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The Religious Meaning of Culture: Paul Tillich and Beyond

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Abstract

Throughout his theological career Paul Tillich (1886–1965) was fundamentally concerned with the question of the religious meaning of culture. The answers that he gave – initially in the revolutionary ferment of 1920s–1930s Germany and then again in the brave new world of post-World War II America – were profound and far-reaching in their importance for twentieth-century theology. This article will explore the development of Tillich's interpretations of the religious meaning of culture and apply his analyses to our contemporary religious and cultural situation by suggesting a trinitarian enlargement of Tillich's concept of theonomous metaphysics towards a multidimensional theology of culture.

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