The courage to be is the courage to accept oneself, in spite of being unacceptable.

— Paul Tillich

The most astonishing Paul Tillich quotes that will inspire your inner self

The first duty of love is to listen.


Language... has created the word "loneliness" to express the pain of being alone. And it has created the word "solitude" to express the glory of being alone.


In this respect fundamentalism has demonic traits.

It destroys the humble honesty of the search for truth, it splits the conscience of its thoughtful adherents, and it makes them fanatical because they are forced to suppress elements of truth of which they are dimly aware


We have to build a better man before we can build a better society.


Genuine forgiveness is participation, reunion overcoming the powers of estrangement. . . We cannot love unless we have accepted forgiveness, and the deeper our experience of forgiveness is, the greater is our love.


Faith is an act of a finite being who is grasped by, and turned to, the infinite.


We can speak without voice to the trees and the clouds and the waves of the sea.

Without words they respond through the rustling of leaves and the moving of clouds and the murmuring of the sea.


Every institution is inherently demonic.


The character of human life, like the character of the human condition, like the character of all life, is "ambiguity": the inseparable mixture of good and evil, the true and false, the creative and destructive forces-both individual and social.


He who risks and fails can be forgiven.

He who never risks and never fails is a failure in his whole being.


All things and all people, so to speak, call on us with small or loud voices.

They want us to listen. They want us to understand their intrinsic claims, their justice of being. But we can give it to them only through the love that listens.


Doubt is not the opposite of faith; it is one element of faith.


About Paul Tillich

Quotes 104 sayings
Nationality German
Profession Theologian
Birthday October 16

I hope for the day when everyone can speak again of God without embarrassment.


The most intimate motions within the depths of our souls are not completely our own. For they belong also to our friends, to humankind, to the universe, and the Ground of all being, the aim of our life.


I loved thee beautiful and kind, And plighted an eternal vow;

So altered are thy face and mind, t'were perjury to love thee now!


The basic anxiety, the anxiety of a finite being about the threat of non-being, cannot be eliminated. It belongs to existence itself.


Sometimes I think it is my mission to bring faith to the faithless, and doubt to the faithful.


Faith consists in being vitally concerned with that ultimate reality to which I give the symbolical name of God. Whoever reflects earnestly on the meaning of life is on the verge of an act of faith.


The abundance of a grateful heart gives honor to God even if it does not turn to Him in words. An unbeliever who is filled with thanks for his very being has ceased to be an unbeliever.


Doubt is the necessary tool of knowledge.


Enthusiasm for the universe, in knowing as well as in creating, also answers the question of doubt and meaninglessness. Doubt is the necessary tool of knowledge. And meaninglessness is no threat so long as enthusiasm for the universe and for man as its center is alive.


Decision is a risk rooted in the courage of being free.


Being human means asking the questions of one's own being and living under the impact of the answers given to this question. And, conversely, being human means receiving answers to the questions of one's own being and asking questions under the impact of the answers.


The passion for truth is silenced by answers which have the weight of undisputed authority.


The awareness of the ambiguity of one's highest achievements, as well as one's deepest failures is a definite symptom of maturity.


Loneliness can be conquered only by those who can bear solitude.


The separation of faith and love is always a consequence of a deterioration of religion.


Astonishment is the root of philosophy.


The anxiety of fate is conquered by the self-affirmation of the individual as an infinitely significant microcosmic representation of the universe .


Cruelty towards others is always also cruelty towards ourselves.


Morality [or ethics] is not a subject; it is a life put to the test in dozens of moments.


Individualism is the self-affirmation of the individual self as individual self without regard to its participation in its world. As such it is the opposite of collectivism, the self affirmation of the self as part of a larger whole without regard to its character as an individual self.


I have given no definition of love. This is impossible, because there is no higher principle by which it could be defined. It is life itself in its actual unity. The forms and structures in which love embodies itself are the forms and structures in which love overcomes its self-destructive forces.


Anxiety may consist of the loss of psychological or spiritual meaning which is identified with one's existence as a self, i.e., the threat of meaninglessness.


For love ... is the blood of life, the power of reunion in the separated.


Nothing truly real is forgotten eternally, because everything real comes from eternity and goes to eternity.


Theology moves back and forth between two poles, the eternal truth of its foundations and the temporal situation in which the eternal truth must be received.


Existential anxiety of doubt drives the person toward the creation of certitude of systems of meaning, which are supported by tradition and authority. Neurotic anxiety builds a narrow castle of certitude which can be defended with the utmost certainty.


...history has shown that the most terrible crimes against love have been committed in the name of fanatically defended doctrines.


Boredom is rage spread thin.


Grace strikes us when we are in great pain and restlessness.


Neurosis is the way of avoiding non-being by avoiding being.


The existential attitude is one of involvement in contrast to a merely theoretical or detached attitude. "Existential" in this sense can be defined as participating in a situation, especially a cognitive situation, with the whole of one's existence.


Only the philosophical question is perennial, not the answers.


Man is not what he believes himself to be in his conscious decisions.


Cynically speaking, one could say that it is true to life to be cynical about it.


But freedom is the possibility of a total and centered act of the personality, an act in which all the drives and influences which constitute the destiny of man are brought into the centered unity of a decision.


Faith as the state of being ultimately concerned implies love, namely, the desire and urge toward the reunion of the seperated.


In Calvinism and sectarianism man became more and more transformed into an abstract moral subject, as in Descartes he was considered an epistemological subject.