This essay discusses Paul Tillich’s concept of anxiety. In his book The Courage to Be, Tillich speaks of a correlation between an ontology of anxiety and an ontology of courage. The essay explains this relation against the background of the development of Tillich’s works. The roots of the correlation between anxiety and courage can be found in Tillich’s concept of religion on the basis of the doctrine of justification, which he continually worked out back to his early writings. He uses (...) this understanding of religion for his description of modern culture. Anxiety and courage are the two aspects in which God is disclosed in human consciousness. (shrink)
The article examines the development of Paul Tillich’s understanding of Protestantism. Beginning with his 1913 ‘Systematic Theology’, the shifts in his theory of Protestantism, first developed after the First World War and then at the end of the 1920s, are reconstructed. It is demonstrated that, from the outset, Tillich extended the traditional soteriological interpretation of Protestantism into a universal-cosmological theory. Protestantism means not only critique, but also formation.
Can the exploration of new spiritual contexts in postmodernity lead us to come to terms with anxiety in new ways and, as a consequence, with courage? Three contexts bombard our fundamental vulnerability as individuals as well as our communities. Can these contextual and paradoxical anxieties send us once again to the source of the Courage to Be? Can Tillich’s proposals from the 1950s again become both fresh and relevant? It takes fundamental courage to confront these anxieties and challenges, a courage (...) which further defines our humanity. (shrink)
The bestseller The Courage to Be presents Tillich’s “concrete existential” notion of religion that is based on the key terms ‘anxiety’ and ‘courage’. This essay traces this idea’s long history in Tillichian thinking that reaches back to the mid-twenties lectures on dogmatics in Marburg and Dresden, and outlines its core elements, pointing out its contrast to Tillich’s earlier notion of religion as the mind’s intention on absolute meaning. Subsequently, the discussion moves to Tillich’s theorem of the double principle of ‘individualization (...) and participation’, providing instructive insights into basic social presuppositions and types of religion, instructive especially in the present-day situation of religious pluralism. (shrink)
Tillich develops a non-intentional understanding of faith in his essay “The Courage to Be”. Just as the “ontological fear” belongs to the human being so also the act of faith which Tillich reinterprets with the concept of courage. Believing does not mean believing in God, but being able to live from the power of unconditional trust. This article makes it clear that for Tillich faith, understood as unconditional trust, is just as much a part of being human as the “ontological (...) fear” that alone the act of faith can cope with. Finally, the significance of this understanding of faith for preaching and pastoral care which Tillich presented in his “Religious Speeches” and with which he gave important impulses to the church’s praxis is shown conclusively. (shrink)
With his analysis of courage as a foundational theme of modern existential philosophy, Tillich answers, in “The Courage to Be“: dread, which is a key motif in the thought of Kierkegaard, Heidegger, and Sartre, and which also gains importance in ‘existential America’ at the same time. This essay documents the innovative existential philosophical character of the work under the guidance of the concept of ‘participation.’ The book is much more than a theological bestseller. It is also evidence of the wealth (...) of perspectives of existential thought that reveals insightful ethical and political perspectives beyond the religious and philosophical aspects typical of Tillich. (shrink)
With his ontology of anxiety, as developed by Paul Tillich in his well-known work, “The Courage to Be”, he creates, by his own claim, a foundation for dealing with the phenomenon of anxiety in a variety of disciplines, which also serves as a foundation for the well-known American existential psychotherapist Rollo May. However, this does not remain a one-sided influence, but rather an interest in the works of both thinkers with reciprocal interdependencies.
Based on the dictum of Tillich: “There is no ‘urtext’ with me,” the article raises the question of the authenticity of Tillich’s texts. Recourse to the first editions proves to be inadequate, especially with regard to the English texts, since these texts have been corrected by third parties, which has often led to errors. Thus it is usually necessary to use the manuscripts and typescripts, and sometimes also the translation of the English texts into German, since Tillich here often also (...) made changes to the English text. (shrink)
The Courage to Be is Tillich’s best-known work. That this work has retained such popularity perplexes one as a Tillich scholar since this text is anything but easy to understand. This essay offers an analysis of the concepts ‘theism,’ ‘absolute faith,’ and ‘God above God,’ and comes to the conclusion that both proponents of this work as well as its theological critics have misunderstood, and indeed that only because of these misunderstandings could the work have become a bestseller at all.
This essay compares the cultural context for The Courage to Be with the present American context and then assesses the extent to which Tillich’s analysis is helpful in understanding and/or addressing current challenges to faith and life. Two aspects of culture that need to be addressed today are 1) the importance of our human bodies in how we live and in how we relate to others and 2) issues of justice and power. People still experience the anxieties of fate and (...) death, doubt and meaninglessness, and guilt and condemnation, but today there is less emphasis on guilt. For some groups, a fourth anxiety of injustice and oppression dominates. American culture today is polarized politically and religiously over basic values, with people gaining courage through belonging to particular groups much more than through the courage to be as oneself. Transcendent courage participates in the power of being-itself and grounds all forms of courage, providing a religious meaning to courage and to life. (shrink)
In part 1 of the essay, Tillich’s Courage to Be is correlated to W. H. Auden’s, R. May’s, and H. Kuhn’s studies on anxiety and nothingness. Part 2 is concerned with Tillich’s encounter with meaninglessness since World War I. Part 3 deals with his “theology of despair”. For Tillich, acceptance of despair is in itself faith on the boundary of the courage to be. His ontology has the function of basing courage in the self-acceptance of being itself - in the (...) face of the threat of non-being. “Non-being makes God a living God.”. (shrink)
When he visited Germany 1951, Paul Tillich gave two different lectures on “Der Mut zum Sein” in which he summarized his Terry Lectures from 1950 on “The Courage to Be”. If we compare his Terry Lectures and his German lectures with his later published book “The Courage to Be” from 1952, we can find out some remarkable differences in terminology and content. Both lectures on “Der Mut zum Sein” from 1951 are published here for the first time.