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The Courage to Be
by Paul Tillich
ISBN 0300002416 / 9780300002416 / 0-300-00241-6
Publisher Yale Univ Pr
List price $13.95
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This book has more good ideas in it than clam chowder has calories. It's packed into every page, every line. Tillich is concerned with how the question of finding the courage to face up to existential doubts about death, meaninglessness, and guilt are tied to the ontological questions of being versus nonbeing. How can we affirm our existence when it seems so temporary, meaningless and full of moral failure? Tillich explores with incredible freshness and insight age old strategies, from Spinoza to the Stoics (his discussion of the Stoics alone is worth the price of the book). He gives a brilliant account of how people find the courage to overcome existential anxiety through particpation in groups and through individual strategies like existentialism. Finally, he explores the theological implications in a way that may challenge anyone who has stereotyped Tillich as a mouthpiece for Christianity. The book is excellently written, never dumbed down but always graspable. He also litters the book with brilliant asides on subjects like the history of existential angst and its relations to social relations and a great exploration of existential art. Don't pass this one up. [via]