Humanities Forum - 'Time Held Me Green and Dying': Symbols of Transformation in the Observance of Succot

Wednesday, October 9, 2013 ( 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm )

Location: Morton 324

[email protected]

October 9, 2013. "'Time Held Me Green and Dying': Symbols of Transformation in the Observance of Succot"
A talk by Prof. Susan Schept.

The noted Jungian psychologist, James Hillman, writes that “aging is mediated by the stories told about it.” The stories our current culture tells are ones of decline, of fighting tooth and nail to remain “forever young.”  Can we really deny these natural processes or can we look to find new meaning, additional insight and higher levels of consciousness in the transition from midlife to aging. This paper looks to the work of psychologist, Carl Jung, specifically to his concepts of archetype and collective unconscious through the lens of the symbolic rituals of the Jewish holiday of Succot for an alternative vantage for perceiving and participating in the process of aging.

Susan Schept, “Teaching Associate Professor of the Humanities,” has been teaching psychology to students at Stevens for the past thirty-five years. She is responsible for helping to develop the Social Science program at Stevens and specifically for developing the courses in psychology. In addition to introductory level classes, these offerings include courses in Psychology of Gender, Psychology of Religion, Developmental Psychology, Biological Psychology, and a Seminar In Freud and Jung. Her research work focuses on psychological interpretations of Jewish Sacred Text. Publications include articles published in Conservative Judaism and Psychological Perspectives. The prestigious Jewish Publication Society’s book on “Ruth” includes references to her work on the relationship of Carol Gilligan’s concept of “care” to the Biblical concept of hesed. A soon to be published collection of works on the book of Genesis by author/editor Beth Kisseleff will include an article on the concept of hesed by Schept. She has also given numerous guest lectures at synagogues, most recently at United Synagogue of Hoboken.