Hannah Tillich

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Paul Johannes Tillich (August 20, 1886–October 22, 1965) was born in Starzeddel, Germany. Following his graduation in 1904 from the Friedrich Wilhelm Gymnasium, an advanced high school for preliminary university education, he studied at universities in Berlin, Tubingen, and Halle. He was awarded a Ph.D from the University of Breslau in 1911, and in 1912, after receiving a degree of theology from the University of Halle, he was ordained a pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church. In 1914 he married Margarethe Wever, and joined the German army as a military chaplain.

Tillich's marriage to Wever ended in divorce in 1919, and in 1924 he married Hannah Werner. From 1919-1924, Tillich was a Privatdozent at the University of Berlin, and from 1924-1925 he was Associate Professor of Theology at the University of Marburg. From 1925-1929 he was Professor of Philosophy and Religious Studies at the Dresden Institute of Technology, and from 1929-1933, Professor of Philosophy at the University of Frankfurt. His outspoken opposition to the Nazi movement led to his dismissal from Frankfurt in 1933. In November of that year he arrived in New York. He served as Visiting Professor of Philosophy of Religion and Systematic Theology at Union Theological Seminary until 1937. He also served at Union as Associate Professor of Philosophical Theology (1937-40) and Professor (1937-1955). From 1955-1962, he was University Professor at Harvard University, and during his last three years, he was the Nuveen Professor of Theology in the Divinity School at the University of Chicago.

Tillich spent his academic career exploring Christian faith in relation to human experience. He is regarded as one of the most influential theologians of the twentieth century. His works include The Courage to Be (1952) and Dynamics of Faith (1957), which introduced issues of theology and modern culture to a general readership. Theologically, he is best known for his major three-volume work Systematic Theology (1951–1963), in which he developed his "method of correlation": an approach of exploring the symbols of Christian revelation as answers to the problems of human existence raised by contemporary existential philosophical analysis.

From the guide to the Paul Tillich. Papers, 1886-1994, (Andover-Harvard Theological Library)

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