A History of
From its Judaic and Hellenistic Origins to Existentialism
published as two separate volumes:
A History of Christian Thought and
Perspectives on 19th and 20th Century Protestant Theology (accessed
separate from the next panel)
to the Touchstone Edition
history of Christian thought combines into one volume two books of Paul
Tillich's lectures that have been previously published. The first part
appeared under the title A History of Christian Thought, beginning with the
Graeco-Roman preparations for Christianity and ending with the
post-Reformation development in Protestant theology. The second part first
appeared as Perspectives on Nineteenth and Twentieth Century Protestant
Theology~ beginning with the rise of the Enlightenment and ending with the
theology of Kari Barth and modem existentialism.* A History of Christian
Thought originated as lectures delivered by Tillich at Union Theological
Seminary in New York, stenographically recorded and transcribed by Peter N.
John and distributed by him in a small first edition. A second edition
appeared shortly thereafter, in which Peter John corrected a number of
errors. At that time he acknowledged the need for a thorough. revision of
the text for matters of style and content. This I tried to accomplish in
the first published edition by Harper & Row, 1968. This edition now
appears unaltered in this volume.
second part of this volume contains tape-recorded lectures which Paul
Tillich delivered at the Divinity School of the University of Chicago
during the spring quarter of the 1962-63 school year and is based entirely
on his spoken words.
history of the Christian tradition appears at a time when interest in new
theological fads that come and go quickly has faded dramatically. The
demise of Tillich's thought was prematurely announced. In the world of
English-speaking theology no movement bas yet arisen to eclipse the
influence of Paul Tillich. The wider dissemination of this influence, to a
new generation of college and seminary students, as well as to theologians
who have a lot of catching up to do, is very much to be desired. Tillich
introduces students to the roots of their own religious traditions, making
the symbols of their faith more meaningful for today. He was and is a truly
great teacher of theology.
CARL E. BRAATEN
Illinois March 1972
Perspectives on 19th and 20th Century Protestant Theology
Edited and with an Introduction by CARL E.
This major posthumous work of Paul Tillich presents, in
the author's words, "the drama of the rise of humanism in the midst of
Christianity." Tillich shares with us his reflections and perspectives
on major periods, trends, movements, and figures in two centuries of Protestantism
as it underwent a "continuous series of attempts to unite the
diverging elements of the modem mind."
PERSPFCTIVES can also be read as the mirroring
of those sources which exerted the greatest impact on Tillich's
mind in his earlier formative years. The author traces the philosophy of
religion, dogmatic elements within the church, and historical criticism of
the Bible and tradition. These
chapters document clearly how Tillich's thought moves with penetrating
insight and empathy on the boundary between theology and philosophy.
The book begins with the period of Protestant Orthodoxy
and shows how the Enlightenment presupposed and rejected both. A major
chapter is devoted to Kant and the philosophy of the Enlightenment: it becomes clear how Tillich is both the
heir and the severest critic of the Enlightenment tradition. Tillich goes
on to describe the reaction of the Romanticists against the Enlightenment,
the emergence of the two great syntheses of Schleiermacher and Hegel, and
the subsequent breakdown of these systems.
With an economy of words, Tillich gets to the heart of
the thinking of such radical, prophetic voices as Schelling and
Kierkegaard, Marx and Nietzsche, Bultmann and Barth. Every paragraph opens
a new window into the profound mind of this masterful interpreter of the
Protestant heritage, as well as bringing the reader into a lively encounter
with the voices of the recent past. The whole book is a demonstration of
Tillich's dictum that every interpretation is a living union of
the interpreted and the interpreter.