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The Institute of Cultural Studies – Raven

The Institute for Cultural Studies “Raven” was initiated in May 2016. Initially it was called The Institute for Archetypal and Religious Studies. During the first months we realized that the field of our interests and activities gravitated towards the general area of cultural phenomena and so we decided to change the name to make it more synchronized with our mission and assumptions.
 
Our understanding of cultural phenomena is grounded in C. G. Jung’s analytical psychology and its clinical applications of Jungian psychoanalysis. However it is not limited by it. We are interested in dialogue between various scientific disciplines and different cultures. We seek common grounds between psychology, philosophy, sociology, literature and art. It is them that make past historical events and phenomena of the liquid contemporary times comprehensible.
 
One of the major tasks for the Institute is to create space for meetings, face to face and in the cyberspace. Meetings facilitate discussion and exchange. We do not aim at the transmission of knowledge. We search for the meaning and insight into cultural phenomena both on the individual and collective level. We hold an attitude of respect for the diversity of cultural differences that open up a space for the encounter with the unknown, with the dissident attitudes. It is our view that contemporary time is in need of such openness and exchange.
 
Clarissa Pinkola Estes in her new book recalls a Roman saying “cultura cura” –  “culture heals”. We are quite allied with it. By bringing attention to the traumatic and posttraumatic dimensions of reality we seek how science, culture and art can mutually initiate in-depth healing processes. In the spirit of global oneness we want to point that by embracing their common grounds we build bridges between different cultures, which can integrate the collective tissue that has been torn by extreme experiences. In this way we want to contribute to the growth of awareness of the collective layers of culture and its connections to the psyche and to human spirit.
 
Therefore we chose the raven to represent our idea. In many mythologies he connects various aspects of reality, light and dark sides of life. He is the messenger of gods to connect human world with the world of ideas. He carries responsibility for delivering both good and bad messages. He is the psychopomp escorting the soul to the otherworld. In our domestic Slavic tradition he was also bringing new and reincarnating souls from there into this world. He himself was also the deity who gave sun to people or who helped them to reclaim it.

Our mission

  • To promote greater self-knowledge, psychological, physical and spiritual health through seminars, workshops, publications and expressive arts.
  • To contribute to the development of local communities through discussion clubs.
  • To promote the integrative approach to humanistic sciences through exchanges between specialists of various disciplines: psychology, philosophy, history, cultural studies, literature, art, and others.
  • To popularize reflective attitude that allows to understand the current cultural phenomena.
  • To assist in the professional development of Jungian analysts and candidates in training through organizing seminars, lectures and supervision.
  • To contribute to the growing awareness of the collective cultural layer of existence and its relationship to the psyche and to human spirit.

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