In my opinion Paul Tillich makes the most valid point regarding the nature of religious beliefs as defined by him in “What faith is?” Religious beliefs have faith as its underlying principle. Tillich defines faith as “the state of being ultimately concerned and that the dynamics of faith are the dynamics of man’s ultimate concern” (Tillich1). Man has many concerns which encompass his day to day survival, however; unlike other creatures his concerns include matters that are social, political and spiritual in nature. Man’s quest to find answers to these concerns that transcend matters of day to day physical existence is addressed in the realm of spirituality which Tillich and other Theologians define as faith.
According to Tillich when faith becomes an “ultimate concern” it requires all other things be sacrificed. The first major quotation from Tillich’s text that will serve as the basis for my analysis is “If it claims ultimacy it demands total surrender of him who accepts this claim, and it promises total fulfillment” (Tillich 1). Based upon this premise everything else becomes less of an importance in the act of fulfilling that demand/concern. Further analysis of this quotation shows that this belief requires the sacrifice of most other physical needs like relationships and family in order for man’s faith to be actualized. Tillich support for man’s justification in his pursuit of the “ultimate concern” is derived from the commandment “you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and all your soul, and with all your might” (Tillich 2). The second major quote I will be analyzing by Tillich is “faith is an act of the personality as a whole, it participates in the dynamics of personal life” (Tillich 5). The dema...
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...comes stronger when their beliefs are fulfilled. Increasing faith is a key aspect of their spiritual growth. Every action taken by a person is based upon some belief and this is faith thus everything happens for a reason because the actions people take as a result of trying to demonstrate and perfect their faith is for a reason which is their “ultimate concern” and any resulting fulfillment of their faithful action is due to a reason whether perceived or real. Faith becomes the most important part and most valid part of religious belief as postulated by Tillich in chapter 1 of his book “Dynamics of faith”.
Luhrmann, Tanya. When God talks back: Understanding the American Evangelical Relationship with God. New York: First Vintage Books, 2012. Print.
Tillich, Paul. “Dynamics of faith”. HarperOne. Littleton, MA:Tapestry Press, 2009. Print.
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