Paul Tillich Criticism - Essay

Paul Tillich (essay date 1966)

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: “The Decline and the Validity of the Idea of Progress,” in Ohio University Review, Vol. 8, 1966, pp. 5-22.

[In the following essay, Tillich discusses the notion of progress as concept, symbol, and idea, linking it to his conception of kairoi or “great moments.”]

This lecture was delivered as one in the series of Edwin and Ruth Kennedy Lectures at Ohio University on May 19th, 1964. At the time, Professor Tillich granted The Ohio University Review the right to print the lecture after revision. A tape was made of the lecture and the transcript of it was edited by Professor Stanley Grean of the Philosophy Department of Ohio...

(The entire section is 7721 words.)

Roger Hazelton (review date 5-12 August 1967)

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: “Tillich's Questions and Answers,” in The New Republic, Vol. 157, August 5-12, 1967, pp. 36-38.

[In the following review, Hazelton favorably treats Systematic Theology as a summing up of Tillich’s reflections on the significance of modern culture and the Christian faith.]

Those who knew Paul Tillich even slightly were quick to recognize in him a seldom encountered intellectual greatness. His mind had a style of its own: gravely lucid, wide-ranging, refreshingly different from the ingrown dogmatism of so many of his theological contemporaries. At two points especially he seemed to stand above them. He was able to penetrate with remarkable agility...

(The entire section is 1353 words.)

John C. Cooper (review date 16 October 1968)

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: “Master Teacher,” in The Christian Century, Vol. LXXXV, No. 42, October 16, 1968, pp. 1305-06.

[In the following review, Cooper recommends A History of Christian Thought to readers both familiar with and new to Tillich, stating that the book introduces Tillich's main theological interests.]

This is the second posthumous work of Paul Tillich to be edited by his former student, Carl E. Braaten of the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. Its substance was originally given as lectures during Tillich's tenure at Union Theological Seminary, but he had neither the time nor the inclination to put those lectures into book form. The “first edition” of...

(The entire section is 550 words.)

George Lindbeck (essay date October 1983)

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: “An Assesment Reassessed: Paul Tillich on the Reformation,” in Journal of Religion, Vol. 63, No. 4, October, 1983, pp. 376-393.

[In the essay below, Lindbeck discusses Tillich's conception of the Reformation and how it applies to modern theories of thought such as existentialism and psychology.]

Forty-six years ago Paul Tillich wrote an article for the American Journal of Sociology on the question of whether the Reformation has a future.1 It was later republished in The Protestant Era,2 where generations of theology students have since encountered it. Together with various other of Tillich's writings, it will serve well...

(The entire section is 7782 words.)

John K. Roth (review date 22 November 1987)

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: “A Review of The Essential Tillich: An Anthology of the Writings of Paul Tillich,” in Los Angeles Times Book Review, November 22, 1987, p. 4.

[In the brief review below, Roth asserts that The Essential Tillich's “judicious selections allow Tillich to explain, interpret, and amplify his own themes.”]

Opposed to Nazism, Paul Tillich (1886-1965) left his native Germany for the United States in 1933. His philosophical theology decisively influenced mainline American Protestantism during its heyday in the middle third of this century.

“God,” wrote Tillich, “is the answer to the question implied in man's finitude; He is the name for that which concerns man ultimately.” Tillich explored the uncertainties of human existence and, in spite of those conditions, helped people to discern the God who provides the courage to be.

This book's editor, F. Forrester Church, senior minister at the Unitarian Church of All Souls in New York City correctly observes that “the religious situation has changed dramatically” since Tillich's death. Impatience with ambiguity and skepticism pushed his approach “into the shadows,” but therefore, Church argues, Tillich's insights are needed more than ever “to liberate us from the tyrannies of our times.”

Finding Tillich essential, Church offers the essential Tillich. The anthology's eight chapters draw from his sermons as well as from his major books. Its judicious selections allow Tillich to explain, interpret, and amplify his own themes.

In the book's forward, Tillich's daughter, Mutie Tillich Farris, provides an apt evaluation when she commends Church for making her father's thought newly accessible to “any serious reader who has ever asked an existential question.”

Iris M. Yob (essay date Fall 1991)

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: “The Arts as Ways of Understanding: Reflections on the Ideas of Paul Tillich,” in Journal of Aesthetic Education, Vol. 25, No. 3, Fall, 1991, pp. 5-20.

[In the following essay, Yob presents Tillich's conception of aesthetic symbols as the most revealing, genuine, and powerful creations of the human mind, and explains how they relate to the visual and aural arts.]

One may wonder how it is that the German-American Paul Johannes Tillich (1886-1965), theologian primarily and philosopher by training, comes to be included in a discussion of research and teaching for music educators. The wonder may be exacerbated when one also discovers that music is an aesthetic...

(The entire section is 7283 words.)