Enchantment and Disenchantment: The Psyche in Transformation

First Regional Conference of the International Association for Jungian Studies


(Venue TBA) UK Friday July 15th and Saturday July 16th 2011

In the 50th anniversary year of Jung’s death, we wish to explore the ways in which Jung’s work has succeeded or failed in responding to one of the major narratives of the 20th century: ‘the disenchantment of the world’.

Theorists of the early 20th century like Max Weber saw disenchantment as a transformative process in history whereby the magical and the sacred had given ground to the scientistic, mechanistic and positivistic. The consequent shift in the way the world was thought and imagined had led to a dispossession
of the psyche, a division between mind and body, and a demystification of the world. This perspective in turn was rich fodder for new developments in a psychology aspiring to scientific objectivity, in large part inspired by Freud’s psychoanalysis and a re-discovery of the unconscious.

C. G. Jung, like many others, was starkly aware that what had been left behind in pre-modernity was a coherence glued together by religious meanings, subterranean connections, expectations and explanations located in the spiritual, the animistic or the magical.  As a psychologist he saw this event manifesting as a contemporary loss of meaning, both personal and collective.  Indeed his psychological project may be credibly regarded as an attempt to come to terms with, and perhaps, reverse this event.

Jung’s growing dissatisfaction with the positivist orientation of Freud’s work led to the publication of Symbols of Transformation (also celebrating an anniversary), which privileged the imagination and its potential for healing. Clinically and culturally, the theme of enchantment recurs in many forms throughout Jung’s writings and interests, from the occult to numinosity, from flying saucers to synchronicity, and from alchemy to active imagination.

We therefore invite proposals for papers that will address the issue of enchantment and disenchantment in the modern and post-modern world. We look forward to responses from the whole gamut of interdisciplinary fields, given that our chosen theme speaks directly to important issues in anthropology, sociology, literary theory, history, and film studies, among others.

We are particularly interested in presentations that address some of the following concerns:

  • Disenchantment and the environment
  • Synchronicity and the possibility of re-enchantment
  • The role of religion in enchantment
  • The possibility of a secular form of enchantment
  • The role of the numinous in a disenchanted world
  • The nature of re-enchantment in society, and the
    possibility that such a project erroneously assumes the existence of
    psychological meaning
  • The role of analytical psychology in a disenchanted
  • The cross cultural implications of narrating a tension
    between re-enchantment and disenchantment
  • The expression of dis- and re-enchantment in art and
  • The politics of re-enchantment


The Program Committee welcomes submissions for research papers that explore the conference theme. You are invited to submit a 500-word (max) proposal. Please format it suitably so that it can be published as an abstract in the conference program. On a separate cover page, include the following information with your proposal:

  • Full name (including title if applicable)
  • Full mailing address and email address
  • Contact telephone numbers with international dialling code
  • Institution (professional body or university) including position or membership
  • If a candidate or
    trainee in a clinical training program, indicate which training body
  • Please indicate any technical needs such as PowerPoint, DVD, CD player, flipchart, overhead
    projector, etc

Please email your proposal to iajsconferences@gmail.com by January
31st 2011

Submissions will be acknowledged and a reply will be send to you by February 28th 2011. Further details of the conference including a booking brochure will be posted on the IAJS website as soon as possible.