Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Paul Tillich on the Incarnation


Speaking about those who like to employ the term
"Incarnation" with some frequency, the late systematic
theologian Paul Tillich writes:

"They forget that this is not an especially Christian
characteristic, because incarnation is something which
happens in paganism all the time. The divine beings
always incarnate in different forms. That is very easy
in paganism. This is not the real distinction between
Christianity and other religions" (See pg. 363 of
_Philosophy of Religion: Selected Readings_ edited by
Michael Peterson, William Hasker, et. al.).

Proof of Tillich's observation can be found in Greek
and Roman mythology and in the sacred works of
Hinduism. The Incarnation may well be a product of
antecedent non-Christian thought.

Best regards,

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