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Love and the Soul

Psychological Interpretations of the Eros and Psyche Myth

By James Gollnick
Series Editions SR Hide Details
Paperback : 9780889202122, 182 pages, May 1992
Ebook (PDF) : 9780889208049, 182 pages, January 2006

Table of contents

Table of Contents for
Love and the Soul: Psychological Interpretations of the Eros and Psyche Myth by James Gollnick


1 Origins and Nature of the Eros and Psyche Story

Origins of the Story

Literary Genre

Allegorical Interpretations

The Literary Context of the Eros and Psyche Story


2 Psychological Approaches to the Eros and Psyche Myth: Freudian Interpretations

Interpreting Myths and Dreams

Franz Riklin

J. Schroeder

Jacques Barchilon

Bruno Bettelheim

Fritz Hoevels


3 Psychological Approaches to the Eros and Psyche Myth: Jungian Interpretations

Erich Neumann

Marie Louise von Franz

Ann Ulanov

James Hillman

Robert Johnson

Jean Houston


4 The Eros and Psyche Myth and the Psychology of Transformation

Primary Psychological Insights of Earlier Approaches

The Literary and Religious Context of the Metamorphoses

The Eros and Psyche Myth as Lucius' Dream



Selected Bibliography



This book provides serious students of psychology, religion and mythology with a detailed account and analysis of what has been accomplished in the psychological interpretation of the Eros and Psyche myth to date.

The Eros and Psyche myth has, over the course of the twentieth century, received nearly as much attention from depth psychologists as has the Oedipus story. In their attempt to better understand this popular story, scholars have proposed various interpretations, which have generally followed either Freudian or Jungian theories about the nature of the psyche and its development.

Love and the Soul emphasizes how psychological theory determines the direction of interpretation much more than does the literary context of the myth itself. It also examines the strengths and weaknesses of these psychological interpretations (five Freudian and six Jungian) of the Eros and Psyche myth in order to lay the groundwork for an interpretation which (1) avoids the rigidity of both Freudian and Jungian dogma and (2) restores the myth to its rightful literary and religious context — something which has been ignored by most psychological interpretations.


``Gollnick has collated and made accessible a large number of interpretations of an important myth. This in itself is an invaluable service in respect to Freudian material which is out of print. ... Second, this study opens the way to other comparative studies of psychodynamic interpretations of myth. ... Finally, Gollnick's comparative study of the Psyche and Eros myth demonstrates the value of the contemporary psychological study of myth. ''

- The San Francisco Jung Institute Library Journal