Chair & Faculty: M.A./Ph.D. in Mythological Studies with Emphasis in Depth Psychology


The Faculty members of Pacifica's M.A./Ph.D. in Mythological Studies bring a passion for education and a wealth of real-world experience into the classroom.

As leaders in the fields, the members of Pacifica's faculty include authors of international acclaim, renowned lecturers, practicing psychologists, active psychotherapists, registered nurses, theologians, and philosophers.

All Mythological Studies faculty members share a passion for education and are dedicated to working with adult learners. To learn more about the faculty in the M.A./Ph.D. in Mythological Studies, then read the individual descriptions below.

Program Chair

Evans Lansing Smith

Evans Lansing Smith, Ph.D.

has degrees from Williams College, Antioch International, and The Claremont Graduate School. He is the author of ten books and numerous articles on comparative literature and mythology, and has taught at colleges in Switzerland, Maryland, Texas, and California, and at the C.G. Jung Institute in Kusnacht. In the late 1970s, he traveled with Joseph Campbell on study tours of Northern France, Egypt, and Kenya, with a focus on the Arthurian Romances of the Middle Ages and the Mythologies of the Ancient World. His books include:

His areas of emphasis include: Myth in Literature from Antiquity to Postmodernism; Arthurian Romances, and The Hermetic Tradition.

He currently teaches: Myth and the Underworld; Alchemy and Hermeticism; Arthurian Romances and the Grail; Folklore and Fairytales; Theoretical Approaches to Mythological Studies; Cultural Mythologies; and Native Mythologies of the Americas.

See Evans' research output and influence metrics.

Core Faculty


Christine Downing, Ph.D.,

is a core member of the faculty at Pacifica. She has made extensive scholarly contributions to the fields of Religious Studies, Mythology, and Gender Studies. She is Professor Emeritus in Religious Studies from San Diego State University where she taught for almost twenty years. She has also taught concurrently at the San Diego campus of the California School of Professional Psychology, and at the C.G. Jung Institute in Zurich. She lectures frequently to Jungian groups both here and abroad. Her undergraduate degree is in literature is from Swarthmore College, while her Ph.D. in Religion and Culture is from Drew University. Dr. Downing is the author of numerous scholarly essays and important books in the field: 

Collections of her essays have also been published: The Luxury of Afterwards: The Christine Downing Lectures At San Diego State University 1995-2004. Her areas of emphasis include: Greek Mythology; Women's Studies; and Psychoanalysis.

She currently teaches: Greek and Roman Mythology I; Greek and Roman Mythology II; Hebrew and Jewish Mythology; and Myths of the Self: Memoir and Autobiography.

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Patrick Mahaffey

Patrick Mahaffey, Ph.D.,

helped found the program in 1994 and has served as its chair for 18 years. His Ph.D. in Religious Studies is from the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is Editor of Evolving God-Images: Essays on Religion, Individuation, and Postmodern Spirituality. His areas of emphasis include Hindu and Buddhist traditions, Comparative Philosophy of Religion, Contemplative Practices, and Mysticism. He has conducted participant-observation research in India and practices Hindu and Buddhist meditation. He has published essays on Hindu yoga traditions; Jung's Depth Psychology and Yoga; Religious Pluralism; World-Making and Postmodernity; and Religion in America.

He currently teaches: Hindu Traditions; Buddhist Traditions; Evolving God-Images and Postmodernity; and Dissertation Formulation.

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Glen Slater Ph.D.

Glen Slater, Ph.D.,

has taught in the Mythological Studies Program since its inception. His academic background includes degrees in Religious Studies and Clinical Psychology. He edited and introduced volume three of James Hillman's Uniform Edition of writings, Senex and Puer, and he co-edited Varieties of Mythic Experience: Essays on Religion, Psyche and Culture (with Dennis Patrick Slattery). Glen has also written a number of articles for Jungian journals and essay collections. His areas of emphasis include: Jungian Psychology; Archetypal Psychology; Psychology of Religion; Technology and Psyche; and Cinema and Psyche.

He currently teaches: Jung's Depth Psychology; Archetypal Psychology; Mythic Motifs in Cinema.

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Dennis Patrick Slattery Ph.D.

Dennis Patrick Slattery, Ph.D.,

is a core faculty member who helped shape the development of the Mythological Studies program. He has been teaching for 44 years from elementary to secondary, undergraduate, and graduate programs. He has received the prominent rank of Distinguished Core Faculty at Pacifica Graduate Institute. His areas of emphasis include the poetic imagination, writing and reading as mythic activities, the relation of psyche, spirit and matter, and the place of contemplation within the academic setting. He is the author of several books including:

He is the author of three volumes of poetry: Casting Shadows; Just Below the Water Line; and Twisted Sky. Dennis also serves as the Faculty Advisor to Between, the student literary journal as well as The Mythological Studies Journal, the student on-line journal, both published by the Mythological Studies Program.

He currently teaches: Mythopoetic Images: Dante's Divine Comedy; Joseph Campbell: Metaphor, Myth, and Culture; Epic Imagination; Dissertation Development.

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Adjunct Faculty

Stanizai Cut 14

Zaman Stanizai, Ph.D.

has a doctorate in Political Science and completed his postgraduate studies in Islamic Mysticism (Sufism) and Islamic Gnosticism (Erfan). He has taught at Kabul University, the University of Southern California, the University of California, Los Angeles, and several community colleges in Southern California. His of areas of specialization are: Islamic Studies; Sufism; Theosophy; Political Philosophy;and Poetic Expression in Mystical Thought.

He currently teaches: Islamic Traditions.

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Emeritus Faculty

Ginette Paris, Ph.D.

Ginette Paris, Ph.D.,

is an Emeritus member of the faculty at Pacifica. She was originally trained as a Social Psychologist at the University of Montréal, Canada, and was concurrently trained and licensed as a Clinical Psychologist. She taught for 20 years in the Department of Communications at the State University of Québec before joining Pacifica in 1995. Her books include:

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