Merton writes to thank Paul Tillich for the give of an inscribed copy of his book, Love, Power, and Justice. Merton gives his praise and thoughts on Tillich's writing. He was also reading Tillich's The Theology of Culture. He questions Tillich's notion of "Ultimate concern" as not fully encompassing the gospel notion of faith, but acknowledges that in light of Tillich's notion of "the power of being", it makes more sense. Also, Merton sees the notion of "ultimate concern" a valid remedy against a purely authoritarian concept of faith that he claims has been overly emphasized in post-Reformation Catholicism.
Paul Tillich was German-born Protestant theologian whose books on systematic theology were among the most influential in theological circles of the 20th Century. He was ordained a Lutheran minister and served as a chaplain in the German army during World War I. He was against this war and he came to realize that the Christian principles underpinning society were under attack. A fierce critic of the Nazi regime, he was one of the first non-Jewish professors to be expelled from a German university. He went to the United States and spent the rest of his career with professorships at Union Theological Seminary, Harvard University, and University of Chicago. (Source: The Hidden Ground of Love, pp. 575-576.)
Please click here for general restrictions concerning Merton's correspondence.
See also one published letter from Merton to Tillich in The Hidden Ground of Love, pp. 575-576; and see also the "Cali, Grace" file.
This Record Sub-Group is not divided into Series and is arranged chronologically.
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||TL[c] from Merton
||For some time I have owed you this letter acknowledging your kind gift of Love Power