The North American Paul Tillich Society

The North American Paul Tillich Society is dedicated to the study of the thought of Paul Tillich (1886-1965) and the application of his works to other areas of human knowledge.

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NAPTS 2024 Meeting, in conjunction with the AAR, in San Diego, California, on Friday, November 22nd, 2024

2023 marked the 60th anniversary of the completion of Paul Tillich's three volume Systematic Theology. In this monumental project, Tillich devised and deployed a system of categories to correlate the truth of Christian theology with the contemporary religious situation. Although Tillich framed his project as a Christian theological project, his system of categories also provides fruitful resources for comparative theological inquiry and responses to religious pluralism, as Tillich himself realized and sketched in his Christianity and the Encounter of World Religions. Tillich's strategy also required the engagement of existential and theological questions raised outside of Christian communities and across various disciplinary boundaries, including the arts, metaphysics, ethics, and the natural sciences.

For the 2024 Annual Meeting of the North American Paul Tillich Society, the Society is vaguely organized around the theme of Employing and Revising Paul Tillich's System of Categories for the Present Religious Situation.

Three main questions shape this theme:

  • How are Tillich's categories currently used to guide inquiry?
  • How should Tillich's categories be revised in light of the findings of such inquiries?
  • What new theological claims are enabled by such uses and revisions?

The Society will hold a book panel on Robert Cummings Neville's 2024 book Strange, Surprising, and Sure (State University of New York Press).

In the time since the completion of Tillich's Systematic Theology, Robert C. Neville has exemplified the simultaneous use and revision of Tillich's categories, developing an even more expansive system than Tillich's. In Neville's 2024 book-Strange, Surprising, and Sure-he provides a theory of ultimate reality, indebted to Tillich's theory of the ground of being; an account of the human condition, building on and revising Tillich's, and an account of religion, moving beyond Tillich's connection of the Holy Spirit with the Christian church to a global account of religiosity. Additionally, the volume contains artistic works of poetry and sophisticated sermons. The Society invites discussion on Neville's book as a whole or discussion that deals with the following themes, topics, or questions:

  • How would Tillich respond to Neville's "strange" account of the ground of being as an ontological creative act that is nothing apart from the beings grounded?
  • Neville's analysis of the human condition as a "surprising," arbitrary, and gratuitous gift
  • Comparisons of Neville and Tillich's alternative analyses of the relationship between human predicaments and ecstatic fulfillments
  • The relationship between Tillich and Neville's homiletical approaches
  • How might Tillich's theory of art criticism analyze Neville's poetry?

Paul Tillich: Heritage series interviews November 13, 2018

Enhanced television interviews of Paul Tillich from the Heritage series, broadcast by Pittsburg Public Television, February 1961. Interviewing Dr. Tillich are Professors Walter Wiest and Robert C. Johnson of Pittsburg Theological Seminary.
These videos will be posted under Tillich Resources

Part 1. Philosophy and Religion

Part 2. Religion in the Philosophy of Life

Part 3. Religion and Psychotherapy

Part 4. Philosophy and Art