Building the Barbara Moot Memorial Library of Jungian Studies at Trinity Episcopal Church

By Jennifer Fendya, Ph.D.

In her essay “Inner space and outer space: living space as seen through an architectural and a psychological eye,” Ruth Amman, Swiss architect, Jungian analyst and Sandplay therapist, writes, “Often architects, engineers, builders, and craftsmen have built the living spaces of people, with an emphasis on spaces rather than on living or people. They have kept building spaces for the spaces’ sake, or to realize themselves through their buildings.” Amman goes on to say, “Various types of buildings may be works of art and self-realization. Their deeper meaning is fulfilled only if they serve and benefit both those people who reside in them and those who find a connection to the spiritual in them. Sometimes this implies that the builder can leave his ego-centeredness behind, offering his service to the Great Spirit.” (Amman, in Sandplay and the Psyche: Inner landscapes and outer realities, Weinberg and Baum, Eds., 2007, p. 39, italics added)

The original builders of Trinity Episcopal Church, both the congregation itself and the architects and artisans they employed, constructed a space where the “living word” and “people” could intersect with the natural, earthy elements of stone, wood, metal, light, and water, resulting in a brilliantly-colored sanctuary in which to gather and reflect. Similarly, the Barbara Moot Memorial Library at Trinity was designed by Jung Center Buffalo board members in collaboration with architect Mike Anderson, and was custom-built by designer and woodworker Norman Cramer. With reference to Amman, its meaning will be fulfilled when it serves and benefits those individuals seeking resources to support what Swiss psychiatrist C.G. Jung called individuation and the genius loci of Trinity Church, which, in the words of rector Matt Lincoln, offers “radical welcome” to all people “in the voices of each new generation.”

Currently, the library has limited hours (Thursdays, 1-3 pm), so email librarian@jungcenterbuffalo.com to let us know that you’re planning a visit. Books are on loan to Members only, so consider joining today.

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