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Book Group: The Courage to Be


For my next book study, I'm going to do a close reading of Paul Tillich’s classic text, The Courage to Be. Like most first-rate thinkers, Tillich had a huge impact outside his own field. Being read by philosophers, analysts, scientists, and art theorists as well as by the general public. Indeed Tillich is perhaps the last great example of a Public Theologian; being someone whose searing insights were read and discussed widely among the public of his day.

The Courage to Be is one of Tillich’s most famous works, offering not only a perceptive insight into what it means to be human, but also into what it might mean to confront anxiety and affirm life in the face of death.

I feel that this is a perfect choice for advent, as this season is all about orienting ourselves towards - and becoming sensitive to - the incoming of that wholly other which threatens/promises to overturn our lives.

In a very real sense, Tillich is telling us that we all must learn the art of orienting ourselves towards, and becoming sensitive to, the incoming of that event that threatens/promises to undo us all. We must all prepare for the advent of death. A theological - though not narrowly theistic - work that Tillich frames as profoundly positive and life giving, rather than depressing and destructive.

This book study will take place over 7 weeks (one chapter per week) with a lecture from me each Saturday that people can engage with live, or watch later.

Dates for talks:

  • 2nd December: Short Introduction
  • 9th December: Chapter 1
  • 16th December: Chapter 2
  • 23rd December: Chapter 3
  • 30th December: Chapter 4
  • 6th January: Chapter 5
  • 13th January: Chapter 6

Each talk can be engaged with live at 11am (PST) or watched later. To participate, you must be signed up to the $20 level on Patreon (you can sign up temporarily to just do this course). This level also gives you access to all my other online courses, as well as weekly blog posts, month seminars and more. Click the button to find out more.