Polarities in Tillich’s Thought on Revelation in the World Religions

UNCP Author/Contributor (non-UNCP co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Dr. David H. Nikkel, Professor of Religion & Department Chair (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Pembroke (UNCP )
Web Site: http://www.uncp.edu/academics/library

Abstract: This article explores the polarity in Tillich’s thought of the finality of divine revelation in Jesus Christ versus the reality of the revelation of the ultimate in every major world religion. In turn Tillich’s understanding of the polarity of absolute universality and concrete particularity figures crucially. Tillich’s Protestant Principle entails that for a concrete symbol to be transparent to the ultimate, it must negate its own particularity. Given this rendering of the relationship of the absolute and concrete, the article 1) summarizes Tillich’s evaluations of particular world religions (relying primarily on his Christianity and the Encounter with the World Religions) and updates and expands those evaluations in light of today’s greater knowledge about world religions and 2) argues that Tillich’s finality of revelation in Jesus Christ finally discords with his Protestant Principle. In contemporary terminology, the Protestant Principe controverts exclusivism and inclusivism and instead supports pluralism.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2000
Final Revelation, Preparatory Revelation, Christology, Absolute Universality, Concrete Particularity, Religious Symbolism, Protestant Principle, Negation of Particularity, Theravada Buddhism, Mahayana Buddhism, Islam, Stereotypes, Exclusivism, Inclusivism, Dialogue, Pluralism

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