With the necessary demise and death of antique cosmologies and traditional religious paradigms dependent on external deities and devils, the modern religious challenge involves two simultaneous sacred endeavors: to eulogize, bury, and grieve the theistic and monotheistic god-images and the religions dependent on them; and, secondly, to bring fresh imagination to the meanings of god and religion, which will satisfy both the modern mind and ancient soul.
Drawing on the insights of Jungian or analytical psychology, Dr. Wright offers depth psychological analysis of our contemporary religious and political dilemmas, as well as invites readers to be midwives for the emerging religious myth that many believe to be on our collective horizon — a myth that will be more inclusive, intellectually and scientifically honest, and soul satisfying.
The invitation is made urgent by his psychological conclusion: As long as our deities and devils are perceived to be beyond the physical domain and outside the human psyche, our species will continue to do great harm to each other and to our global nest.
Combining personal testament and psychological commentary, the author explores heretofore taboo topics and reframes many traditional theological and Christological dogmas, making them more relevant to religious and non-religious alike.
“Jerry Wright’s Reimagining God and Religion is a personally honest, courageous, and insightful re-examination of our contemporary religious dilemma. He steps outside the fundamentalist’s need for security and employs the insights of depth psychology to reappropriate received wisdom in forms which respect the intellectual integrity of the modern, thus rescuing the timeless insights of the tradition, thus making them available anew. One cannot read this book without learning something important, without being confronted in one’s fixed positions. This book is a gift for those who care about the life of the spirit, whatever their traditions, or lack thereof, may be.”
-James Hollis, Ph. D., Jungian Analyst and author of fifteen books, most recently Living an Examined Life: Wisdom for the Second Half of the Journey
“Jerry Wright invites the reader to value passion for life and compassion for all more than the literalism and fundamentalism of religious traditions. He masterfully utilizes Jungian psychology to expose the shadow side of religions that claim superiority and exclusivity bestowed by their view of God. His candid picture of the destructive energies that grow out of such attitudes is a clarion call for all to grow up spiritually!”
-Kathleen Wiley, MHDL, Jungian Analyst, author of New Life: Symbolic Meditations on the Promise of Easter and Spring
“A bold invitation to faithfully imagine the Sacred at the heart of you and everything. In other words, the kingdom of god is within you.”
-John Philip Newell, author of The Rebirthing of God
“By weaving together his deep grasp of psychology, theology, science, and poetry, Dr. Wright sets out to reimagine the mysteries around us, within us, and just beyond our grasp. With his open-minded voice of conviction, he challenges traditional religious dogma and certitude, concluding, ‘if religions are dropped down fully formed from some remote domain and deity, written in stone, unchangeable, and gifted to a very few, our future as a species will be very bleak.’ Plunge into this thought provoking book and devour the power and hope that Jerry Wright has reimagined.”
-Alice Smith, poet, author of several poetry volumes, including The Rhythm of Stillness
“This book is a real treasure for the spiritual or psychological pilgrim searching for tools in the quest for consciousness. It is well thought out and researched both theologically and psychologically using the tools of analytical psychology. This book can be a real asset to individuation or spiritual growth. An added bonus is the writer’s courage in interweaving his personal journey into the fiber of the material.”
-Ben F. Toole, Jungian Analyst, Inter-Regional Society of Jungian Analysts, Memphis-Atlanta Jung Seminar
Table of Contents
I FROM THE BACK PORCH OF THE CHURCH 19
II BEYOND THE BACK PORCH OF THE CHURCH 25
III MONOTHEISTIC MADNESS 39
IV REIMAGINING GOD AND RELIGION 59
V PROJECTION AND REVELATION 83
VI REIMAGINING JESUS AND CHRIST (1) 97
VII REIMAGINING JESUS AND CHRIST (2) 121
VIII THIN PLACES AND THIN TIMES 137
IX DREAMS: STRANGERS IN THE NIGHT 149
X THE UNIVERSE AS MIRROR AND ICON 167