The North American Paul Tillich Society

The North American Paul Tillich Society is dedicated to the study of the thought of Paul Tillich (1886-1965) and the application of his works to other areas of human knowledge.

Highlights of the Winter 2018 Bulletin April 28, 2018

  • • A Note from the Editor
  • • Renewal of the NAPTS RSO Status
  • • Call for Papers NAPTS 2018 November 16–17, 2018, Denver, Colorado
  • • “State Philosophy, Micro-Fascism, and New Materiality; Paul Tillich’s contribution to Recent Political Philosophy” by Jari Ristiniemi
  • • “‘A Tender Care That Nothing Be Lost’: Whitehead, Tillich, and the Eternal Life of the Ecosystem” by Janna Gonwa
  • • “The Tillichian Dispensability of the World to God” by Kirk R. MacGregor
  • • “Bernard Loomer as a Bridge Between Whitehead and Tillich: Towards a Ground-of-Being Process Theology” by Demian Wheeler

2017 Annual Meeting and Banquet info November 13, 2017

Times, locations, subjects and speakers for the Annual Meeting of the North American Paul Tillich Society and associated AAR unit are posted at Meetings and 2017 Meeting. You may also consult this program at the AAR website.

Highlights of the Fall 2017 Bulletin November 6, 2017

  • • Program of the North American Paul Tillich Society, including the American Academy of Religion Sections of Paul Tillich: Religion, Theology, and Culture
  • • Information about the Annual Banquet of NAPTS and Reservations
  • • Report on the First International Paul Tillich Symposium in Korea, 18 and 19 October 2017
  • • “‘Vita Passiva’: A Life of Faith in Light of the Reformation on the Occasion of the 500th Commemoration of the Reformation, Deut. 6:4–5; John 1:9–13; Mark 9:24” by Young-Ho Chun
  • • “Martin Luther’s Concept of the Church,” Notes by Wilhelm and Marion Pauck

Highlights of the Summer 2017 Bulletin August 11, 2017

  • • Words from the Editor
  • • New Publications
  • • The German and French Societies’ Meeting at Jena in September
  • • In Memoriam: A. Durwood Foster
  • • “Political Theology as Healing: A Response to Ted Peters” by Adam Pryor
  • • “The God Above The God of Theory of Mind: A Tillichian Approach to Autism and the Personal God” by Nathaniel Holmes, Jr.
  • • “Paul Tillich’s Theological Legacy: Critical Insights for Actualization” by Guido Oliana

NAPTS is now a group on LinkedIn July 23, 2017

Join the North American Paul Tillich Society group on LinkedIn! Start or participate in a conversation. Post information about jobs. Connect with others who are interested in Tillich.

Click here to join or access the North American Paul Tillich Society group on LinkedIn.

A. Durwood Foster June 2, 2017

Fred Parella writes,

I deeply regret to inform you of the passing of one of the distinguished members of the NAPTS and one of the most productive Tillich scholars: A. Durwood Foster died on May 20, 2017 in Ashland, Oregon.

There will be a memorial service for Durwood on Saturday, June 24, from 2 to 3 in the afternoon in the Chapel of the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, California. A reception in his honor will take place immediately after the memorial.

I attach the announcement of Durwood Foster's passing from the Dean of the Pacific School of Religion.
Durwood Foster PSR

May he rest in peace.

Fred Parrella

Highlights of the Spring 2017 Bulletin April 30, 2017

  • • Requiescat in Pace: John J. Carey and John Page
  • • New Publications about Tillich or by Tillich Scholars
  • • “Applying Tillich’s Creative and Transformative Justice to the Problems of Middle Eastern Violence” by Kirk R. Macgregor
  • • “Formulating Questions, Facilitating Change: Tillich’s Method of Correlation” by Sharon Burch
  • • “Michael and Paulus: A Dynamic Uncoordinated Duo” by A. Durwood Foster

A Request for Papers for the NAPTS Bulletin March 22, 2017

From Fred Parella, Editor of the quarterly NAPTS Bulletin,


If you have presented a paper at the 2016 meeting of the North American Paul Tillich Society, please send it to me. I would like to publish all the papers presented last year, as well as any papers presented in previous years that have not been published. The Bulletin of the North American Paul Tillich Society thrives only when it has contributors who have presented papers. This makes Tillich scholarship available on a much wider basis. Of course, if you have delivered a paper relevant to Tillich's sought elsewhere and/or at a different time, this will also provide food for Tillich scholarship.

Thank you for your interest and your support.

Secretary-Treasurer, NAPTS

John J. Carey March 7, 2017

Fred Parella writes, “I am sorry to inform you that John J. Carey peacefully passed into eternal life Thursday, March 2, in North Carolina, surrounded by his daughters and family. If anyone has a reminiscence about John for the next bulletin, please send it on to me. In the Spring issue, I will feature John's life and service to Tillich scholarship and the Presbyterian Church. May he rest in peace.”

Highlights of the Winter 2017 Bulletin March 7, 2017

  • • Officers Elected at the 2016 Annual Meeting of the North American Paul Tillich Society in San Antonio
  • • NAPTS Call for Papers for the 2017 Annual Meeting
  • • The Third Annual Bath Spa University Colloquium for Global Philosophy and Religion
  • • “In the Shadow of Paul Tillich” by Frederick J. Parrella. The Paul Tillich Banquet Address, Friday, November 18, 2016, San Antonio, Texas
  • Paul Tillich and Pentecostal Theology: Spiritual Presence and Spiritual Power, edited by Nimi Wariboko and Amos Yong (Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press, 2015). Reviewed by Thomas Bandy
  • • “Appreciating the Friction of Tillich’s Norms” by A. Durwood Foster
  • • “Tillich and Heidegger on the Actuality of God” by Ryan Coyne
  • • “Tillich and Heidegger on Nonbeing” by Ryan Coyne
  • • “Paul Tillich: Climate Prophecy versus Profit” by Paul H. Carr

DIALOG German Paul Tillich Society December 13, 2016

Christian Danz has provided a copy of the DIALOG from the German Paul Tillich Society.

Addendum to the Fall 2016 Bulletin November 7, 2016

The original version of the Fall 2016 Bulletin inadvertantly omitted the session on Monday morning, November 21, of the “Tillich: Issues in Theology, Religion, and Culture” group. The information for this session is included below.

An amended PDF version of the Bulletin can be found here.

For more information about the upcoming Annual Meetings of the NAPTS and AAR, click 2016 Meetings

Tillich: Issues in Theology, Religion, and Culture Group
Theme: Paul Tillich’s Philosophical Theology on the Resurgence of Religious Extremism
Eric Weed, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, Presiding

Paul Tillich’s philosophical theology grappled with the existential norms and extremes of the human condition, understanding how we can become fragmented both as individuals and as societies when we are pulled apart by the poles of our relatedness. How might Tillich’s corpus provide entryways to interrogate the dimensions of violent religious extremism, especially with regard to the origins, recruitment, construction of new religious narratives, establishment of community, and apocalyptic vision that has been demonstrated by global events of the past decade?

  • Monday, 9:00 AM–11:30 AM
    Room: Convention Center-216 (2nd level - West)

  • Daniel Miller, Landmark College
    Heteronomy, Theonomy, and Finitude: Active Nihilism and Religious Radicalism
  • Kirk MacGregor, McPherson College
    Applying Tillich’s Creative and Transformative Justice to the Problems of Middle Eastern Violence
  • Mary Ann Stenger, University of Louisville
    The Promise and Challenge of Tillich's Idea of Transforming Justice
  • Stephen Butler Murray, Ecumenical Theological Seminary
    A Tillichian Approach to Religious Extremism

  • Business Meeting:
    Devan Stahl, Michigan State University
    Stephen G. Ray, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary

Highlights of the Fall 2016 Bulletin October 28, 2016

  • • Annual Meeting of the North American Paul Tillich Society in San Antonio: Program and Banquet Information
  • • The American Academy of Religion Group—Tillich: Issues in Theology, Religion, and Culture
  • • Call for Papers: International Congress of APTEF, NAPTS, and the DPTG
  • • “Remembering Guyton B. Hammond (1930–2016)” by Mary Ann Stenger
  • • “Tillich and the ‘Personal’ God” by A. Durwood Foster
  • • “Constructing a Political Theology on Tillich’s Theology of Culture” by Ted Peters
  • • “Luther and the Reformation in Tillich’s Understanding” by Derek R. Nelson
  • • “Faithful Expectation: Hommage à Paul Tillich” by Fred Dallmayr

Highlights of the Summer 2016 Bulletin August 18, 2016

  • • Annual Dues Now DUE with the Summer Issue
    Download the 2016 Dues Notice
  • • Call for Proposals for the 2017 Tillich Jahrbuch
  • • Call for Papers: International Congress of APTEF, NAPTS, and the DPTG
  • • “Memorial Address: A Tribute to Paulus Johannes Tillich” by Stephen Butler Murray
  • • “Embodying Ultimate Concern” by David Nikkel
  • • “Cyborg Bodies as the Subject of Ultimate Concern” by Adam Pryor
  • • “Clashes of Justice in Finding Life: Justice in General and the Expressive Creative Justice in Modern Cinema” by Jari Ristiniemi
  • • “Grounds of Being Becoming: The Possibility of a Tillichian-Inspired Process Theology as Displayed by Underground Rap” by Jon Ivan Gill
  • • “Tracing a Lutheran Trajectory: Tillich as ‘the Twentieth-Century Martensen’” by Curtis L. Thompson

Tillich Jahrbuch - July 31 deadline for proposals June 29, 2016

In the first volume of his Systematic Theology, Tillich describes his method of correlation as “a way of uniting message and situation.” He expresses a hope that both theologians and nontheological thinkers after him will find that this method helped them “understand the Christian message as the answer to the questions implied in their own and in every human situation.” (p. 8) Scholarly focus on this method in the next Tillich Jahrbuch can include 1) discussion of to what extent earlier Tillich writings incorporated this method 2) to what extent he truly follows it in his own writings, 3) assessing the influence and incorporation of this method by contemporary thinkers, and 4) evaluating its effectiveness for addressing religious issues today.

Proposals (1–2 pages double-spaced) should be sent to Mary Ann Stenger at or by July 31, 2016.

Highlights of the Spring 2016 Bulletin May 30, 2016

  • • “Mutie Farris: February 17, 1926–March 26, 2016” by Ted Farris
  • • “Mutie Farris: February 17, 1926–March 26, 2016” by Rene Tillich
  • • “Remembering Dr. Erdmuthe (Mutie) Tillich Farris” by Mary Ann Stenger
  • • “On the Late Departed Mutie Tillich Farris” by Tom F. Driver
  • • “Memories of Erdmuthe Tillich Farris” by Marion Hausner Pauck
  • • “Erdmuthe Christiane Tillich Farris (1926–2016)” by Ronald Stone
  • • “My Memories of Mutie Tillich Farris” by Frederick J. Parrella
  • • “Reminiscences of Dr. Erdmuthe (Mutie) Tillich Farris” by David W. Odell-Scott and Robert Giannini
  • • In Memoriam: Guyton B. Hammond, Nov. 7, 1930–May 1, 2016
  • • New Publications on Tillich or by Tillich Scholars
  • • Call for proposals for the 2017 Tillich Jahrbuch
  • • New Harmony Celebration of Tillich’s 50th Anniversary of the Interment of Paul Johannes Tillich in Paul Tillich Park, New Harmony, Indiana
  • • “The Disappearance of God in Paul Tillich’s The Courage to Be” by Ted Farris
  • • “Tillich’s ‘Religion of the Concrete Spirit’ as a Base for Feminist Theology” by Mary Ann Stenger
  • • “On Giant Shoulders: Teaching through Paul Tillich’s Legacy of Being a Theologian Doing Social Work” by William G. Ressl
  • • “Paul Tillich’s Legacy in Psychology and Pastoral Psychotherapy” by Pamela Cooper-White
  • • “Response to the Panel on the Legacy of Tillich’s Theology” by Mary Ann Stenger
  • • “Desirous Transformations: Writing Theologically/ Theological Writing with Paul Tillich” by Hannah L. Hofheinz
  • • “God is in the Details: Reading Mies van der Rohe’s Modern Architecture through Tillich’s Theology of Culture and Technology” by Mike Grimshaw

Guy Hammond May 5, 2016

From Fred Parrella: “I am saddened to announce the passing of Guy Hammond a few days ago. Tillich studies and the Tillich Society has lost an outstanding scholar and a wonderful friend.”

Paul Tillich Park April 18, 2016

Please see the attached information about the rededication of Paul Tillich Park in New Harmony, Indiana, May 14 2016. Society members who live nearby may wish to attend.

Details here.

Mutie Tillich Farris, R.I.P. April 8, 2016

The Society is saddened to note the passing of Dr. Erdmuthe (Mutie) Tillich Farris on Saturday, March 27, 2016. The spring issue of the Bulletin will contain some reminiscences about her life.

The Society extends its deepest sympathies to Ted Farris, Mutie's son, and Rene Tillich, her brother.

Highlights of the Winter 2016 Bulletin March 4, 2016

  • • The 2015 Annual Meeting of the North American Paul Tillich Society in Atlanta and the New Officers of the Society
  • • Call for Papers for the November 2016 Meeting of the North American Paul Tillich Society, San Antonio, Texas
  • • Call for Papers for the 2016 Meeting of the American Academy of Religion Group “Tillich: Issues in Theology, Religion, and Culture,” San Antonio, Texas
  • • New Publications
  • • Letter to the Editor
  • • Letter from Etienne A. Higuet of the Brazilian Paul Tillich Society
  • • “Did Tillich Give Us a Theology of the Historical Jesus When He Made ‘Essentialization’ Explicit in Volume Three?” by Robison James
  • • “The Disappearance of God in Paul Tillich's The Courage to Be” by Ted Farris
  • • “God and Being in Tillich” by A. Durwood Foster
  • • “The Future of the Protestant Era” by Thomas G. Bandy
  • • “Tillich and Transhumansim” by Devan Stahl

Call for Papers February 19, 2016

For the 2016 North American Paul Tillich Society meeting we seek papers or panel proposals related to any of the following topics:

  • A Tale of Two Pauls
  • Tillich and Political Theology
  • Interreligious Dialogue

See details here

New Officers November 30, 2015

The NAPTS is pleased to announce the election of new officers for the 2015–2018 academic year:

  • Vice President: Devan Stahl, Michigan State University
  • Board of Directors, 2015–2018
    • Jawanza Clark, Manhattan College
    • Jari Ristiniemi, University of Gavle
    • Johanne Stebbe Teglbaerg Kristensen, University of Copenhagen

  • Continuing Officers:
  • President: Bryan Wagoner, Davis and Elkins College
  • President Elect: Adam Pryor, Bethany College, Lindsborg, Kansas
  • Secretary Treasurer: Frederick J. Parrella, Santa Clara University
  • Past President: Charles Fox, SUNY/Empire State College, Emeritus

  • Continuing Board of Directors:
  • Term Expiring 2016
    • Christopher Rodkey, Penn State University, York
    • Zachary Royal, Garrett Theological Seminary
    • M. Lon Weaver, Marshall College Preparatory, Duluth
  • Term Expiring 2017
    • Rachel Sophia Baard, Villanova University
    • Verna Ehret, Mercyhurst University
    • Lawrence Whitney, Boston University

The NAPTS sincerely thanks the following officers who have served the Society and whose terms are completed:

  • Past President: Duane Olson, McKendree University, Lebanon, Illinois
  • Board Members, 2012–2015:
    • Tom Bandy,
    • Adam Pryor, Bethany College, Lindsborg, Kansas
    • Devan Stahl, Michigan State University

Highlights of the Fall 2015 Bulletin

  • • NAPTS Annual Meeting, 20–21 November 2015: Program and Information
  • • AAR Group: “Tillich: Religion, Theology and Culture” Annual Meeting, 21–23 November 2015, including “Tillich’s Theological Legacies—Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Tillich’s Death”
  • • Architecture, Culture and Spirituality Symposium, New Harmony, Indiana
  • • Paul Tillich (1886–1965), “Philosophy, Mystery, Love”
    Symposium: Theology and Religious Studies, University of Glasgow
  • • “To Be On Your Own: Paul Tillich im Exil.”
    Internationaler Kongress der DPTG e.V. anlässlich des 50. Todestages von Paul Tillich
    (Theologische Fakultät de Humboldt Universatät zu Berlin, 22–25 Oktober 2015)
  • • Celebration of Tillich’s Interment, New Harmony, Indiana
  • • New Publications on Tillich
  • • Correlatio (Portuegese)
  • • Owen C. Thomas, R. I. P.
  • • Duane Olson, “Tillich and John Muir’s Wildness Mysticism”
  • • Frederick J. Parrella, “Does Life Imitate Art or Art Life? The Ambiguities in Paul Tillich’s Theology and in His Personal Life”