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The Courage to Be

The Courage to Be: Second Edition

Copyright Date: 2000
Published by: Yale University Press
Pages: 238
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  • Book Info
    The Courage to Be
    Book Description:

    In this classic of religious studies and philosophy, the great Christian existentialist thinker Paul Tillich describes the dilemma of modern man and points a way to the conquest of the problem of anxiety. This edition includes a new introduction by the esteemed theologian Peter J. Gomes that reflects on the impact of this book in the years since it was written."Were I to choose the most significant book in religion published in the second half of the twentieth century, my choice would fall easily upon Paul Tillich'sThe Courage to Be."-Peter J. Gomes"The brilliance, the wealth of illustration, and the aptness of personal application . . . make the reading of these chapters an exciting experience."-W. Norman Pittenger,New York Times Book Review"A lucid and arresting book."-Frances Witherspoon,New York Herald Tribune"Clear, uncluttered thinking and lucid writing mark Mr. Tillich's study as a distinguished and readable one."-American Scholar

    eISBN: 978-0-300-17002-3
    Subjects: Philosophy, Religion

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-x)
  3. Introduction to the Second Edition
    (pp. xi-xxxvi)

    Few theologians have been able to capture the imagination of the modern world as Paul Tillich. He was one who, in the middle of the twentieth century, spoke convincingly to the crisis of spirit and mind that hovered over the religious life of thoughtful people. Described by an admirer as the “Apostle to the intellectuals,” Tillich, through his many writings—first in German and then in English—provided a new theological vocabulary with which to address the profound disquietude provoked by modernity’s confrontation with death and meaninglessness. Admired by his fellow theologians as a “theologian’s theologian,” he was read by...

  4. CHAPTER 1. Being and Courage
    (pp. 1-31)

    In agreement with the stipulation of the Terry Foundation that the lectures shall be concerned with “religion in the light of science and philosophy” I have chosen a concept in which theological, sociological, and philosophical problems converge, the concept of “courage.” Few concepts are as useful for the analysis of the human situation. Courage is an ethical reality, but it is rooted in the whole breadth of human existence and ultimately in the structure of being itself. It must be considered ontologically in order to be understood ethically.

    This becomes manifest in one of the earliest philosophical discussions of courage,...

  5. CHAPTER 2. Being, Nonbeing, and Anxiety
    (pp. 32-63)

    Courage is self-affirmation “in-spite-of,” that is in spite of that which tends to prevent the self from affirming itself. Differing from the Stoic-Neo-Stoic doctrines of courage, the “philosophies of life” have seriously and affirmatively dealt with that against which courage stands. For if being is interpreted in terms of life or process or becoming, nonbeing is ontologically as basic as being. The acknowledgment of this fact does not imply a decision about the priority of being over nonbeing, but it requires a consideration of nonbeing in the very foundation of ontology. Speaking of courage as a key to the interpretation...

  6. CHAPTER 3. Pathological Anxiety, Vitality, and Courage
    (pp. 64-85)

    We have discussed three forms of existential anxiety, an anxiety which is given with human existence itself. Nonexistential anxiety, which is the result of contingent occurrences in human life, has been mentioned only in passing. It is now time to deal with it systematically. An ontology of anxiety and courage such as is developed in this book naturally cannot attempt to present a psychotherapeutic theory of neurotic anxiety. Many theories are under discussion today; and some of the leading psychotherapists, notably Freud himself, have developed different interpretations. There is, however, one common denominator in all the theories: anxiety is the...

  7. CHAPTER 4. Courage and Participation [THE COURAGE TO BE AS A PART]
    (pp. 86-112)

    This is not the place to develop a doctrine of the basic ontological structure and its constituent elements. Something of it has been done in mySystematic Theology, Vol. I, Part I. The present discussion must refer to the assertions of those chapters without repeating their arguments. Ontological principles have a polar character according to the basic polar structure of being, that of self and world. The first polar elements are individualization and participation. Their bearing on the problem of courage is obvious, if courage is defined as the self-affirmation of being in spite of nonbeing. If we ask: what...

  8. CHAPTER 5. Courage and Individualization [THE COURAGE TO BE AS ONESELF]
    (pp. 113-154)

    Individualism is the self-affirmation of the individual self as individual self without regard to its participation in its world. As such it is the opposite of collectivism, the self-affirmation of the self as part of a larger whole without regard to its character as an individual self. Individualism has developed out of the bondage of primitive collectivism and medieval semicollectivism. It could grow under the protective cover of democratic conformity, and it has come into the open in moderate or radical forms within the Existentialist movement.

    Primitive collectivism was undermined by the experience of personal guilt and individual question-asking. Both...

  9. CHAPTER 6. Courage and Transcendence [THE COURAGE TO ACCEPT ACCEPTANCE]
    (pp. 155-190)

    Courage is the self-affirmation of being in spite of the fact of nonbeing. It is the act of the individual self in taking the anxiety of nonbeing upon itself by affirming itself either as part of an embracing whole or in its individual selfhood. Courage always includes a risk, it is always threatened by nonbeing, whether the risk of losing oneself and becoming a thing within the whole of things or of losing one’s world in an empty self-relatedness. Courage needs the power of being, a power transcending the nonbeing which is experienced in the anxiety of fate and death,...

  10. INDEX
    (pp. 191-198)
  11. Back Matter
    (pp. 199-199)