Frasi di Paul Tillich

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Paul Tillich

Data di nascita: 20. Agosto 1886
Data di morte: 22. Ottobre 1965
Altri nomi: პაულ ტილიხი, پل تیلیش, Пауль Тілліх, بول تيليش, Paul Johannes Tillich

Paul Johannes Tillich è stato un teologo protestante tedesco, pioniere del più recente movimento di rinnovamento della teologia tradizionale.

Espulso dall'Università di Francoforte perché aveva preso le difese degli studenti ebrei perseguitati dai nazisti, si rifugiò allora negli Stati Uniti. Paul Tillich è uno dei maggiori teologi del XX secolo. L'opera Teologia sistematica è il suo testo più importante: è composto da una fondamentale "Introduzione" metodologica e cinque sezioni intitolate "Ragione e rivelazione", "L'essere e Dio", "L'esistenza e il Cristo", "La Vita e lo Spirito", "La storia e il Regno".

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„Un atto morale non è un atto di obbedienza ad una legge esterna, umana o divina, [invece è] l'innata legge del nostro vero essere e della nostra natura essenziale e creata, che ci chiede di realizzare ciò che proviene da essa.“

—  Paul Tillich

Origine: Da Morality and Beyond; citato in Andrew Linzey, Teologia animale, traduzione di Alessandro Arrigoni, Cosmopolis, Torino, 1998, p. 6. ISBN 978-88-87947-01-4

„Faith is the state of being ultimately concerned.“

—  Paul Tillich

Dynamics of Faith (1957)
Contesto: Faith is the state of being ultimately concerned. The content matters infinitely for the life of the believer, but it does not matter for the formal definition of faith. And this is the first step we have to make in order to understand the dynamics of faith.

„The first element is the experience of the power of being which is present even in the face of the most radical manifestation of non being.“

—  Paul Tillich, libro The Courage to Be

Origine: The Courage to Be (1952), p. 177
Contesto: The first element is the experience of the power of being which is present even in the face of the most radical manifestation of non being. If one says that in this experience vitality resists despair, one must add that vitality in man is proportional to intentionality.
The vitality that can stand the abyss of meaninglessness is aware of a hidden meaning within the destruction of meaning.

„Being-itself is essentially productive.“

—  Paul Tillich, libro The Courage to Be

Origine: The Courage to Be (1952), pp. 108-109
Contesto: What is the end of all the magnificent means provided by the productive activity of American society? Have not the means swallowed the ends, and does not the unrestricted production of means indicate the absence of ends? Even many born Americans are today inclined to answer the last question affirmatively. But there is more involved in the production of means. It is not the tools and gadgets that are the telos, the inner aim of production; it is the production itself. The means are more than means; they are felt as creations, as symbols of the infinite possibilities implied in man’s productivity. Being-itself is essentially productive.

„From this difference convergent and divergent trends emerge in the relation of theology and philosophy.“

—  Paul Tillich

Systematic Theology (1951–63)
Contesto: Philosophy and theology ask the question of being. But they ask it from different perspectives. Philosophy deals with the structure of being in itself; theology deals with the meaning of being for us. From this difference convergent and divergent trends emerge in the relation of theology and philosophy.

„For in the depth of every serious doubt and every despair of truth, the passion for truth is still at work. Don’t give in too quickly to those who want to alleviate your anxiety about truth. Don’t be seduced into a truth which is not really your truth, even if the seducer is your church, or your party, or your parental tradition. Go with Pilate, if you cannot go with Jesus; but go in seriousness with him!“

—  Paul Tillich

Chap. 8: "What Is Truth?"
The New Being (1955)
Contesto: Where else, besides in scholarly work, should we look for truth? There are many in our period, young and old, primitive and sophisticated, practical and scientific, who accept this answer without hesitation. For them scholarly truth is truth altogether. Poetry may give beauty, but it certainly does not give truth. Ethics may help us to a good life, but it cannot help us to truth. Religion may produce deep emotions, but it should not claim to have truth. Only science gives us truth. It gives us new insights into the way nature works, into the texture of human history, into the hidden things of the human mind. It gives a feeling of joy, inferior to no other joy. He who has experienced this transition from darkness, or dimness, to the sharp light of knowledge will always praise scientific truth and understanding and say with some great medieval theologians, that the principles through which we know our world are the eternal divine light in our souls. And yet, when we ask those who have finished their studies in our colleges and universities whether they have found there a truth which is relevant to their lives they will answer with hesitation. Some will say that they have lost what they had of relevant truth; others will say that they don’t care for such a truth because life goes on from day to day without it. Others will tell you of a person, a book, an event outside their studies which gave them the feeling of a truth that matters. But they all will agree that it is not the scholarly work which can give truth relevant for our life.
Where else, then, can we get it? "Nowhere," Pilate answers in his talk with Jesus. "What is truth?" he asks, expressing in these three words his own and his contemporaries’ despair of truth, expressing also the despair of truth in millions of our contemporaries, in schools and studios, in business and professions. In all of us, open or hidden, admitted or repressed, the despair of truth is a permanent threat. We are children of our period as Pilate was. Both are periods of disintegration, of a world-wide loss of values and meanings. Nobody can separate himself completely from this reality, and nobody should even try. Let me do something unusual from a Christian standpoint, namely, to express praise of Pilate—not the unjust judge, but the cynic and sceptic; and of all those amongst us in whom Pilate’s question is alive. For in the depth of every serious doubt and every despair of truth, the passion for truth is still at work. Don’t give in too quickly to those who want to alleviate your anxiety about truth. Don’t be seduced into a truth which is not really your truth, even if the seducer is your church, or your party, or your parental tradition. Go with Pilate, if you cannot go with Jesus; but go in seriousness with him!

„There is a third element in absolute faith, the [[acceptance of being accepted.“

—  Paul Tillich, libro The Courage to Be

Origine: The Courage to Be (1952), p. 177
Contesto: There is a third element in absolute faith, the acceptance of being accepted. Of course, in the state of despair there is nobody and nothing that accepts. But there is the power of acceptance itself which is experienced. Meaninglessness, as long as it is experienced, includes an experience of the "power of acceptance". To accept this power of acceptance consciously is the religious answer of absolute faith, of a faith which has been deprived by [[doubt of any concrete content, which nevertheless is faith and the source of the most paradoxical manifestation of the courage to be.

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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