I was born into a mysterious world. In 1950 Pope Pius XII decreed ex cathedra that the Bodily Assumption of the Virgin Mary into Heaven is now church law and Mary can be worshipped as a Saint.
The psychologist, Carl Jung, published that same year his small volume, The Answer to Job, in which (among other things) he declares that Pius XII’s decree is nothing less than the return to divinity of the Pantheon goddess Sophia (banished with dozens of other gods by monotheism), i.e. the return of the feminine element to the godhead.
He revealed that the idea and text for the book came to him in an flash in a dream.
James Hillman, the psychiatrist and polytheist, heavily influenced by Jung, declares in the next decades that mental illness is the result of the 2000 years of monotheism’s ignoring of the other banished gods. In other words, monotheism causes mental illness.
Since mental illness often causes suffering (for example, Hitler; Auschwitz; W.W. II) this raises an interesting twist to the problem of theodicy (How can evil exist in a world run by an all powerful, benevolent god?):
Does the evil attendant on some mental illness exist because monotheism is making the multiple gods of polytheism angry? (e.g. are they punishing the world for NOT worshipping them by creating mental illness?)
I prefer to answer the question with a now out-of-print book by a Cornell professor: Tragedy: A View of Life by Henry Alonzo Myers.
His premise is that the only justice in the universe is an aesthetic justice: That in exact and equal reaction to one’s capacity to suffer, is one’s capacity to experience ecstasy . Privilege, education, blue blood—all of these are irrelevant.
The theodicy question then becomes an axiom:
If you delete from the world the suffering caused by evil, you also delete from the world the joy caused by ecstasy.
If these ideas interest you, watch the Hillman lecture (three, 9-minute YouTube clips) and the Jung YouTube video below.
Reviewed work(s): Tragedy: A View of Life. by Henry Alonzo Myers
Shakespeare Quarterly, Vol. 9, No. 1 (Winter, 1958), pp. 59-61
(review consists of 3 pages)
Published by: Folger Shakespeare Library in association with George Washington University
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2867180
Assumption of Mary
This article is about the theological concept. For works of art with this title, see Assumption of the Virgin Mary in Art.
The Assumption of the Virgin Mary has been a subject of veneration, doctrine and Catholic Marian art for centuries. This painting is by Rubens, 1626.According to the belief of Christians of the Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Churches, the Oriental Orthodox Churches, and the Anglican Communion, the Assumption of Mary was the bodily taking up of the Virgin Mary into Heaven at the end of her life. The Catholic Church teaches as dogma that Mary, "having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory." This doctrine was dogmatically and infallibly defined by Pope Pius XII on November 1, 1950, in his Apostolic Constitution Munificentissimus Deus. This belief is known as the Dormition by the Orthodox. In the churches which observe it, the Assumption is a major festival, commonly celebrated on August 15. In many countries it is a Catholic Holy Day of Obligation.
In his August 15, 2004, homily given at Lourdes, Pope John Paul II quoted John 14:3 as one of the scriptural bases for understanding the dogma of the Assumption of Mary. In this verse, Jesus tells his disciples at the Last Supper, "If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and will receive you to myself; that where I am, you may be there also." According to Catholic theology, Mary is the pledge of the fulfillment of Christ's promise.