Tillich: Symbol, Ecology, Paradox and the Creativity of Disorder

Institute of Theology and Ecology, Orthodox Academy of Crete
Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
Ecological Theology and Environmental Ethics Vol.2, 2012, pp. 27 - 35
Issue Date:
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For Paul Tillich, theology is always carried out, and meaning gained, within an existing social situation. Today this situation includes the crises of the whole eco-system. Tillich suggests that awareness of paradox, and facing conceptual disorder, provides a way through such crises. We sit before the contradictions and limitations which appear and allow a new openness to being to the divine to arise, generating a breakthrough which surprises and transcends without destroying what has gone before. The contradictions we need to face include: the ways our attempts at making order have produced disorders; the contrast between human and divine; the distinction between nature and spirit; the relation between unity and variety; and the clash between omnipotence and disorder. Within these paradoxical tensions a new sense of meaning can grow and social potential develop.
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