed be His Name!” (Job 1:21)

Job knows he gets everything from God for free. And this is the key differentiator of the two different philosophy/theology.

Jung has definitely fall into that logic of

  1. Applying human morality on God
  2. Assumes we do good by mere human efforts, forgetting that even our good deeds comes from God.

I read this years ago but remember very little about it.

This topic was automatically closed 14 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.