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Dynamics of Faith (Perennial Classics) Paperback – February 24, 2009


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Product Details

  • Series: Perennial Classics
  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: HarperOne; 1 edition (February 24, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060937130
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060937133
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.2 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #19,006 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Paul Tillich (1886-1965), one of the great theologians of the twentieth century, taught at Union Theological Seminary, New York, and then at the University of Chicago and Harvard University.


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Customer Reviews

The immediate expression of love is action.
Wanda Avila
In this book Tillich makes the distinction between faith and belief.
Joseph Cowley
This book will strengthen the faith of any reader.
R. E.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

83 of 86 people found the following review helpful By magellan HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on November 10, 2002
Format: Paperback
Although my philosophical interests are mostly in 20-century analytical thought and the philosophy of science, I've still read my share of theologists, including Kierkegaard, Barth, Bultmann, Rosenzweig, Marcel, Mauritain, Buber, Berdyaef, and Niebuhr, and Tillich is perhaps the greatest of them all. So I still have considerable respect for Tillich, and I thought I'd make a few comments about that.
This little book (only about 140 pages) is still packed with much of the best that Tillich's subtle and profound mind had to offer. The chapter, "The Truth of Faith," is probably the greatest essay on the attempt to reconcile faith with reason, and how an intelligent man can be religious, ever written, a subject which goes back at least to St. Augustine's The City of God over 1500 years ago.
Tillich's basic idea is that faith can become a transformative and even transcendent force in people's lives. As one reviewer here put it so perceptively, "Faith is creative precisely because we act even though we cannot be entirely sure of the outcome. This is the Faith that creates science and art, and produces miracles in everyday life. When that Faith is attached to life's ultimate concern, it becomes sacred and holy."
Overall, a great book from a great philosopher that itself perhaps transcends its subject matter.
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53 of 55 people found the following review helpful By FrKurt Messick HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on January 13, 2004
Format: Paperback
Paul Tillich is one of the more important theologians of the twentieth century. Born into a culture being enticed away from the importance of things religious and theological in favour of science and philosophy. In particular, in the early part of the twentieth century, the philosophical school of existentialism became a strong, perhaps even the dominant force in intellectual development; it was against this (and the atheistic, nihilistic tendencies that followed) that Tillich undertook to reintroduce theology and faith as important components of human existence. Tillich, much to the consternation of many seminary students and more general readers, largely addresses the academy in the academy's language - he is very philosophical and precise in his constructions, and like many in the long tradition of German theologians, crafts his theology with his own terminology and internally-defined concepts that often make his theology difficult to follow.
This text, 'Dynamics of Faith', is one of Tillich's more accessible writings, more directly relevant to the situation of individuals and congregations. Tillich here looks at what faith is, and is not, from a theological perspective, but his intention is to make this transformative for the humanity that seeks to understand God.
In the first chapter, Tillich introduces one of his key terms - ultimate concern. Faith is the state of being ultimately concerned about something - God - without conditions or reservations. Ultimate concern can be religious or not, and can be misguided (people are tempted into idolatry, according to Tillich, not only by making things such as money, power and fame the objects of ultimate concern, but also by making particular ideas or views of God and religion into inappropriate ultimate concerns).
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Paul L. Laclair on September 27, 2000
Format: Paperback
This is a brilliant little book. Written by Tillich in the 1950's, it analyzes and synthesizes a key element in human spirituality. This element --- Faith --- both undergirds contemporary mysticism and New Thought, and stands far ahead of the norm in both fields.
A central idea in the book is the one that led to my own religious conversion experience as a Humanist: That Faith is a creative force as an action, not merely a belief. In fact, Tillich observes, "faith" that rests solely on belief and demands the elimination of doubt is the antithesis of true Faith. Faith is creative precisely because we act even though we cannot be entirely sure of the outcome. This is the Faith that creates science and art, and produces miracles in everyday life. When that Faith is attached to life's ultimate concern, it becomes sacred and holy.
The book is not a product of a simple mind, and therefore is not a simple read. Yet like Martin Buber's spiritual classic I and Thou, it packs more into its 136 little pages than most books many times its size. It belongs on the permanent shelf of anyone who cares about spiritual growth, personal fulfillment and service to others.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Pr. D. W. Girardin, RN; M.Div. on August 8, 2002
Format: Paperback
The last time I read Tillich was over 20 years ago in the Seminary. Frankly, I read what was required, memorized enough for the tests, and then dumped it - Wow did i make a mistake!
My current academic advisor / clinical supervisor structured a summer reading program of several of Tillich's books. The 'Dynamics of Faith' will challenge the reader to re-examine the depths of their emotion, focus / energy, and being. Woven through each chapter is the concept of faith as a 'total and centered act of the personal self, the act of unconditional, infinite and ultimate concern.' In our fast paced - immediate gratification - superficial age that impacts all that we do (From the foods we eat to the God we worship); Tillich challenges us to go deep, to savor, to discover the glory of The Ultimate. A 'Must Read' or 'Must Reread' for Pastors.
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