Mystics and Analysts: The Dance of Spirituality and Psychology


Psychology – the conversation about the psyche – and Theology – the conversation about the Divine – have had a long and intimate relationship with each other. We shall explore this relationship. In particular we shall examine historical notions of self, psyche and soul and relate them to the investigations of theologians and psychologists in contemporary setting.

As well as giving a historical framework to terms such as ‘soul’, ‘psyche’ and ‘spirit’, we will present students with some of the key schools of thought and figures that have shaped contemporary applications of the terms.

Material covered will include:

  • Origins of the terms ‘soul’, ‘psyche’ and ‘spirit’ in classical and early Christian usage;
  • Medieval understandings of the self especially in the Western mystical tradition;
  • Freud, Jung and the 20th Century psychoanalytic schools;
  • Reconciling the two traditions in the contemporary world and the re-emergence of ‘soul-language’ in contemporary psychology.

Programme details

Wednesday 16th February 2022

2.00pm  Introduction: Psyche, Soul and Spirit: Greek and Biblical Roots

3.00pm  Break

3.15pm  Augustine and Plotinus: The Search for the Soul in Early Christianity

4.00pm  Break

4.15pm  The Mystical Tradition: Teresa of Avila and the Interior Castle

5.00pm  Course disperses

Wednesday 23rd February 2022

2.00pm  Freud and the Modern Search for the Soul

3.00pm  Break

3.15pm  James Hillman and the Return of the Soul

4.00pm  Break

4.15pm  Conclusions

5.00pm  Course disperses


Description Costs
Standard course fee £80.00


If you are in receipt of a UK state benefit you may be eligible for a reduction of 50% of tuition fees.

If you do not qualify for the concessionary fee but are experiencing financial hardship, you may still be eligible for financial assistance.

Concessionary fees for short courses


Professor Peter Tyler


Prof Peter Tyler is Professor of Pastoral Theology and Spirituality at St Mary’s University, Twickenham. 

IT requirements

The University of Oxford uses Microsoft Teams for our learning environment, where students and tutors will discuss and interact in real time. Joining instructions will be sent out prior to the start date. We recommend that you join the session at least 10-15 minutes prior to the start time – just as you might arrive a bit early at our lecture theatre for an in-person event.

If you have not used the Microsoft Teams app before, once you click the joining link you will be invited to download it (this is free). Once you have downloaded the app, please test before the start of your course. If you are using a laptop or desktop computer, you will also be offered the option of connecting using a web browser. If you connect via a web browser, Chrome is recommended.