Religious Studies



Jacob Boehme and Paul Tillich: a reassessment of the mystical philosopher and systematic theologian


DANIEL J. PETERSON a1
a1 Department of Religion, Pacific Lutheran University, Tacoma, WA 98447-0003

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Abstract

Jacob Boehme, the seventeenth-century mystical philosopher, had a significant influence upon Paul Tillich. In this article I offer a reassessment of the relationship between these two thinkers by arguing for an orthodox interpretation of Boehme's doctrine of God that links him more closely with Tillich than recent commentators have suggested. Specifically, I show how Boehme and Tillich stand united against the heterodox Hegel in their presentation of a dynamic process of divinity's self-differentiation and reconciliation that completes itself apart from history rather than within history. This move, I conclude, keeps Boehme and Tillich squarely within the realm of Christian orthodoxy.

(Published Online April 7 2006)