The Courage to Be

The Courage to Be by Paul Tillich, 2/5

This dense and esoteric analysis of the ontological aspects of courage, specifically as it relates to existentialism didn’t really hit its stride until the last chapter.  The language barrier (Tillich’s native language was German) caused awkward sentence structure, rendering a difficult topic even more inaccessible.  Tillich made a few interesting points, cushioned in too much guesswork and psychobabble for my taste.  I especially disagreed with his viewpoint on modern art.  The introduction is noteworthy in that it is the worst I have ever encountered.  In it, its author, Peter Gomes, quoted the last sentence of Tillich’s book not once but twice!  To me, this is the pinnacle of inept disrespect.  The last sentence of a book is something you earn and fully understand through reading the entire work.  It is not meant to be excerpted in order to ennoble a pathetically written intro.  Besides this travesty, the introduction was also disgustingly slavish in its reverence for Tillich.  Gomes admits that he remembered nothing about the book but its title from reading it the first time, yet he is so inflated with self-importance at getting to write the intro that he makes a total bollocks of it.

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