Eleven years after his death in 1965, Paul Tillich continues to influence American Protestant theology. While Tillich’s theology was eclipsed in the late 1960s by the rise of the “death of God” theologies of Altizer and Hamilton, and by the rise of black theology, the theologies of revolution, and Moltmann’s theology of hope, Tillich continued to be studied in undergraduate courses on religion and in Protestant seminaries throughout America. His Systematic Theology, Dynamics of Faith, The Courage to Be, Love, Power and Justice, and other lesser-known writings continued to provide resource material for courses in theology, philosophy of religion, and Christianity and culture. The continuing interest in Tillich’s thought in American academic circles was recently underscored by the formation of the North American Paul Tillich Society, which meets in conjunction with the American Academy of Religion, a society composed of teachers of religion in colleges, universities, and seminaries.
In 1973, Rollo May’s Paulus (Harper and Row), subtitled “Reminiscences of a Friendship,” and Hannah Tillich’s autobiography From Time to Time (Stein and Day) created a stir with their revelations of Tillich’s philandering. May, a former student of Tillich’s at Union Theological Seminary, presented a rather sympathetic portrait of his former teacher. Tillich’s widow, however, reflected considerable bitterness and resentment in her book. Tillich’s theological foes were likely to see in these revelations a confirmation of their opinions about the unsoundness of his theology, while Tillich’s friends were likely to insist that these accounts—especially his widow’s—gave ...1
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