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Systematic Theology, Volume 2 [Paperback]

Tillich
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

15 Feb 1975 Systematic Theology (Book 2)
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

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Systematic Theology, Volume 2 + Systematic Theology, Volume 1 + Systematic Theology: Life and the Spirit; History and the Kingdom of God v. 3
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Product details

  • Paperback: 200 pages
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press; Pbk. Ed edition (15 Feb 1975)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0226803384
  • ISBN-13: 978-0226803388
  • Product Dimensions: 23.1 x 15.2 x 1.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 261,659 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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TODAY whoever uses terms like "existence," "existential," or "existentialism" is obliged to show the way in which he uses them and the reasons why. Read the first page
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tillichian Christology 4 Nov 2004
By Kurt Messick HALL OF FAME
Format:Paperback
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.
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Amazon.com: 4.9 out of 5 stars  9 reviews
49 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The 20th c. classic in Protestant liberal theology 16 Nov 2000
By Nessander - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
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.
21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Review of Volume II 25 Dec 2001
By Anthony L. Macri, Jr. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
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.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tillichian Christology 20 Sep 2004
By FrKurt Messick - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
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.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE CONTINUATION OF TILLICH'S MAGNUM OPUS 9 Feb 2010
By Steven H. Propp - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This second volume was released in 1957; the other two volumes in the series are Systematic Theology, vol. 1 and Systematic Theology, vol. 3: Life and the Spirit: History and the Kingdom of God.

Tillich notes in the Preface, "So many have asked for and urged the speedy publication of the second volume of 'Systematic Theology' that I am afraid that its actual appearance will be something of an anticlimax. It certainly will be a disappointment to those who expected that the second volume would contain the three remaining parts of the system." He then adds, "The problems discussed in this volume constitute the heart of every Christian theology---the concepts of man's estrangement and the doctrine of the Christ. It is therefore justifiable that they be treated in a special volume in the center of the system."

Here are some representative quotations from the second volume:

"in the Genesis story ... Man is caught between the desire to actualize his freedom and the demand to preserve his dreaming innocence. In the power of his finite freedom, he decides for actualization." (Pg. 35)
"Reinterpretation is also needed for the terms 'original' or 'hereditary' with respect to sin. But in this case reinterpretation may demand the rejection of the terms. Both point to the universal character of estrangement, expressing the element of destiny in estrangement. But both words are so burdened with literalistic absurdities that is is practically impossible to use them any longer." (Pg. 46)
"This is the only paradox and the source of all paradoxical statements in Christianity.... that Jesus is the Christ.... it is paradoxical, that is, against man's self-understanding and expectations. The paradox is a new reality and not a logical riddle." (Pg. 92)
"faith can guarantee only its own foundation, namely, the appearance of that reality which has created the faith. This reality is the New Being, who conquers existential estrangement and thereby makes faith possible." (Pg. 114)
"Only by taking suffering and death upon himself could Jesus be the Christ, because only in this way could he participate completely in existence and conquer every force of estrangement which tried to dissolve his unity with God." (Pg. 123)
"As a divine act, Regeneration and justification are one. Both describe the reunion of what is estranged." (Pg. 179)
5.0 out of 5 stars Worthy of Serious Study 30 April 2014
By Vincent - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Tillich's Systematic Theology is a widely neglected work of modern thought. I recommend this book to anyone interested in reading one of the foremost theologians of the 20th century. I filled each page with many notes as I tried to fully grasp what Tillich was arguing for. This is definitely worth a serious and careful read and it will definitely contribute to your own theology if read carefully.
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