The Courage to Be

The Courage to Be

Paul Tillich is widely regarded as one of the most influential theologians of the twentieth century, if not the most influential.

Originally published more than fifty years ago, his The Courage to Be (1952) has become a classic, designated one of the Books of the Century by the New York Public Library. It describes the dilemma of modern man, especially the problem of anxiety.

The 2014 edition includes a new introduction by Harvey Cox, author of The Secular City.  Cox situates the book within the theological conversation into which it first appeared and conveys its continued relevance in the current century.

Comments on the book:

“The Courage to Be changed my life. It also profoundly impacted the lives of many others from my generation.”--Robert N. Bellah, University of California, Berkeley

“The brilliance, the wealth of illustration, and the aptness of personal application . . . make the reading of these chapters an exciting experience.”―W. Norman Pittenger, New York Times Book Review

“A lucid and arresting book.”―Frances Witherspoon, New York Herald Tribune

“Clear, uncluttered thinking and lucid writing mark Mr. Tillich’s study as a distinguished and readable one.”―American Scholar

Excerpts from The Courage to Be:

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Notes of an Urban Hermit (627 words)

Notes of an Urban Hermit (627 words)

A Brain Pickings essay about Pema Chodron prompted me to shift my self-image. Some elements in Maria Popova’s post, “When Things Fall Apart,” that hit me hard include:

  • Use fear to dismantle old ways of thinking.

  • Don’t hold on to arrogant ideas.

  • Face unsettlement with openness to possibility.

  • Get the knack of catching yourself.

  • We can be with what’s happening and not dissociate.

  • Awakeness is found in pleasure and pain.

  • Let concepts and ideals fall apart.

  • Loneliness, fear, and feeling misunderstood and rejected is the heartbeat of all things.

  • When we feel ready to give up, healing can be found in the tenderness of pain itself.

  • Only through self-compassion to our own darkness can we offer light to others.

Those affirmations led me to deepen my commitment to drop my 50-year-old identity as a community organizer.,,,

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