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Guest Editor’s Introduction: “THIS!”: A Word on Repaying Our “Debts of the Spirit”

Everett, Stewart James

In 2007, I opened a book that had been recommended to me called "Religion and the Spiritual in Carl Jung" by Ann Belford Ulanov and read the first sentence: “Jung looked for the Spirit in all things, even in neurosis or psychosis.”1 “What an extraordinary thought,” I said to myself with great curiosity, especially since a common predilection for religious folk is to quickly want to rid God from anything remotely dark or bleak such as we find in the experiences of neurosis and psychosis. I kept reading: numinous, meaning, archetype, psychoanalysis, object relations, Freud, primordial, psyche, the cross, Tillich, God. Though Jung and the basics of psychology were somewhat familiar to me, as was the exploration of religious categories even more so, I quickly noticed that I was not only responding to the ideas being put forth on the page, but I was connecting just as much to the way this person was synthesizing and expressing them. It was a fluid back and forth between psyche and spirit, the psychological and the religious, a testimony of faith in the capacities of both mind and God to show us the way forward, a perennial concern for the “so what?” factor of it all. I turned to the back cover: “Ann Belford Ulanov is the Christiane Brooks Johnson Professor of Psychiatry and Religion at Union Theological Seminary in New York. She has written extensively on Carl Jung and other issues that arise from the worlds of psychiatry and the spiritual.” From my religious and theological training, I knew well of Union Theological Seminary, but I was less familiar with Ann Ulanov. Who was this person and why had I not previously encountered her work in my graduate studies thus far? Despite this “extensive” writing on Jung and other subjects—a writing corpus which includes monographs, book chapters, and journal articles written over the course of such a distinguished career—why had this material on psyche and spirit not been introduced to me?

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Union Seminary Quarterly Review
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Union Theological Seminary

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Union Theological Seminary
Publisher
Union Theological Seminary
Series
Union Seminary Quarterly Review
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June 23, 2021