Tillich, Paul

(1886-1965)
   theologian and philosopher; best known for linking religious issues with the "human condition." Born to a Lutheran pastor in the Brandenburg village of Starzeddel (now in Poland*), he studied theology and philosophy and took a doctorate in 1908 at Berlin.* After a two-year min-istry in Moabit (1912-1914), he decided on an academic career. During World War I, while he was serving as a frontline chaplain (he was awarded the Iron Cross, First Class), he wrote his Habilitation; in 1919 he became a Privatdozent at Berlin. He was named full professor in 1925 at Dresden s Technische Hoch-schule and succeeded Max Scheler* in 1929 as Frankfurt s Professor of Philos-ophy and Sociology. His Frankfurt years produced friendships with Theodor Adorno* and Max Horkheimer.* He was forbidden to teach in April 1933 and emigrated in October to the United States, where he taught systematic theology at Union Theological Seminary (1938-1955), Harvard (1955-1962), and Chi-cago (1962-1965). His three-volume magnum opus, Systematic Theology, was completed in the United States. While he served as chairman of the Council for a Democratic Germany, his 109 talks for Voice of America (1942-1944) sum-moned Germans to resist Hitler.*
   "Religious truth," Tillich wrote, "is acted—in accord with the Gospel of St. John." Inspired by Kierkegaard's existentialism, he focused on the anxieties of man, claiming that religious questions arose from human problems. He argued that no realm of culture is "off limits to a theologian and was drawn to what he called "the frontier areas" between fields—between church and state, the-ology and philosophy, and idealism and socialism. In the 1920s, while he was writing for Blatter fur religio sen Sozialismus, he sponsored religious socialism; his holistic ideas were incorporated in Aufder Grenze (On the boundary). Tillich also distinguished between "technical reason, comprising science and tech-nology, and "ecstatic reason, covering faith. Although he was inspired by the ideas of Karl Barth,* he rejected the notion of a personal God during the war; accordingly, he is sometimes deemed an atheist. Yet he argued that each indi-vidual is in the final analysis concerned with a metaphysical Ultimate.
   REFERENCES:EP, vol. 8; Garland and Garland, Oxford Companion to German Litera-ture; Pauck and Pauck, Paul Tillich.

A Historical dictionary of Germany's Weimar Republic, 1918-1933. .

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