Item description for Dynamics of Faith (Perennial Classic.) by Paul Tillich...
Overview One of the greatest books ever written on the subject, Dynamics of Faithis a primer in the philosophy of religion. Paul Tillich, a leading theologian of the twentieth century, explores the idea of faith in all its dimensions, while defining the concept in the process. This graceful and accessible volume contains a new introduction by Marion Pauck, Tillich's biographer.
Publishers Description One of the greatest books ever written on the subject, Dynamics of Faithis a primer in the philosophy of religion. Paul Tillich, a leading theologian of the twentieth century, explores the idea of faith in all its dimensions, while defining the concept in the process.This graceful and accessible volume contains a new introduction by Marion Pauck, Tillich's biographer.
Citations And Professional Reviews Dynamics of Faith (Perennial Classic.) by Paul Tillich has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
Wilson Public Library Catalog - 12/31/2008 page 107
Wilson Public Library Catalog - 01/01/2004 page 81
Christian Century - 05/05/2009 page 28
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.15" Width: 5.18" Height: 0.42" Weight: 0.35 lbs.
Release Date Nov 14, 2014
Publisher Harper Collins Publishers
ISBN 0060937130 ISBN13 9780060937133
Availability 0 units.
More About Paul Tillich
Paul Tillich (1886-1965) was a world-renowned philosopher and theologian. Harvey Cox is Hollis Research Professor of Divinity at Harvard University.
Reviews - What do customers think about Dynamics of Faith (Perennial Classic.)?
Dynamics of Faith Review Jul 19, 2006
I found the Dynamics of Faith to be less engaging for myself than The New Being, also by Tillich. This book seems to be mostly philosophical in nature, where I think The New Being was based on sermons and included Bible verses at the opening of many chapters.
For instance, in the Dynamics of Faith, Tillich explores definitions and relations of "faith" without so much as mentioning Abraham and Isaac, or the book of Hebrews. I feel this book would have gained clarity if Tillich had made these connections, which would give the reader who is familiar with the Bible a basis for comparison and thought into the otherwise esoteric linguistic puzzle that Tillich can sometimes be lost in (At least for a non-theologian like myself).
Tillich probably did this for a reason, as the text discusses faith as the "ultimate concern" in contrast to doctrine or sacrament. In other words, the true faith is in the Ultimate or the Unconditional, not even in sacred writings such as the Bible or in other symbols or documents. The net effect, however, is that this book comes off as much more secular or humanistic than books like the New Being.
This is in contrast to The Courage to Be, which is a phenomenal book, and requires no such "anchor" as it stands more in the arenas of philosophy and psychology.
So I acutally wouldn't recommend this as an introduction to Tillich, instead read The Courage to Be. Unless, of course, your main interest is specifically in "Faith," in which case this text will doubtless provide fresh insight. Even Tillich not at his best is better than 99% of writings out there.
Good Intro to Tillich Jun 26, 2006
The Dynamics of Faith by Paul Tillich was originally published in 1957. For readers unfamiliar with the author, Tillich is a well known mid-twentieth century liberal commentator.
In this small book (slightly more than 100 pages) Tillich examines the issue of faith: what it is, what it isn't, its limits etc. From my perspective this is a good representative sample of Tillich's work. Although I have never been particularly attracted to Tillich, over time I have developed a respect for efforts. In particular, I think his recognition of the nuance and ambiguity associated with religious language and concepts is worthwhile. These can be helpful when considering excessively literal interpretations. Despite this welcome aspect, significant portions of Tillich's writing may still strike many readers as vacuous sophistry - his attempts to redefine terminology to make it inoffensive often results in an accompanying lack of meaning.
Overall, this is a solid and short introduction to Tillich's work. I would recommend it as an entry point for readers unfamiliar with Tillich.
Wonderful Book Feb 12, 2005
I truly found Tillich's work meaningful and helpful in sorting out confusing thoughts on the subject. I'm currently re-reading because it is rich and complex and has more to offer in subsequent readings. I found some personal peace in reading this book and am thankful for that. I recommend this book for its open mindedness, utter sincerity, and special insight.
The life of faith... Jan 14, 2004
Paul Tillich is one of the more important theologians of the twentieth century. Born into a culture being enticed away from the importance of things religious and theological in favour of science and philosophy. In particular, in the early part of the twentieth century, the philosophical school of existentialism became a strong, perhaps even the dominant force in intellectual development; it was against this (and the atheistic, nihilistic tendencies that followed) that Tillich undertook to reintroduce theology and faith as important components of human existence. Tillich, much to the consternation of many seminary students and more general readers, largely addresses the academy in the academy's language - he is very philosophical and precise in his constructions, and like many in the long tradition of German theologians, crafts his theology with his own terminology and internally-defined concepts that often make his theology difficult to follow.
This text, 'Dynamics of Faith', is one of Tillich's more accessible writings, more directly relevant to the situation of individuals and congregations. Tillich here looks at what faith is, and is not, from a theological perspective, but his intention is to make this transformative for the humanity that seeks to understand God.
In the first chapter, Tillich introduces one of his key terms - ultimate concern. Faith is the state of being ultimately concerned about something - God - without conditions or reservations. Ultimate concern can be religious or not, and can be misguided (people are tempted into idolatry, according to Tillich, not only by making things such as money, power and fame the objects of ultimate concern, but also by making particular ideas or views of God and religion into inappropriate ultimate concerns). In the second chapter, Tillich explores the ideas of what faith is not - faith is not merely intellectual understanding, emotional bonding, or even an act of will. Faith is rather (going back to the first chapter) an act of total personality - one's whole being is drawn to the ultimate concern.
Through the remainder of the text, Tillich develops an intriguing idea of the symbolic in faith - symbols are not constructed like marketing logos, but rather assume a life of their own and participate in that to which they point, in a community context over time. Community is important to Tillich for symbols and for faith, as it is through community that we develop the language and understanding skills necessary to codify and understand such things. Tillich looks at the different disciplines of science, history, philosophy and reason, asking (perhaps echoing Pilate in a different manner) what is truth? Tillich clearly states that neither scientific nor historical truth can negate or validate the truth of faith, and vice versa. Philosophical truth is a different matter, given that the 'language' of faith, through theology, is often expressed in philosophical terms - however, even here, philosophical truth and reasoning cannot be used as a trump card. However, for the truth of faith to be affirmed, the faith must be focussed upon the 'real' ultimate concern.
Tillich often irritates modern Christians because of mistaken assumptions about what he means. In other texts (such as his massive 'Systematic Theology', also often used in higher-level seminary and graduate courses on theology), Tillich describes God as a Ground of Being, and as such, having no 'existence' as we commonly use the term; this gets reduced to the soundbite 'God does not exist', and Tillich is written off. In 'Dynamics of Faith', Tillich often refers to 'cults' and 'myths', using these terms in specific scholarly manner, to refer to religious and biblical issues and events - again, the soundbite becomes 'Tillich says that the Bible is a myth', and given the popular non-Tillichian definition of the word 'myth', again Tillich is dismissed.
There is much material packed into this small text. It is worth exploring.
Great little classic Nov 11, 2002
Although my philosophical interests are mostly in 20-century analytical thought and the philosophy of science, I've still read my share of theologists, including Kierkegaard, Barth, Bultmann, Rosenzweig, Marcel, Mauritain, Buber, Berdyaef, and Niebuhr, and Tillich is perhaps the greatest of them all. So I still have considerable respect for Tillich, and I thought I'd make a few comments about that.
This little book (only about 140 pages) is still packed with much of the best that Tillich's subtle and profound mind had to offer. The chapter, "The Truth of Faith," is probably the greatest essay on the attempt to reconcile faith with reason, and how an intelligent man can be religious, ever written, a subject which goes back at least to St. Augustine's The City of God over 1500 years ago.
Tillich's basic idea is that faith can become a transformative and even transcendent force in people's lives. As one reviewer here put it so perceptively, "Faith is creative precisely because we act even though we cannot be entirely sure of the outcome. This is the Faith that creates science and art, and produces miracles in everyday life. When that Faith is attached to life's ultimate concern, it becomes sacred and holy."
Overall, a great book from a great philosopher that itself perhaps transcends its subject matter.