Claudia Richter

"The artist's feeling is his law": C.G. Jung and German Romanticism

Taking my cue from a famous statement by Caspar David Friedrich, I would like to revisit Carl Gustav Jung's understanding of creativity and the role of the artist in the context of Romantic artistic theory and practice.

What Jung has in common with the Romantics, among other things, is that he responded critically to a reductionist, mechanistic and cerebral approach to the world and the human psyche. Like the Romantics, he insists that emotions and intuitions serve as valuable and reliable tools for guiding us through life, and for fulfilling our life's purpose. With his ideas about artistic creation and the nature of the soul, Jung draws on metaphysical worldviews, which might explain why it has been difficult to accommodate him in literary and art theories in the "secular age" (Charles Taylor).

With my paper, I want to shed a light on the well-known yet under-researched relationship between C.G. Jung and German Romanticism. With literary theory having undergone both a "religious" and an "affective turn" in the last decades, I suggest that Jung's absence from humanities curricula at European universities might deserve readjusting.


Claudia Richter, PhD, studied English Literature and Religious Studies at Freie Universität Berlin, Germany. She taught at the Department of English Language and Literature from 2008–2013. In her MA thesis, she applied Florens Christian Rang’s Historical Psychology of Carnival to the work of Renaissance dramatist Christopher Marlowe, which won her the Martin Lehnert Prize, awarded by the German Shakespeare Society. In her PhD dissertation, she analyzed the relationship between Calvinism and violence and its reverberations in post-Reformation English drama, poetry, and religious texts. Continuing her interest in psychology and religion, her post-doctoral research focused on the work of Carl Jung. She is currently teaching a three-part lecture series entitled "Psychology and Religion: C.G. Jung" at the University of Wroclaw.

Recent publication

  • "Carl Jung and the Ghosts." In: Psychological Perspectives, vol. 64, issue 3: Unus Mundus. Los Angeles, 2022. (TBP - expanded version of an earlier publication, with a new focus on Gotthilf Heinrich von Schubert and Schelling).


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