The New Being

The New Being

The New Being

The New Being

Synopsis

These twenty-three meditations on key passages from the Bible were originally delivered as addresses at colleges and universities. They are short, powerful, and persuasive examinations of the effect of God's love on the life of the believer and the challenges of living the New Creation- "the infinite passion of every human being." Tillich scholar Mary Ann Stenger provides a new introduction for this edition.

Excerpt

“Love is stronger than death”—words I needed to hear in the days immediately following September 11, 2001. As I searched for insight during those days of almost continuous gory images on television and in the newspapers, I turned to Paul Tillich's sermons in The New Being, particularly to one entitled “Love Is Stronger than Death” (pp. 170–74). Its words resonated with my internal mix of horror and yet—somehow also—hope. As I read again its first two sentences, they reconfirmed my long-standing belief that Tillich speaks to us in our times as well as to earlier generations. He begins: “In our time, as in every age, we need to see something which is stronger than death. Death has become powerful in our time, in individual human beings, in families, in nations and in mankind as a whole” (p. 170). Tillich's words describe our situation and our need, especially when he later reminds us that we have hidden death from our children but can do so no longer. ' Yet he does not leave us mired in the overwhelming power of death but calls us to face the horrors of death with the affirmation of Love. Love is stronger than death because “it creates something new out of the destruction caused by death” (p. 174). The hope of something new is rooted for Tillich in the possibility and reality of our participation in the New Being. Not only in the days following 9/11 did we need to hear and internalize those words of hope, but we still do now.

Paul Tillich (1886–1965) is better known as a philosophical and systematic theologian than as a preacher. But from his days as an assistant preacher for the Protestant (Evangelical Lutheran) Church in Brandenburg, Germany, through his service as a field . . .

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