Author Topic: An Open Letter from Dr. Carl Braaten  (Read 11310 times)

Mike Bennett

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Re: An Open Letter from Dr. Carl Braaten
« Reply #60 on: November 01, 2010, 12:37:03 PM »
I have a high regard for Dr. Braatan as a professor of systematics. He taught me much about Tillich, Pannenberg and other systematic theologians and brought me to a greater understanding of that phase of theological enterprise.
I am less impressed with his recent missives on ecclesiology and the role of ELCA publications.


I find it kind of surprising that Braaten still considers himself a "Tillichian."  

He explicitly states that he is not and never was a "Tillichian."

Mike Bennett

Maybe he isn't now, but he was when we last drank beer together, which was in 1986.

Wednesday evening last week he explicitly said that he was not a "Tillichian" during the time he was Tillich's teaching assistant and learning from Tillich, nor at any other period of his life.  I wasn't drinking beer, so I think I heard correctly.

Mike Bennett

In that case, I'll defer to your sober experience.  The local hockey team was celebrating at the next two tables over and I only heard about every other word anyway.  In fact, maybe it was "Teilhard" that he said, not "Tillich."  Better?  Or worse?

So that this isn’t a memory contest, the following from his recent memoir, Because of Christ.  I can’t give page numbers because I have it on Kindle, so I’ll show chapters and Kindle Location numbers.

Preface (location 79):  “Paul Tillich was my most important mentor on my way to becoming a theologian.  Yet, I knew I could never become a Tilichian.”

Chapter Six (location 585):  “Although I had been a student of Tillich, I was in no way a Tillichian, and furthermore I never regarded Tillich’s theology as American.  It was thoroughly Germanic.”

Mike Bennett


I wonder how he distinguishes "American" from "Germanic".  Or, to put it a different way, what's "Germanic" about Tillich?

Any thoughts?

Any thoughts I have worth sharing would come straight from the book, which I've already quoted enough I think.  $12.24 at Amazon.com, or $9.99 on Kindle and you can have it in less than 60 seconds.  He does talk about what you've asked.

Mike Bennett
“What peace can there be, so long as the many whoredoms and sorceries of your mother Jezebel continue?”  2 Kings 9:22