EUGENE MONICK (1929–2007)
Eugen Monick trained at the C. G. Jung Institute in Zurich and practiced in Stanton, Pennsylvania and New York City. He is the author of Potency: Masculine Aggression as a Path to the Soul; Phallos: Sacred Image of the Masculine Castration; and Male Rage: The Phallic Wound.
EVIL, SEXUALITY, AND DISEASE IN GRÜNEWALD’S
BODY OF CHRIST
Foreword by DAVID L. MILLER
Second, revised edition 2017
Paperback original, 160 pages, color plates, $28
Kindle/Apple Books edition, $9.99
This wonderfully readable work by the Jungian analyst Eugene Monick is about an equally wondrous, if difficult, artwork. Grünewald’s famous Isenheim altarpiece, now located at Colmar in the Alsatian part of France, contains a strange and troubling image: a portrayal of Jesus’s body, skin yellowed and greened, covered with pus and scabs, thoroughly diseased. This image—what archetypal psychologists Rafael López-Pedraza, Niel Micklem, and Alfred Ziegler, following the poet José Lezama Lima, have called an “intolerable image”—constitutes both the wondrous and difficult dimensions of Monick’s theme. Surprising as it may seem with so distressing a topic, and like the Isenheim altarpiece itself, this book offers relief, a “welcome remedy to incessant blame,” as Monick himself puts it, an antidote to “the huge and fruitless effort of seeking a perfect and stainless way.” The fascination, then, is in seeing how a blemished image of Jesus paradoxically constitutes precisely a Christic sense of self without blemish.
—David L. Miller