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Religious Language…read more

Slide 2

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Symbols: Paul Tillich
· Paul Tillich argued that religious language is symbolic in nature
rather than literal and therefore can not be subject to the
verification principle.
There is a
between signs
and symbols...…read more

Slide 3

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Signs do not participate in
what they symbolise.
Signs only point to a statement
and have no additional effect.
For example a sign may point
the way to Poole town centre,
but that's all it does. It doesn't
fill you with peace, hope,
excitement etc.…read more

Slide 4

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1. point to something beyond
2. participate in that to which
they point.
3. open up levels of reality that
otherwise are closed to us.
4. open up the levels and
dimensions of the soul that
correspond to those levels of
They got the power!…read more

Slide 5

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Paul Tillich
You see?…read more

Slide 6

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Paul Tillich
· His basic argument was that all religious language is symbolic and can not
be taken as literal assertions about the world. Religious words, actions,
objects and events may all be interpreted symbolically. Tillich argues that
symbols themselves are independent of empirical (sensual) criticism: "You
cannot kill a symbol by criticism in terms of scientific and historical
research". In this sense belief in God can only be expressed through use of
symbolic language.
· Tillich wrote that a symbol `opens up levels of reality which otherwise are
closed to us' and at the same time `unlocks dimensions and elements of
our souls'.
Symbols offer a new
perspective on life!…read more

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