The Body and Ultimate Concern
Reflections on an Embodied Theology of Paul Tillich
Series: Mercer Tillich
- ISBN: 9780881466829
- Published By: Mercer University Press
- Published: October 2018
Paul Tillich's account of "ultimate concern" has been crucial for his theological legacy. It is a concept that has been taken up and adapted by many theologians in an array of subfields. However, Tillich's own account of ultimate concern and many of the subsequent uses of it have focused on intelligibility: the ways it makes what is ultimate more accessible to us as rational beings. This volume charts a different course by placing Tillich's theology in conversation with theories of radical embodiment. The essays gathered here use discourses on the particularity and mutability of the body to offer a critical vantage point for constructive engagement with Tillich's central theological category: ultimate concern. Each essay explores how individuals can be special bearers of ultimate concern by engaging the body's role in faith, religion, and culture. As Mary Ann Stenger, professor emerita from University of Louisville, observes in her introduction: "From concerns about bodily integrity to considering bodies on the margins of society to discussions of technologically modified bodies, these articles offer us fresh theological insights and call us to ethical thinking and actions in relation to our bodies and the bodies around us. And certainly, today, the body and a person's right to bodily integrity have become central, critical issues in our culture." Contributors include: David H. Nikkel, Kayko Driedger Hesslein, Beth Ritter-Conn, Tyler Atkinson, Courtney Wilder, Adam Pryor, and Devan Stahl.