Paul Tillich’s Theological Method of Correlation

1175 words 5 pages
Assignment on:
Paul Tillich’s Theological Method of Correlation
Submitted to: Dr. Samuel George
Submitted by: Sunil K. Rajan, M. Div. – III
Date: November 10, 2011

1.0. Introduction
Paul Tillich (1886-1965) was a major figure in twentieth-century theology. After holding several academic posts in Germany, he and his family moved to the United States in November 1933. He subsequently held teaching positions at Union Theological Seminary, Harvard Divinity School, and the University of Chicago Divinity School. The author of several well-known books, he is possibly best remembered for his three-volume Systematic Theology. The present paper is an attempt to give a summary of Tillich’s
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Suppose that our analysis of the human condition reveals that man, in his finitude, is threatened by the question of nonbeing. What sort of answer does Christian theology offer us? According to Tillich, “if the notion of God appears in systematic theology in correlation with the threat of nonbeing which is implied in existence, God must be called the infinite power of being which resists the threat of nonbeing. In classical theology this is being-itself.”
After discussing a quotation from Tillich in which he refers to the being of God as “being-itself,” George Thomas writes: “It seems to me that in the Christian message, ‘God’ means ‘a being,’ not ‘being itself.’ . . . He is a concrete individual, though an individual without the limits of finite individuals. He is not merely ‘the ground of everything personal’; He is personal Himself. If this is the Christian view, I wonder whether Tillich’s statement of it has not been weakened at points by the intrusion into his thinking of an impersonal philosophy alien to the spirit of Christianity.” Tillich’s “method of correlation” often fails to do the very thing he claims for it, namely, to provide truly Christian