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The Eternal Now by Paul Tillich

Paul Tillich is generally considered one of the century's outstanding and influential thinkers. After teaching theology and philosophy at various German universities, he came to the United States in 1933. For many years he was Professor of Philosophical Theology at Union Theological Seminary in New York City, then University Professor at Harvard University. His books include Systematic Theology; The Courage to Be; Dynamics of Faith; Love, Power and Justice; Morality and Beyond; and Theology of Culture. Published by Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York, 1963. This material was prepared for Religion Online by Ted and Winnie Brock.


Most of these sermons were delivered in university and college chapels, as were those in the preceding volumes, The Shaking of the Foundations and The New Being. The present collection dates from 1955 to 1963. The title "The Eternal Now," taken from a sermon in the second section of the book, indicates that the presence of the Eternal in the midst of the temporal is a decisive emphasis in most of the sermons. I could have chosen "The Spiritual Presence" as the general title, but the many unfavorable connotations with which the word "Spiritual" is burdened excluded this possibility. Only for a particular sermon in which every sentence interpreted the meaning of "Spiritual," could the word be used.

It is my hope that this collection, like its predecessors, will show that the Christian message -- be it expressed in abstract theology or concrete preaching -- is relevant for our time if it uses the language of our time.

My thanks go to Mrs. Elisabeth Wood, who did the hard and necessary work of stylistic correction, as she has for the earlier volumes.

I dedicate this book to the memory of a man whose friendship has enriched and deepened the largest part of my adult life, and with whom I experienced moments in which the Spiritual Presence was manifest.

Paul Tillich

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