Religion and mythology

Nothing is more characteristic and symptomatic in this respect than the gulf that has opened out between faith and knowledge. The contrast has become so enormous that one is obliged to speak of the incommensurability of these two categories and their way of looking at the world. And yet they are concerned with the same empirical world in which we live, for even the theologians tell us that faith is supported by facts that become historically perceptible in this known world of ours – namely that Christ was born as a real human being, worked many miracles and suffered his fate, died under Pontius Pilate, and rose up in the flesh after his death. Theology rejects any tendency to take assertions of its earliest records as written myths and, accordingly, to understand them symbolically. Indeed, it is the theologians themselves who have recently made the attempt – no doubt as a concession to “knowledge” – to “demythologize” the object of their faith while drawing the line quite arbitrarily at the crucial points. But to the critical intellect it is only too obvious that myth is an integral component of all religions and therefore cannot be excluded from the assertions of faith without injuring them.

  • Pg. 41, The Undiscovered Self – C.G. Jung, 9-780691-150512
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