Paul Tillich som teoestetiker och avantgardist

  • Mattias Martinson


The article addresses some problems in relation to definitions of art which construe art as a basically religious phenomenon. Paul Tillich's theology of culture and art is the main subject as well as the target of my criticism. Special attention is given to his understanding of the visual arts. The critical question is how the particular voice of a specific work of art can be heard and made theologically productive in the context of Tillich's general theory of culture, which understands cultural expressions as the form of religion, and religion as the essence of culture. Tillich's systematic claims are heavily questioned as such, but also contextualized. i.e.. put in its modern and modernist aesthetic context, in order to show that some of the problems can be read as postmodern challenges. Lastly, a nominalist or at least a very vague understanding of art is suggested as the only reasonable way to respond theologically to art after Tillich.