The Heideggerian Legacy in Paul Tillich's Ontology and Theological Anthropology
Chi, Sang Woo
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This dissertation demonstrates that Martin Heidegger’s fundamental ontology was a significant influence on Paul Tillich’s understanding of divine and human realities, by showing that Tillich adopted Heidegger’s concern for being and his approach to the question of being. Heidegger’s philosophical influence on Tillich’s thought has been well known. But the specific nature of this influence and its implications has not hitherto been documented. Neither has the issue received much attention in the secondary literature on Heidegger. The study consists of two parts. The first (Chapters 2-3) provides an intensive historical and philosophical survey of the background of the Tillich-Heidegger encounters. The second part (Chapters 4-7) is an analysis of the origins and development of Tillich’s theological and philosophical thought particularly in terms of his anthropology and ontology under the influence of Heidegger. The second part highlights the Heideggerian claims of human existentiality inherent in Tillich’s theological system, as distinguished from Tillich’s own theological creativity and philosophical originality. Chapter 2 identifies Tillich’s concern with existentialism as Heideggerian. Chapter 3 investigates the decisive and historically unique period of encounter between Tillich and Heidegger, the years 1924-1925, when they both taught at the University of Marburg. Chapter 4 underscores the important elements of Heideggerian existentialism in Tillich’s early theological program. Chapter 5 illustrates the challenge of modern existentialism that Tillich confronted in the person of Heidegger and discusses Tillich’s subordination of his metaphysics of meaning to the Heideggerian metaphysics of being. Chapter 6 suggests that Tillich’s choice of existentialism is indebted to Heidegger’s critical analysis of the relationship between philosophy and theology. Chapter 7 explores a central aspect of Tillich’s theological anthropology, the concept of finitude, in relation to Heidegger’s project of existential analysis of Dasein. The study shows that the Tillich-Heidegger connection is not a mere coincidental structural similarity and that Tillich’s call for transcending theism reflects Tillich’s interpretation of Heidegger’s philosophy as theologically oriented. The study thereby establishes a point of departure from which to explore on a deeper level the philosophical foundation of Tillich’s theological endeavor and vision.