The place of reason in Paul Tillich's concept of God
Boozer, Jack Stewart
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The problem of this dissertation is to present a critical exposition of the place of reason in Paul Tillich's conception of God. A discussion of the definition of reason as well as the place of reason in man and in his knowledge of God is a prerequisite to the consideration of the central problem of the dissertation. Reason is defined in terms of its ontological and technical functions. Ontological reason is active in the awareness or intuition of God and the ideal norms of goodness, beauty and truth. Ontological reason functions to relate man to that which is ultimately real. Technical reason, on the other hand, functions to appropriate all knowledge, to organize all experience into a consistent unity. But it is the same reason which is active in each case. Man is a composite unity of form (reason) and vitality (power). In essence man is in unity with God, man's logos is united with God's logos. In his essential nature, then, man is united with God and there is no distinction between reason and revelation. But man is free as well as rational, and he exercises his freedom to act by acting partially against his logos. In so doing man comes into existence. Thus existential man is in partial separation from and partial union with God. In existence man's reason is "fallen," it does not perceive God with absolute clarity. But existential reason is not wholly depraved; it still has the capacity to apprehend the world meaningfully and to be aware of God. Indeed, reason is the common basis upon which communication between God and man is possible. Though reason cannot produce the experience of unity with God, reason performs the important functions of receiving, judging and appropriating revelation. [TRUNCATED]
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Boston University
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