Victor White OP

Defining Evil in Jungian-Christian Dialogue

In: International Journal of Jungian Studies

Abstract

Jungians and Christians use the word evil in different and contradictory senses. The moral aim of the Jungian is the ‘integration of evil’, whereas for the Christian it is ‘the overcoming of evil by good’. This paper guides the reader through Victor White’s thinking on evil—understood in the tradition of Aristotle and Aquinas as parasitic on good—malum est privatio boni, and concludes by considering the clinical significance of the relationship between moral evil—malum culpae—and guilt. Although Jung and White never resolved their differences on evil, they agreed that the subject demands concentration and careful reflection. The hypothesis here is that, although the literature on the Jung–White dialogue offers extensive analysis on evil, it does not go far enough. There is little evidence of dynamic engagement with the underlying ethical issues that White’s clarity of thought challenges one to consider.

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