Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Faculty of Community Services, Education and Social Sciences

First Advisor

Dr Cynthia Dixon

Second Advisor

Dr Pat Baines


The focus of this study is the relationship between Carl Jung's practice of active imagination and Christian religious experience. The research is qualitative, using the heuristic research method as developed by Clark Moustakas. The experience of active imagination is defined and the practice is explained. Consideration is given to its values and benefits. In the heuristic style, the research focusses on the active imagination work of the researcher and four research participants. The active imagination case material of the five participants is summarised and depictions of their material are included which identify the nature, essence, and meaning of their experiences. The broad spectrum of Christian religious experience is explored with particular attention to the contributions of James and Kelsey. The experience of discernment is highlighted and distinctions between "spiritual" and "religious" are considered. Jung's theories of religious experience are identified using the work of Chapman, and the differences and similarities between active imagination and Christian religious experience are examined.