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Oxford Conference ‘The Symbolic Life’

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Date: Friday 23rd August 2019 - Sunday 25th August 2019 Location: Worcester College, Oxford
Start time: 4:00pm End time: 2:00pm Type: Residential and non-residential options Refreshments: Residential, all Meals Provided


Hansueli F. Etter and Jacqueline Dürmüller

The Oxford Conference this year will be hosting two classically trained Jungian analysts from Switzerland,  Hansueli F. Etter and Jacqueline Dürmüller. They will address the theme of  ‘The Symbolic Life’, in celebration of the talk given in 1939 to the Guild by founding patron Carl Gustav Jung.

Hansueli Ettter will explore how Jung’s discovery of the archetypal aspect of the symbolic life of our central myths speaks to us now as individuals and in our collective behaviour. In ‘The Tree of Knowledge and the Temptation of Eve’ he will use a recently restored 16th century depiction of the creation myth to explore how the theologians’ concentration on dogma has obscured the tremendous significance of Eve’s decision to pick the apple from the Tree of Knowledge. In his second talk ‘My Soul- where are you?’ he will explore the tension between knowledge and wisdom.

Jacqueline Dürmüller  takes as her starting point, a quote from Helen Luke “When great symbols lose their content and their meaning for us, we are in danger of losing our soul.”  (Helen M. Luke, Woman ,Earth and Spirit, The feminine in Symbol and Myth, The crossroad, New York 1981, p. 41). Jacqueline explores symbolic meaning and loss of soul through two talks: the first, prompted by her own dreams, ‘Marie-Louise von Franz, healer and spiritual guide: Encounter with the Soul’: the second, drawing on her experiences in education and child therapy“Why are we so aggressive?” Children in distress: finding guidance from inner images’

About the Speakers

Hansueli F. Etter has a PhD in Anthropology and lectured for many years at the University of Basel.  He graduated from the C. G. Jung-Institute in Zürich in 1982 and works in private practice.  His main interest and research lies in the topics of the religious dimension of Jungian psychology and in the secret relation between psyche and matter. He is a published author of many books and papers, in German and in English. He is the president of The Foundation for Jungian Psychology, Küsnacht and a founding member of The Research and Training Centre for Depth Psychology according to C. G. Jung and Marie-Louise von Franz, Zürich.

Jacqueline Dürmüller initially trained in education and worked as a music and primary school teacher before graduating in Jungian Psychology at The Research and Training Centre in Depth Psychology according to C. G. Jung and Marie-Louse von Franz. Now a mother and a grandmother, she works with children and adults in private practice in the former house of Marie-Louise von Franz and Barbara Hannah in Küsnacht, Zürich, Switzerland. She published a book about the dying process of an 80 year old woman and lectures in Switzerland and abroad. Her main interest is in the symbolic understanding of inner and outer human experiences.

Format of the Conference

The Oxford Conference is essentially a residential conference to encourage collegial reflection and discussion. The speakers will each give two talks, as described above, and there will be opportunities for small group discussions. It is possible to book a non-residential option for the whole conference or a single day visitor ticket for the Saturday – when you will hear both speakers each give one talk. See ticket prices for details. Please note that the prices quoted here are early bird prices valid until July 1st only.

There are a limited number of twin rooms to share at a discount of £25.00 per person per night. Please ring the Guild administrator for details 01553 849849


Cancellation Policy
Cancellation received prior to 30th July 2019, 100% refund (minus £10 admin cost). 
Cancellation received prior to 19th August 2019, 50% refund (minus £10 admin cost).
No refunds available after 19th August 2019.
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