Paul Johannes Tillich (20 August 1886 – 22 October 1965) was a theologian and existentialist philosopher. Tillich was one of the most influential Protestant theologians of the 20th century. He is known for his works The Courage to Be (1952) and Dynamics of Faith (1957). In his major three-volume work Systematic Theology (1951–63), he developed his "method of correlation": an approach of exploring the symbols of Christian revelation as answers to the problems of human existence raised by contemporary existential philosophical analysis.
Dynamics of Faith
- Faith is the state of being ultimately concerned. The content matters infinitely for the life of the believer, but it does not matter for the formal definition of faith. And this is the first step we have to make in order to understand the dynamics of faith.
- Faith as ultimate concern is an act of the total personality. It happens in the center of the personal life and includes all its elements. Faith is the most centered act of the human mind. It is not a movement of a special section or a special function of man's total being. They all are united in the act of faith. But faith is not the sum total of their impacts. It transcends every special impact as well as the totality of them and it has itself a decisive impact on each of them.
Courage to Be
- experience of the power of being which is present even in the face of the most radical manifestation of non being.
- vitality in man is proportional to intentionality.
- vitality that can stand the abyss of meaninglessness is aware of a hidden meaning within the destruction of meaning.
- absolute faith is the dependence of the experience of nonbeing on the experience on being and the dependence of the experience of meaninglessness on the experience of meaning. even in the state of despair one has enough being to make despair possible.
- absolute faith, the acceptance of being accepted. Of course, in the state of despair there is nobody and nothing that accepts. But there is the power of acceptance itself which is experienced. Meaninglessness, as long as it is experienced, includes an experience of the "power of acceptance". To accept this power of acceptance consciously is the religious answer of absolute faith, of a faith which has been deprived by doubt of any concrete content, which nevertheless is faith and the source of the most paradoxical manifestation of the courage to be.
- The courage to be is rooted in the God who appears when God disappears in the anxiety of doubt.
- Life remains ambiguous as long as there is life.
- Tillich profile, and synopsis of Gifford Lectures
- North American Paul Tillich Society
- Paul Tillich in the German-language Biographisch-Bibliographisches Kirchenlexikon with further reading
- James Rosati's sculpture of Tillich's head in the Paul Tillich Park in New Harmony, Indiana
- Tillich Park Finger Labyrinth. Walk Tillich Park while discerning Tillich's theology. Created by Rev. Bill Ressl after an inspirational walk in Tillich Park in New Harmony, Indiana.
- Sermons and lectures – audio recordings on
- Paul Tillich television interview Paul Tillich in four separate interviews entitled (1) philosophy and religion, (2) religion in the philosophy of life, (3) religion and psychotherapy, and (4) philosophy and art. It is conducted by members of the faculty of Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and produced as part of the WQED of Pittsburgh “Heritage” series on NET. The date is unclear. 1st of 12 YouTube segments.
- The Courage to Be in the Internet Archive