January 20-21, 1989: Thomas P. Lavin

Lecture: Artemis and Aphrodite Need Not Apply: Christianity’s Repression of The Archetypal Feminine Geniuses

This lecture will discuss the importance of the constellation of the feminine forms of divinity in our time and their importance in our chaotic world. References for this lecture are Whitmont’s Return of the Goddess and Bolen’s Goddesses in Every Woman.  In this lecture I hope to show that the Catholic and Protestant complexes about and around Mary are, in essence, a problem of the patriarchal form of Christianity which fears the feminine dimension of religious experience.

Workshop: The Shadow of Organized Religions 

Throughout the centuries what Jung has called “the religious function” in humankind has been either nurtured or warped by religious institutions. We can see two extremes of this nurturing-or-warping effect in our own time by a comparison of the work and words of, for example, a Mother Theresa versus an Ayatollah Khomeini.

Centering his lecture on the experience rendered in the film, “The Hmong Shaman in America”, Dr. Lavin will discuss the warping effect-those neurotic attitudes and behaviors which can result from a maladaptive and collective approach to the religious function in all of us. Particular attention will be given to Jung’s theory of typology in understanding how the institutionalization of the religious function can lead a person to behave in an unbalanced way.

For many, religions can be a path to health and wholeness; but for some persons religion can become an internalized living hell.


Dr. Lavin is a senior analyst and faculty member of the C.G. Jung Institute, Chicago. He holds doctorates in clinical psychology and in moral theology and a diploma in analytical psychology from the C.G. Jung Institute, Zurich. A recent publication, Psychological Reflections on the Rites of Christian Initiation  in Betwixt and Between will be available at the book table.

Artemis and Aphrodite Need Not Apply