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“To live in constant fear of death is living death”: Ed Curtin on “the courage not to be”

Feb 13, 2022 

The Fear Not to Be

Edward Curtin

This year marks the seventieth anniversary of the theologian Paul Tillich’s famous book, The Courage to Be. Widely read in the days when an educated public read books, it is long forgotten.

In it, Tillich surveys the history of anxiety and fear and their relation to courage, religious faith, and the meaning of life.

His closing sentence – “The courage to be is rooted in the God who appears when God has disappeared in the anxiety of doubt” – became acclaimed as an astute description of the existential need to find a foundation for faith and courage when their foundations were shaking.

His writing profoundly influenced many, even when they didn’t wholly agree with him.


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