James Gollnick

James Gollnick

I studied philosophy and religion for my BA (cum laude) at Marquette University (1968) and at Die Freie Universitaet in Berlin, then part of the Federal Republic of Germany. During those years I became intrigued by the psychology of religion and have been studying in that general area ever since. After completing my MA (1970) and PhD (1974) in the psychology of religion at the University of Toronto, I began studying psychotherapy at the Gestalt Institute of Toronto, where I received certification from the International Gestalt Association after completing the three-year training program. I also spent some time in the training program for Jungian analysts in Zurich, Switzerland, and continued that process in the form of a three-year analysis with the late Fraser Boa, Canada’s first Jungian analyst. For over twenty years I taught in the Religious Studies Department at the University of Toronto, mostly at Victoria College and Trinity College. At Trinity College I became the first Director of the Humanities and Psychoanalytic Thought Program. In 1991 I took a position at St. Paul’s College in the University of Waterloo where I teach courses in the psychology of religion and am Director of the Spirituality and Personal Development Program. From 1995 to 2005 I served as Dean of St. Paul’s College.

My perspective on the psychology of religion is shaped largely by my interest in the historical development of the discipline and my training and research in the Gestalt, Freudian and Jungian approaches to the psyche. Dream analysis has been a major area of my research. Over the last thirty years I have catalogued some 5,000 of my own dreams and have studied and worked with thousands of dreams of others. My experience in, and practice of, psychotherapy have convinced me that no single approach is capable of adequately accounting for the mystery and complexity of the human being. I find that the many psychological approaches available complement one another and all shed some light on the various dynamics of religion, spirituality and the psyche. My writing has attempted to incorporate these diverse perspectives on the psychology of religion.

Teaching areas:

Psychology of Religion and Spirituality, Psychological Interpretation of Mythology, Dreams

Some recent publications:

Books:

A Time to Dream:  Dreams, Religion, and Spirituality.  Saarbrueken, Germany:  VDM Press, 2011.

Religion and Spirituality in the Life Cycle. New York, NY: Peter Lang Publishing, 2005

The Religious Dreamworld of Apuleius’ Metamorphoses. Waterloo, Ontario: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 1999.

Love and the Soul: Psychological Interpretations of the Eros and Psyche Myth. Waterloo, Ontario: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 1992.

Dreams in the Psychology of Religion. Lewiston, New York: Edwin Mellen Press, 1987.

Flesh as Transformation Symbol in the Theology of Anselm of Canterbury: Historical and Transpersonal Perspectives. Lewiston, New York: Edwin Mellen Press, 1985.

Articles:

“Dreams and Reflections on a Sad Chapter in Canadian Academic History” in Remedy and Prevention of Mobbing in Higher Education.  Lewiston, New York:  Edwin Mellen Press, 2006.  Pp. 223–227.

“Implicit Religion in Dreams,” Implicit Religion 8/3 (2005), 281–298.

"Religion, Spirituality, and Implicit Religion in Psychotherapy." Implicit Religion 7/2 (2004), 120-141.

"Is Implicit Religion Spirituality in Disguise?" Implicit Religion 6/3 (2003), 145-159.

"Implicit Religion Highlights Religion in Childhood," Implicit Religion 6/2 (2003), 69-84.

"Bin Laden's Hopes and Fears: Dreams of the Future," Clio's Psyche 9/2 (2002), 97-98.

"Implicit Religion in the Psychology of Religion," Implicit Religion 5/2 (2002), 81-92.

"Development of the God-image in Carl Jung's psychology and spirituality," Studies inReligion/Sciences Religieuses 30/2 (2001), 179-192.

“Dream Interpretation in the Psychology of Religion: a Topic Review,” Studies in Religion/Sciences Religieuses 28/3 (1999), 293-305.

“Jung, Carl Gustav,” in Encyclopedia of Folklore and Literature. Santa Barbara, California: ABC-CLIO Press, 1998. Pp. 341-344.

“Apuleius,” in Encyclopedia of Folklore and Literature. Santa Barbara, California: ABC-CLIO Press, 1998. Pp. 17-19.

“A Jungian Perspective on Religion and the Ideal Individual,” Dialogue and Alliance 10/2 (Winter 1996), 71-82.

“Carl Jung’s Theory of Mandala Symbolism,” in Art and Interreligious Dialogue. New York: University Press of America, 1995. Pp. 101-122.

"Merlin as Psychological Symbol," in Comparative Studies in Merlin From the Vedas to C.G. Jung. Lewiston, New York: Edwin Mellen Press, 1991. Pp. 111-31.

"The Merlin Archetype and the Transformation of the Self," Studies in Religion/Sciences Religieuses 19/3 (1990), 319-329.

"The Dream as Medium of the Divine," Dialogue and Alliance I/4 (Winter, 1988), 65-73.

"Jungian Reflections on Transformation in St. Anselm's Theology," The American Benedictine Review 36/4 (Dec., 1985), 353-371.

Courses regularly taught at the University of Waterloo:

RS = Religious Studies

SPD = Spiritual and Personal Development


• RS 270/SPD 270 Psychology of Religion and Spirituality

• RS 271/SPD 271 Personality and Religion

• RS 370 Dreams in the Religious Experience of Humankind

• RS/SPD 380 Carl Jung’s Theory of Religion

Group(s): 
Professors emeriti

Contacts by group