Philosophy Magazine

A Tidbit on Existentialist Theologian Paul Tillich

By Tantrawave @planetbuddha
I must admit that it's been a very long time since I've read anything in existentialism, it's been at least 25 years.  Now that we're in the year 1984, in a brave new world that suddenly dawned upon the globe, as time speeds up faster and faster, I feel it's a genre that is more relevant than ever.  Let me dust off an ancient, 20th century tome here and show it to you.    A Tidbit on Existentialist Theologian Paul Tillich A theologian like Paul Tillich, for example, is very relevant to believers entrenched in politics-based evangelicalism-fundamentalism.  Tillich's Systematic Theology (3 vols.) would be relevant mot only to the christian, but to believers of the middle-eastern scripture trajectory of Judeochristianislam; with the exception of the second, specifically-christian volume, the first and second volumes of the work are relevant to theological discussion and contemplation in any theistic tradition.  Granted, the theology is based directly on the foundations of Heidegger's metaphysics of Being, but the existentialist philosophy itself of the systematic work draws from a vast range of contemporaneous and older existentialists (Kierkegaard, Nietzsche).  In my opinion his theology, because it is based on academic metaphysics proper, is faulty and lends for further alienation, ironically, in existence and one's existential comportment to existence-as-such.  It has been referred to as the post-God-is-dead theology, atheistic theology, and so on, but the fundamentalist who would venture a challenge in thought and faith should definitely give Tillich's systematic theology a whirl.  You won't be sorry; you'll munch on a lot of tasty brain-candy and encounter a colorful world of ontophanies; who knows, maybe you'll experience an epiphany of your own.  It isn't casual reading by any stretch, so be warned.  Sit with pencil in hand and be ready to write in the margins. 

The post-Tillichian Death of God atheistic Christianity of Harvey Cox and T.J.J. Altizer, in my opinion, are irrelevant, because at that point who gives a crap, might as well throw the whole kit 'n kaboodle out.  But once the whole has been tossed out, perhaps that is when a living reality will truly make its existential advent.    

Alright, now aside from this stuff, we have the Dakini Sky Goddess and wife of "Paulos," Hannah Tillich behind the scenes of all this existentialism, to give us the real flavor, to enlighten others with regard to what lies behind all the academia and impressive professorship of Doctor Paul Tillich.  It's all in her personal bio which came out post-Paul-mortem, a fine work of telling it how it was.  It caused a stir in Tillich's theological circle for sure.  From Time to Time reveals how the good ol' boy "Paulus" was like behind the scenes, a regular womanizing Joe of his time, with as much self-reflection as any typical schmuck of his day.  Her account is candid, and as far as I'm concerned, was the esoteric addendum and overarching postscript to P. Tillich's body of Werke.      

Part 1 of 3 (Werner Rode's interview at Union Theological Seminary, NY, of Paul Tillich in 1956)

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