Despite the sometimes overwhelmingly abstract nature of Tillich's methodology, it had much stronger relation to the reality than many could imagine. Even brief analysis of the political and cultural contexts that surrounded Tillich during his life and career reveals how strongly those contexts affected his theological views.
Born on August 20, 1886 in a little village called Starzeddel, Germany, Paul was introduced to religion early in life. His father was a Lutheran minister and his mother was brought up as a more liberal Calvinist. Paul received his Ph.D. from Breslau in 1911 and was ordained as a Lutheran minister, like his father, in 1912 (Pauck & Pauck, 1976). The period from Tillich's birth to the First World War was the time when his theological system only started to develop. Born in the last quarter of the 19th century, Tillich spent his young years surrounded by the spirit and traditions of Romanticism, the dominant movement in the European culture of that period. The Romantic protest against the rationalization of nature, coupled with the stress on the emotional aspects of existence and, of course, confronting the sublimity of nature could not but affect the way Tillich perceived his relation to the surrounding world (Henderson, 1986).
Tillich's perception of the world was put to the severe test during the years of Wor ...