Reviews - What do customers think about A History of Christian Thought (Touchstone Books)?
Herr Doktor Tillich May 5, 2008
Paul Tillich - one of the greats in Theology - systematic, thorough, enlightening. I had read excerpts of Tillich when in High School in Switzerland as a highlight of a philosophy class - in the late 50's when he was at his most popular. This book is for anyone who wants an in-depth panorama of the historical evolution of the Christian Church....
Excellent Guide to Recurrent Ideas in Theology Oct 26, 2005
Whether or not one agrees with Tillich's theological-philosophical position or his liberal-Lutheran tendencies, his overview and analysis of Christian theology here offered is an excellent introduction or refresher. With precision and clarity he connects various movements and strains of thought which one might otherwise consider unrelated, or, more importantly, unimportant to oneself. Ultimately, the book (consistent with Tillich's existentialist leanings) attempts to point to theology's inherent purpose--personal application. He does so in this book with impeccable scholarly and intellectual skill.
Many Rich Insights. Jan 10, 2005
This is an extraordinary set of lectures by the great theologian and cultural analyst. While hewing to the main intention of presenting a history of Christian thought, the lectures necessarily encompass a history of Western thought in general from Greco-Roman times to the present, given that specifically church-sponsored Christian thought developed and must necessarily develop in close, thoughtful, and fervent dialogue with significant trends of thought, feeling, imagination, and morality in the larger cultural environment. Each section of this book is stimulating and rich in insight. Your future reading (or past reading, for that matter) on any topic he covers in these lectures will surely profit from attending to what he writes. Tillich has a knack for getting simply to the root of any matter.
One important implication of the lectures given by Tillich on ancient and medieval Christian thought and policy is this: though they may differ as to what they draw from that tradition, that tradition belongs to all Christians.
Brilliant and scholarly, but a bit dry. Jan 12, 2002
These lectures clearly reveal Paul Tillich as one of the greatest, most brilliant, theologians of the 20th century. The book summarizes and critiques the entire history of Christian thought (with special emphasis on German theologians). Tillich's appraisals of others are completely fair. His own insights that he shares along the way are those of a devout and brilliant liberal Christian. He summarizes his approach as follows: "Theology must see both sides, man's essential nature, wonderfully and symbolically expressed in the paradise story, and man's existential condition, under sin, guilt, and death."
I have only one reservation. This may well be Tillich's most accessible work, as one reviewer states. But that speaks more to the difficulty of Tillich's other works than to the ease of working through this treatise. It is brilliant, it is beautiful, but it is tough going. I had to reread many passages two or three times to understand them (and a few I simply had to give up on). The book is absolutely worth the effort, but for anyone looking for a somewhat simpler (but excellent) introduction to Christian thought, I would recommend Alister McCrath's "Christian Theology, an Introduction."
Tillich's Most Accessible Work Dec 20, 1999
Paul Tillich was perhaps the most important and influential 20th Century theologian writing in English. His books, however, are tough slogging--especially for those who haven't read all the many continental philosophers and theologians with whom Tillich was arguing. This book, which consists of transcriptions of lectures Tillich gave on the history of Christian thought, is, besides being a wonderful introduction to the subject matter, the best possible introduction to Tillich's own thinking. Wonderfully accessible, engaging and lively, this book is thoroughly readable. If only more of his lectures on other topics were available!