Symbols

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How does Tillich define a symbol?
Something that 'participates' to which it points.
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How does his definition of a symbol differ to that of a sign?
Something that points to something else rather than participating to which it points
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How does Tillich describe God?
As: 'The ground of all being' /'being itself'/the 'ultimate concern'
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What does he suggest about his statement 'God is the ground of all being/being itself'
It is the only non-symbolic statement that can be made about God.
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What 4 things does Tillich believe about symbols?
1. Draws a response. 2. Evokes participation in the intended meaning. 3.Points to something beyond itself 4. May be understood on a number of levels
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How can we learn something about God when he is described.
If the words used are symbolic rather than literal
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Although Tillich believes that religious statements are symbolic, he also believes that they are...
cognitive (they are open to be true/false)
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Does Tillich believe that using symbols can have negative aspects?
Yes.
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What negative aspects does Tillich believe that using symbols bring?
No words (even symbolic ones) can accurately describe God.
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Tillich's quotation to support this:
words' meaning in reference to God are always: 'partially negated by that to which they point.'
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What does this quotation mean?
The fact that the subject matter is the 'ground of all being' (God), it will always make any words (symbolic or not) ineffective.
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Using symbolic language in religion... (in Tillich's words)
...'Creates symbols for a reality which cannot be reached in any other way.'
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Tillich understands religious language as being both...
evocatic (bringing strong emotions/feelings/images to mind) and poetic.
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What example does Tillich use to demonstrate how symbols are used to 'create a reality that cannot be reached in any other way?'
Our appreciation for the arts.
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(In Tillick's words) "A symbol...
...Unlocks something within our soul and expresses something about the ultimate.'
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'Symbolic language alone is able to express the ultimate because...
...it transcends the capacity of any finite reality to express it directly.'
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What does this quotation mean?
Only symbolic langauge is able to discuss God because we cannot use finite expressions to express an infinite being (i.e God)
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

How does his definition of a symbol differ to that of a sign?

Back

Something that points to something else rather than participating to which it points

Card 3

Front

How does Tillich describe God?

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

What does he suggest about his statement 'God is the ground of all being/being itself'

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

What 4 things does Tillich believe about symbols?

Back

Preview of the front of card 5
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