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Paul Tillich and His Theology - Essay Example

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In the essay “Paul Tillich and His Theology” the writer analyzes the key role of Paul Tillich in shaping the philosophy of Christian existentialism. A great master of abstraction, Tillich adopted a highly specific approach in his analysis of theological problems…
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Paul Tillich and His Theology
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Download file to see previous pages Even brief analysis of the political and cultural contexts that surrounded Tillich during his life and career reveals how strongly those contexts affected his theological views.
 Born on August 20, 1886, in a little village called Starzeddel, Germany, Paul was introduced to religion early in life. His father was a Lutheran minister and his mother was brought up as a more liberal Calvinist. Paul received his Ph.D. from Breslau in 1911 and was ordained as a Lutheran minister, like his father, in 1912 (Pauck & Pauck, 1976). The period from Tillich’s birth to the First World War was the time when his theological system only started to develop. Born in the last quarter of the 19th century, Tillich spent his young years surrounded by the spirit and traditions of Romanticism, the dominant movement in the European culture of that period. The Romantic protest against the rationalization of nature, coupled with the stress on the emotional aspects of existence and, of course, confronting the sublimity of nature could not but affect the way Tillich perceived his relation to the surrounding world (Henderson, 1986).
 Tillich's perception of the world was put to the severe test during the years of World War I. Tillich headed toward the front “….filled with nationalistic fervor and even enthusiasm over the opportunity to serve both God and country as a military chaplain” (Henderson 1986, p. 143). However, the realities of war almost immediately undermined Tillich’s belief in “…a nice God who would make everything turn out for the best” (Pauck & Pauck, 1976, p.40). One of his duties was to bury the dead and soon the young chaplain found himself spending more time digging graves than fulfilling his direct duties (Henderson, 1986). ...Download file to see next pages Read More
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