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Theses on Paul Tillich's "Systematic Theology" - Thesis 6

Thesis 6: Spiritual Presence is manifest not only in human spirit but in history, which has to do with people groups rather than simply with individual people. Here (A) it is expressed unambiguously although fragmentarily. Three modes of this manifestation in history can be distinguished: (B) anticipation (the religions), (C) criterion (Jesus as the Christ), and (D) consequence (the Spiritual Community).

Explanation: (A) Unambiguous life is New Being, or the reunification of the self with its divine ground of being both under and after the conditions of existential estrangement. As life unambiguous, New Being provides the remedy to the ambiguities of life under the conditions of existential estrangement. Spiritual Presence is the impetus for self-transcendence and is manifest in human spirit. Insofar as spirit is driven outside of itself and into the self-transcendent moment by Spirit, unambiguous life – New Being – is present. But, “The divine Spirit’s invasion of the human …

Western Conference Champions

Once again the Detroit Red Wings are the NHL Western Conference champions. Bring on the strange birds in the tuxedos.

The photo is of Darren Helm working hard tonight, as he did all game. This guy is amazing, and ridiculously fast; one of the Wings' "black aces" this year, expect to see him on the regular season roster next year. He scored the game-winner in OT tonight.

Theses on Paul Tillich's "Systematic Theology" - Thesis 5

Thesis 5: As we have seen, Tillich conceives of a close relation between human spirit and divine Spirit while intending to maintain a distinction. To this end, he speaks of the Spirit’s manifestation within human spirit, elaborating on this notion both (A) formally and (B) materially.

Explanation: (A) Tillich broadly conceives human spirit – and this is the point at which Tillich has been driving in his analysis of life in the dimension of spirit – as a dimension of human life that “unites the power of being with the meaning of being” (111). It is human awareness of this spirit-dimension that enables symbolic speech about God as Spirit and God’s Spirit. What then is the relation between divine Spirit and human spirit? Insofar as Spirit manifests itself in spirit{O’Neill describes the relation between Spirit and spirit as one of mutual indwelling. See Andrew O'Neill, Tillich: A Guide for the Perplexed (London: T & T Clark, 2008), 88.}, it instigates an outward movement …

Theses on Paul Tillich's "Systematic Theology" - Thesis 4

Thesis 4: The search for unambiguous life gives rise to the symbols of its anticipation, primary of which are the symbols of ‘Spirit of God’ – redefined as ‘Spiritual Presence’ – ‘Kingdom of God’, and ‘Eternal Life’.

Explanation: It is here that Tillich rehashes his discussion thus far as well as gives us a very important new piece of the puzzle. In redefining ‘Spirit of God’ to ‘Spiritual Presence’, he explains that “The Spirit of God is the presence of the Divine Life within creaturely life” (107). This presence symbolizes revelation’s answer to humanity’s search for unambiguous life as it corresponds to the ambiguities of life inherent within life’s spiritual dimension. Such divine presence within the creaturely world, although particularly related to the dimension of spirit in humanity, includes all the ‘lower’ dimensions that provide the preconditions for that dimension and thus we must understand Spiritual Presence to be found there as well.

The other two symbols – ‘Kingd…

Theses on Paul Tillich's "Systematic Theology" - Thesis 3

Thesis 3: The actualization of life as found under the conditions of existence is never without ambiguity. This is true for each dimension in life’s multidimensional unity, but it is especially true for the aspects of human life under the dimension of spirit where it leads to a search for unambiguous life. The three basic functions of life are (A) self-integration, (B) self-creativity, and (C) self-transcendence.

Explanation: (A) Self-integration is the life process that seeks to maintain an individuated being’s centeredness. Such maintenance is carried out in the face of the possibility of ‘disintegration’, which can occur either through the ossification or the dissolution of centeredness. Disintegration is a threat and maintenance is necessary because centeredness is not a static reality but a dynamic life process “of outgoing and returning” (33). The individual encounters manifoldness in the course of its life, and this manifoldness must be integrated into the individuated be…

Still Savoring Last Night's Win

I'm still euphoric over the game last night. It feels so good to be done with the Ducks and looking forward to the Hawks. Now I'm beginning to wonder if the cup final may not just be Wings on Pens again...which would have to be really weird for Hossa.

In any case, I'm hoping to see more offense from Detroit's big guns in the next series. Franzen has been doing his part, and Hossa put a few in, but it would be great to see Pav get a few as well. Also, I love watching Zetterberg score and - while he has been playing amazing defense and creating all kinds of offensive chances, to wit, Cleary's game winner last night - there has been far too little of him scoring - excepting his knack for hitting an empty net to seal the deal, which is not insignificant.

In any case, since I'm talking about Hank, here is my favorite play from this year's regular season. This happened on Feb 25th against San Jose. Go to about 2.10 into the video to see Hank make the poor…

Bye-Bye, Duckies

We finally put those Anaheim thugs to rest. I'm looking forward to a great series with the Blackhawks, a team with whom the Wings have a longstanding rivalry, but a team that knows the meaning of the term "sportsmanship".

The picture is of Red Wings veteran goalie Chris Osgood making a spectacular save early in tonight's game (before the fans decided they were going to stand for the rest; it was actually hard to hear the announcers on the live radio feed I was listening to because the fans were cheering so loudly in the Joe). Ozzie has performed marvelously both against the Ducks and against the Blue Jackets. He has been perhaps the most consistent aspect of the Red Wings team this post-season. Who would have thought?

Go Wings!

Theses on Paul Tillich's "Systematic Theology" - Thesis 2

Thesis 2: Exercising great care in the selection of terminology, Tillich envisages (A) life as a (B) multidimensional (C) unity. (D) ‘Spirit’ is the penultimate dimension thus far actualized.

Explanation: (A) Tillich’s selection of the term ‘life’ is carried out in opposition to the term ‘process’. Although ‘life’ is a term with many meanings, it is superior to ‘process’ for two reasons. First, ‘life’ is inextricably linked with the concept of death. Thus, whereas ‘process’ applies equally to things living and dead, ‘life’ applies to the dynamic aspect of being that is engaged in overcoming its negation expressed in the concept of death. Second, given this notion of life as engaged in the overcoming of death, ‘life’ is open to ontologization in a way that ‘process’ is not. When ontologized, ‘life’ becomes ‘actuality of being’, the individual actualization in time and space of potentialities resident within beings. Language of ‘life’ as the ‘actuality of being’ achieves a level…

Theses on Paul Tillich's "Systematic Theology" - Intro and Thesis 1

Some of us here at PTS have been reading through Tillich's Systematic Theology this semester with Bruce McCormack. As part of the seminar, we each had to write a set of 'theses' explaining and interacting with a portion of Tillich's text. Mine was ST volume 3, pages 1-161. Given that I have posted on Tillich before, I thought that I would post my theses. I'll do one thesis at a time over a series of posts. Footnotes have been moved into brackets like these - {}. Enjoy!

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Thesis 1: The ‘Introduction’ to volume three of Tillich’s Systematic Theology {Paul Tillich, Systematic Theology, 3 vols. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1951-63).} constitutes [A] a brief apology for the work that emphasizes the strengths of a systematic theological approach while also [B] describing the theology contained therein as the contextually or culturally attentive interpretation of the meaning embedded in Christian symbols.

Explanation: [A] As one e…