Paul Tillich’s Critique

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The Protestant theologian and cultural philosopher Paul Tillich had welcomed the revolution of 1918 and the establishment of the Weimar Republic. He was a cofounder of the “Kairos Circle” of groups of religious socialists in Berlin where he taught as an adjunct professor.

After stages of life in Marburg and Dresden, Tillich taught as a professor of philosophy and sociology at the university in Frankfurt am Main starting in 1929. During this time, he resolutely opposed National Socialism in word and deed. As dean of the School of Philosophy, he demanded the expulsion of rabble-rousing Nazi students from the university.

In 1932, he wrote Ten Theses emphatically warning Protestantism against the Nazi movement’s demonic forces capable of destroying nations and humankind. He subjected National Socialism to a searching critique in his work “Die sozialistische Entscheidung” (The Socialist Decision) published in 1933. The book was banned. Tillich was dismissed from the civil service in April of 1933 and consequently emigrated to the USA.

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  • © Ev. Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Kirchl. Zeitgeschichte München, KK 13.7350:1

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