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An Encyclopedia of Archetypal Symbolism: The Body [Englisch] [Gebundene Ausgabe]

George Elder Ph.D.

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15. Oktober 1996
The first volume of An Encyclopedia of Archetypal Symbolism was a stunning collection of color images and text organized around mythic themes that follow the solar calendar from cosmos and creation to death, transformation, and rebirth. In this second volume, the focus is the human body as a carrier of deep psychological insights and sacred meanings.

Whether idolized or abused, the body is the object of much fascinated attention, even obsessive preoccupation, in the contemporary Western world. What has been missing from our culture's preoccupation is an appreciation of the body's organs as symbols of the deepest contents of the human psyche. This book surveys the richness of meaning found in a wide range of beautiful sacred images from the world's traditions and explains what the symbolism of our physical form teaches us about the inner realities of our consciousness, spirit, and divine essence.


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"This extraordinary book offers a rare opportunity for both layperson and scholar to encounter and gain insight into the living symbols that reveal the sacred incarnated in the physical world."—Linda Schierse Leonard, author of Creation's Heartbeat: Following the Reindeer Spirit

"Volume 2 of this encyclopedia comes when we need it most—just when the body is coming back into the core of spiritual and religious concern. Organ by organ, from the heel of Achilles to the circumcision of Christ, The Body is an essential handbook for today's thought."—T. George Harris, editor of Deeper Health in Spirituality, Science, and Community


The hundred images in this collector's book are drawn from over 13,000 in the Archive for Research in Archetypal Symbolism - representing artefacts carved, painted and sculpted, extending from prehistory to the recent past - from the caves of France to the temples of East Asia. The Buddha's footprint, the eye of Horus Jacob's wounded thigh - these and other images examine the body as carrier of psychological insight and sacred meaning, accompanied by texts that focus on their cultural and symbolic significance. Artists, historians, therapists, and scholars of comparative religion are among the readers who may find this a valuable insight into the power and purpose of archetypal symbolism.

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In the very first stages of representational art, a Stone Age sculptor experimented with low relief at an outdoor sanctuary. Lesen Sie die erste Seite
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22 von 23 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen A Masterpiece In More Ways Than One! 14. Oktober 2000
Von Bibliophile - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
This is a beautiful book! Each aspect of the body, from the first chapter on the "Primordial Body," though the chapters on the bones, blood and systems of bodily functions, to the final chapter "Transformed Body," is covered in painstaking attention to detail. Each chapter is preceded by several lines of appropriate verse from a wide variety of authors and poets and includes many essay entries relating to the chapter's theme. For instance, the chapter on the eye begins with verse from Meister Eckhart and Ralph Waldo Emerson and includes the essays "The Eye of God," "The Eye of Horus," "A Cyclops," the "Conversion of St. Paul" [who was blinded by the light of Christ] and many other entries on the eye. The chapter on the skin begins with verse from Akiko Yosano and Peter Meinke and includes the essays "White Tara," the "Black Virgin of Einsiedeln," a "Tattooed Couple" and "Job Suffering from Boils," among other entries. Additionally, each of Dr. Elder's wonderfully articulate essays is accompanied by an appropriate, beautiful and interesting image. The image is first described in detail and then discussed in terms of cultural context, archetypal and psychological meaning. There is also a bibliography at the end of each entry. I would recommend this book for just about anyone! Whatever your profession or interests, this book is an endless source of information and fascination. The beauty of this book is its ability to garner acceptance for the body in its many shapes, sizes and colors, its peculiarities and quirks and even its defects! I guarantee, this book will not stay on your coffee table gathering dust.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen A Powerful Work in the Jungian Tradition 10. August 2005
Von Dr. D. E. McClean - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
George Elder was one of my professors of religion back in the 1980s. I have not seen him since then, but in discovering and reading through this work I could hear pieces of his lectures project from its pages, and recall the calm cadence of his voice during discussions of comparative religion, Christian theology, Freud and Jung. Although at the time I had not warmed-up to Jung (I was young and foolish, I suppose), I have since developed a great appreciation for both Jung and George Elder's lectures and vast learning.

The Body is written in accessible and easy language, inviting all to explore its pages, which are filled (as befits a Jungian perspective) with provocative, archetypal imagery from across the spectrum of culture and religious thought, and across time. The book's size may suggest it is a "coffee table" volume, but it is far from it. However, those who would place it on their coffee tables may be wise - for their guests will, upon flipping through its pages, be pulled into a different world. They will be introduced to Jung's psychology and thought in the most seductive way, and I think they will have a hard time remembering the original purpose of their visit. And if they look closely and if there is time enough, they will see themselves, or at least that part of themselves that stares out from behind the mask of civility, reason, and control.

Glad to see Dr. Elder is still in the game, and better than ever.
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