Using Jung's Theory of Psychological Types in Teaching Religious Studies Undergraduate and Graduate Students
Jung's theory of psychological types underlies the widely used Myers-Briggs personality test, but it has generally received less attention in the study of religion. This chapter shows the potential value of Jung's psychological types for religious studies education. After summarizing the essentials of Jung's eight personality categories—determined by whether a person is (a) extraverted or introverted and (b) primarily oriented by feeling, thinking, intuition, or sensation—the chapter argues that these ideas of Jung's help in the academic study of religious aspects of the life cycle, the psychology of religious differences, and religious responses to grief, loss, and death. While acknowledging the limits and potential abuses of Jung's theory of psychological types, the chapter demonstrates from his own teaching career how these ideas can help educators achieve important pedagogical goals and enrich their students’ learning experiences.
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