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The Historical and Psychological Contexts for Intimate Relations

September 20, 1996 @ 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm PDT


Intimate relationships are as ancient as life itself. In Genesis II, the awakened Adam, now male, sees Eve and exclaims: “This at last is bone of my bones, and flesh from my flesh!” The woman undoubtedly said the same as the man, given a metaphorical and non-patriarchal understanding of the text. Otherwise, the following would not have occured: “Now both of them were naked, the man and his wife, but the felt no shame in front of each other.” This weekend’s lecture and workshop will consider this event.

This lecture will consider historical perspectives and developments that have obscured or even prevented intimate relations. They include harsh survivial conditions, the emergence of masculine dominance leading to the eclipse of the importance of the couple in favor of the larger family or tribe, more complex political structures, and religious organizations with their laws and moral codes. Today, however, vast changes, including the emergence of nuclear families born of romantic love and not of family or clan arrangements. Now there is an opportunity and a necessary challenge as never before for a couple to realize intimate relations in both a sensual and spiritual sense. Societal as well as important inner resistance assimilated from our long patriarchal history impede the development of such intimacy. This conflict between our ancient history and our present society may account for the enormous difficulty in and the massive breakdown of the present nuclear family. John Giannini will use Genesis I and II to illustrate a model for itimacy’s separation and surrender.

Related Workshop: The Sensuality and Spirituality of Intimate Relationships

John Giannini, M.Div., M.A., M.B.A., is a Jungian analyst in private practice in Chicago and Evanston. He holds an M.Div. in Religion and Psychology from St. Albert’s College and an M.A. from the University of Chicago Divinity School. John has published articles and lectures widely throughout the U.S. and Canada on the wounded child and narcissistic/addictive behavior. He is the author of Compass of the Soul (forthcoming from the Center for the Application of Psychological Type).

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September 20, 1996
7:30 pm - 9:30 pm PDT
We offer Continuing Education Credit through NASW. The fee for CEU credit is for the workshop is $5 for 2 hours. To obtain CEU credit, add the CEU to your shopping cart when registering.


First United Methodist Church, Collins Hall
1838 SW Jefferson Street
Portland, OR 97201 United States
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