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Dynamics of Faith (Perennial Classics) Paperback – February 24, 2009
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From the Back Cover
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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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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).Read more ›
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.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Yep. 5 Stars.
This was not a perfect book, by any means, but the basic framework that Paul Tillich presents is so compelling and clarifying in my life right now that... Read more
I was required to read this for an Intro to Religion class. It was really a great read though!Published 8 months ago by Mudasar Khan
Some of the contents is helpful. The biggest drawback is that he writes for theologians and not for lay people. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Steven Haack