Who is Paul Tillich?

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Paul Tillich - A Bridge between the Dialectical and Sacramental Imaginations
- A Report requirement on Theology of Preaching (1st semester 2012-13)

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Who is Paul Tillich?

  1. 1. PAUL TILLICH A BRIDGE BETWEEN THE DIALECTICAL AND SACRAMENTAL IMAGINATIONS
  2. 2. Report Content His Biographical Details - His Childhood - His Education - His Career & Family Life  His Contributions - His Notable Works - His Various Theological Ideas - His Preaching  Conclusion 
  3. 3. Biographical Details  Born 20 August 1886 in Starzeddel, then a province of Brandenburg, Germany (now part of Poland)
  4. 4. Biographical Details Childhood Eldest – with sisters Johanna & Elisabeth  Father – Johannes Tillich – a conservative Lutheran pastor of the Evangelical State Church of Prussia’s older Provinces  Mother – Mathilde Dürselen – from the Rhineland and was more liberal  Paul Tillich at 4 – Johannes – superintendent of a diocese in 
  5. 5. Biographical Details Childhood  Schönfliess — a walled town founded in the Middle Ages
  6. 6. Biographical Details Childhood  Left indelible marks: a feeling of intimacy with nature and a deep attachment to the church as the bearer of sacred meaning
  7. 7. Biographical Details – His Education  1898 – Königsberg in der Neumark (Chojna) to begin gymnasium
  8. 8. Biographical Details – His Education 1900 – His father was transferred to Berlin  1901 – Transferred to a Berlin School  1903 – His mother died of cancer  1904 – He graduated at the age of 17 
  9. 9. Biographical Details – His Education  1904 – University of Berlin
  10. 10. Biographical Details – His Education  1905 – University of Tübingen
  11. 11. Biographical Details – His Education   1905 to 1907 – University of Halle 1912 – Licentiate of Theology degree
  12. 12. Biographical Details – His Education  1911 – University of Breslau – Doctor of Philosophy degree
  13. 13. Biographical Details – His Education Became a member of Wingolf during College  a Christian fraternity that is the oldest in Germany  Motto – ―All things through Him ―  HIM – refers to Jesus Christ 
  14. 14. Biographical Details – His Career & Family Life 1912 – became a minister of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the province of Brandenburg  September 1914 – married Margarethe "Grethi" Wever  October 1914 – joined the German army as military chaplain – helped the soldiers to understand humanistic ways of believing & practicing religion 
  15. 15. Biographical Details – His Career & Family Life 1918 – went home after the war  1919 – Grethi got pregnant from someone other than Tillich – they divorced  1919 to 1924 – Privatdozent of Theology - University of Berlin, beginning of academic career 
  16. 16. Biographical Details – His Career & Family Life 1924 – married Hannah WernerGottschow  1924 to 1925 – Professor of Theology -University of Marburg, developed his Systematic Theology 
  17. 17. Biographical Details – His Career & Family Life  1925 to 1929 – Professor of Theology -University of Dresden and the University of Liepzig
  18. 18. Biographical Details – His Career & Family Life  1929 to 1933 – Professor of Theology -University of Frankfurt and gave public lectures and speeches throughout Germany
  19. 19. Biographical Details – His Career & Family Life  1933 – got into conflict with the Nazi movement and was dismissed from his position
  20. 20. Biographical Details – His Career & Family Life Summer 1933 – Reinhold Niebuhr visited Germany, offered him to join the faculty of Union Theological Seminary, New York  Tillich accepted 
  21. 21. Biographical Details – His Career & Family Life At 47 – Tillich with his family moved to America  1933 to1955 – taught as Visiting Professor of Philosophy of Religion in Union Theological Society 
  22. 22. Biographical Details – His Career & Family Life 1933 to1934 – taught as Visiting Lecturer Columbia University  1937 – acquired tenure at Union, promoted as Professor of Philosophical Theology   Then became an American Citizen
  23. 23. His Contributions Between 1952 to 1954 – gave Gifford lectures at the University of Aberdeen  Resulted to the production of his 3-volume Systematic Theology 
  24. 24. His Contributions 1954 – was appointed a position at Harvard University for the books he had written  1962 – moved to the University of Chicago 
  25. 25. His Contributions – His Works - Courage To Be Faith  1952 – book outlining many of his views on existentialism - Dynamics of  1957 – book explaining faith as the ―ultimate concern‖
  26. 26. His Principal Work - Systematic Theology expressed his mature view of Theology  for him, Christ is the "New Being," who rectifies in himself the alienation between essence and existence 
  27. 27. God, the Unconditioned and Ultimate Concern   Like Immanuel Kant – it is wrong considering that God could be grasped as a limited object of thought experience Tillich accounted for the specific character of the religious experience ―unconditioned‖ meeting of our thinking
  28. 28. Existentialism In spite of Martin Heidegger’s atheism, Tillich found an affinity on his position  He argued that anxiety of non-being (existential anguish) is inherent in the experience of being itself. 
  29. 29. Existentialism    People are afraid of their own nonexistence, Tillich says that in our most introspective moments we face the terror of our own nothingness. What can sustain finite beings is being itself, or the "ground of being" which Tillich identifies as God. This struggle of man’s being with nonbeing, of man’s call to righteousness and his sinfulness necessarily implicates God whose being alone explains why man still is, and will be in the eventual triumph
  30. 30. Theology of Correlation  one starts with the incompleteness, the brokenness, and the despair of Man in the existentialist sense and  ends with the completeness, the wholeness, and the unity of GOD in the classical sense  correlative elements must have something in common, must meet
  31. 31. Theology of Correlation Man (and nature) and God are all involved in the structure of being  God - the structure of being, but God is not subject to, or determined by, the structure of being - the inexhaustible depth within this structure
  32. 32. Theology of Correlation  Man - and all of nature participate in the structure of being distorts it by his sin  Jesus Christ - the new being wherein God and man meet decisively - the new being wherein the essential or ideal structure of being is transparent to its unconditional depth
  33. 33. Theology of Correlation
  34. 34. Systematic Theology  Essence fully shows itself within Christ, but Christ is also a finite man  The gap is healed and essence can now be found within existence –Christ is not God himself, but the revelation of God.  Christ was the emblem of the highest goal of man, what God
  35. 35. Protestant Principle  True religion is that which correctly reveals the infinite, but no religion can ever do so in any way other than through metaphor and symbol  The Bible must be understood symbolically and all spiritual and theological knowledge cannot be other than symbol
  36. 36. The Non-Existence of God "God does not exist. He is being itself beyond essence and existence. Therefore to argue that God exists is to deny him.“  God cannot be conceived as an object, no matter how lofty. We cannot think of God as a being that exists in time and space, because that constrains Him, and makes Him finite. 
  37. 37. Preaching  Like Bultmann, Tillich remained convinced that the apparent crisis of faith for many contemporary believers was rather a crisis of culture and language.
  38. 38. Preaching  Thus he argued: “Many of those who reject the Word of God reject it because the way we say it is utterly meaningless to them. They know the dimension of the eternal but they cannot accept our names for it. If we cling to their words, we may doubt whether they have received a word from the Lord. If
  39. 39. Preaching  In his preaching, he consistently reinterpreted the central Christian symbols in existential terms, speaking of sin as separation, estrangement, or sickness and of grace as reunion, reconciliation and health. The preacher must challenge man to ground his
  40. 40. On Other Theologians  Like Barth and Bultmann, he is against liberalism. No rationalistic and scientific approach can take into account the human condition of sinfulness which, if not seen in the condition of grace, is meaningless.
  41. 41. On Other Theologians  With Bultmann, he agrees that only in inquiring into the ultimate existential concern of man, can the text be properly interpreted
  42. 42. On Other Theologians  does not agree to the unbridgeable gap which Barth sets between God and man  goes beyond Bultmann’s point of contact – not just anthropological but ontological
  43. 43. On Other Theologians  Tillich’s point of contact rests on the level of being - there is in man’s being an emptiness which causes anxiety to its depth to the point of non-being from which only the grace of God can save him
  44. 44. Conclusion  Tillich himself believed he was a ―boundary man,‖ - standing between the old and the new - Tillich relates how his life has been straddling the limits between theology and philosophy, the church and society, Europe and America, Protestantism and Catholicism, liberalism and neoorthodoxy, and so on.
  45. 45. Conclusion in his emphasis on the negative moment within the description of the relationship between the divine and the human  in his insistence on the paradox of ―the abounding of sin and the greater abounding of grace‖ as the ―two all determining facts of life  in his underscoring of the ambiguous, estranged and broken dimensions of human existence Tillich remained rooted in the dialectical imagination 
  46. 46. Conclusion  but in identifying the possibility that the gracious presence of God is disclosed within the created and the human  in his method of theology and preaching that searches the point of contact in the human situation for the revelation of God Tillich revealed dimensions of the sacramental imagination
  47. 47. Conclusion  October 22, 1965 – died ten days after experiencing a heart attack at age 79  1966 – his ashes were interred in the Paul Tillich Park in New Harmony, Indiana

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