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Systematic Theology, vol. 2: Existence and the Christ [Paperback]

By Paul Tillich (Author)
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Item description for Systematic Theology, vol. 2: Existence and the Christ by Paul Tillich...

In this volume, Paul Tillich comes to grips with the central idea of his system--the doctrine of the Christ. Man's predicament is described as the state of "estrangement" from himself, from his world, and from the divine ground of his self and his world. This situation drives man to the test for a new state of things, in which reconciliation and reunion conquer estrangement. This is the quest for the Christ.

Publishers Description
In this volume, the second of his three-volume reinterpretation of Christian theology, Paul Tillich comes to grips with the central idea of his system--the doctrine of the Christ. Man's predicament is described as the state of "estrangement" from himself, from his world, and from the divine ground of his self and his world. This situation drives man to the quest for a new state of things, in which reconciliation and reunion conquer estrangement. This is the quest for the Christ.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: University Of Chicago Press
Pages   187
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.09" Width: 5.97" Height: 0.45"
Weight:   0.6 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Feb 15, 1975
Publisher   University Of Chicago Press
ISBN  0226803384  
ISBN13  9780226803388  

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More About Paul Tillich

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Paul Tillich (1886-1965) was a world-renowned philosopher and theologian. Harvey Cox is Hollis Research Professor of Divinity at Harvard University.

Paul Tillich was born in 1886 and died in 1965.

Paul Tillich has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Perennial Classics

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Reviews - What do customers think about Systematic Theology, vol. 2: Existence and the Christ?

Excellent  Jan 4, 2007
Tillich plumbs the depths of Christology and a uniquely Christian existentialism. Like Berdyaev, Tillich sees humankind as free and able to act creatively. This work is readable, but academic. I enjoyed reading it very much.
Tillichian Christology  Sep 20, 2004
In Tillich's first volume of this series, he discusses the sources of theology as he sees them - scripture (both text and the events behind the text), the overall church history and tradition, and the wider traditions and history of religion in the world. Tillich has a problem with seeing experience as a source, but rather prefers this to be seen more appropriately as the medium through which the sources are understood and analysed. Tillich introduces norms and the rational character of systematic theology - Tillich is in many ways writing for philosophers who have discounted the validity of theology in the modern world; by emphasising the aspects of reason and logic in his system, he carries more weight in that community. Tillich also develops his famous Method of Correlation, a dialectical system of engagement between the temporal situation and the eternal in an ongoing process.

Tillich explores the various aspects and relationship of reason and revelation, including ways of trying to make sense in a rational manner of revelations, including what constitutes final revelation. From here, Tillich proceeds with his ontological constructions - one of the keys to Tillich's overall theology is contained here, in which God is the `ground of being'. Some have accused Tillich of being an existential atheist, because they have heard that Tillich claims that God does not exist - while it is true that, for Tillich, God does not exist, it is not true that there is no God; Tillich defines the term `existence' as being `that which is created', and as God is not a created being, God cannot exist. Rather, God is something greater, something deeper - the ground of being. God also becomes the only appropriate `ultimate concern' (another key element in Tillich's theology) - that concept is developed in that volume as well.

While one could read the second volume without benefit of the first volume, it could be tricky. Volume two is primarily Tillich's Christology. Tillich has a small section that relates the second volume to the first, and restatements some major points from the first volume, but very quickly jumps into the concepts of existence/existentialism and Christian theology, developing from there concepts of sin and human estrangement (setting the stage for Christ and salvation/redemption in the new being of Christ). For Tillich, the central question of the age is one of meaning, and Christ is meaningful, as a New Being, who has a uniqueness and a universality, but not in typical Christian theological ways.

Tillich, in his three-volume series on Systematic Theology, addresses the overall problem of meaning and meaninglessness in modern times. Written in the middle of the twentieth century, Tillich's theology is greatly influenced by the intellectual developments of the late nineteenth/early twentieth century philosophies, including such schools of thought as phenomenology (Husserl, Heidegger, etc.) as well as existentialism, and in particular issues such as `the death of God' philosophical/theological speculations. Tillich's theology is also significantly influenced by (as are the intellectual developments of which he was part) larger historical events such as the first and second world wars. Tillich, a native of Germany, saw meaninglessness first-hand in the trench warfare of the first world war, in which he served as a chaplain. He also saw problems in the rise of the Nazi party, not just for political and cultural issues, but also theological issues (such as the idolatry of the state over God).

Tillich, spirited out of Germany during the rise of the Nazi power, spent the remainder of his career teaching in universities and seminaries in the United States. This second volume of his major work in Systematic Theology was produced in 1957, while he was teaching in the United States - it is dedicated to his friends at Union Theological Seminary, where he first taught after leaving Germany.

Tillich's theology is continued in two other volumes, the first volume produced in 1950, and the third volume in 1963, a few years before Tillich's death in 1965. Taken together, the three volumes represent a major theological force in the twentieth century, and one that is bound to continue to have impact for generations to come.
Review of Volume II  Dec 25, 2001
There isn't much more that I can say besides WOW! Paul Tillich uses a modern existential analysis of the human condition, and then a radical reinterpretation of the Christian tradition to understand and conquer the bleak condition of existential estrangement.

In this volume, Tillich examines the conditions of existence and the feature of Christianity which makes it distinctive among religions: the Christ. Explaining that all religions are meant to diagnose the human condition and to provide ways to reunite man with his essential being. He shows how sin, guilt, and pride are marks of the estrangement of man from his essential self and how religion has consistently and traditionally explained this facet of his existence.

However, he then begins his reinterpretation of the Christ event as the "bearer of New Being," where Christ is the model for all to reunite themselves with their essence - to exist without being overcome by estrangement.

In the book, Tillich uses an easy-to-read and uncomplicated prose to explain his ideas. No where near as complex as other thinkers, but easily as intelligent and dense, Tillich's Systematic Theology is the best attempt at a systematic reinterpretation of the Christian message I've ever read, and is a must-read for anyone interested in a discernible and acceptable rendtion of the Christian story in the world today.

The 20th c. classic in Protestant liberal theology  Nov 16, 2000
Paul Tillich's ~Systematic Theology~ is one of the most important theological works of the 20th century, and the theological system par excellence of liberal Protestant Christianity. In his day, Tillich was held in high esteem not only among theologians, but by experts in many different fields for his incredible breadth of knowledge, his insight into culture, and his humanity.

'Liberal Protestantism' sought to reconcile the gospel and the Christian faith with contemporary cultural ideas, rather then set the two up against each other. Religion is, for Tillich, the best of culture. (An alternative view, for example, is that of Karl Barth, who saw the gospel as fundamentally a critique of culture - as the Word speaking from outside ~to~ the world, not within the world). So, for Tillich, there should be signs of God everywhere, not just in Christianity, and religion and culture and closely connected.

God, for Tillich, is not therefore the anthropomorphized God of the Old Testament, who has a personality and creates and destroys and judges in an almost arbitrary fashion. Instead, Tillich sees God as 'the ground of being'. God is the very fundament on which rests everything that is. God is the Abyss.

The problem with man, for Tillich, is his 'finitude'. Man's life is finite, his body makes him finite, his capacities are finite, yet he craves to transcend these, to be unlimited, to be God. This is impossible; rather one should accept one's finitude courageously. This is what Jesus did singularly and perfectly - he never sinned, because he always accepted the finite nature of his being; he faced death courageously. Tillich's christology is therefore a 'spirit christology' (Jesus was led by the spirit) rather than a 'logos christology' (Jesus was God incarnate, the Word made flesh).

The last important thing is that Tillich makes use of his famous 'theory of correlation'. This is how the 3 volumes of his ~Systematic Theology~ are set up. According to this theory, things in culture are correlated with the theology; theology provides the 'answers' to the 'questions' posed by culture. So his five sections (divided among the 3 volumes) are called: 'Reason and Revelation', 'Being and God', 'Existence and the Christ', 'Life and the Spirit', 'History and the Kingdom of God'.

Tillich's writing is for the most part easy enough to read for the layperson - just don't get bothered by particular tricky bits. I would recommend it to anyone interested in theology; it has influenced a generation of theologians.


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