The Mystical Formation of Paul Tillich

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 )
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Abstract: This article takes up the biographical and philosophical task of examining how Tillich’s life experiences encouraged him to valorize mysticism and to construe the mystical and its implications in a distinctive manner. These experiences tend to fall into three categories: 1) nature 2) World War I 3) art. In addition, Jamesian categories of troubled versus untroubled selves are utilized. The emotional trauma of the war turned Tillich from an untroubled into a troubled self longing for transformation. Art provided the means for a breakthrough mystical experience of the absolute, even in the midst of meaninglessness and despair. This becomes Tillich’s dominant model for particular religious experiences. This model entails a tragic and a dialectical-tending-towards-dualistic dimension common to Crisis Theology in the wake of World War I.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2006
Tillich, Paul, James, William, Mystical Formation, Mysticism, Art and Mysticism, Nature, German Romanticism, World War I, Botticelli's Madonna, Art, Form, Substance, Realism, Idealism, Naturalism, Expressivism

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