God as the Ground of Being: Tillich and Buddhism in Dialogue
The impact of Paul Tillich's theology on a Christian - Buddhist dialogue
The traditional Christian view of God as a supernatural deity creating the universe and man from nothing often has a difficult time finding common ground for a discussion on the nature of human suffering and the path to human salvation with the non-theistic tradition of Buddhism. In his attempt to make Christianity work for the modern mind that is ruled not by religion but by scientific thought, Paul Tillich restates Christian theology in a way that allows for a more fruitful dialogue with Buddhism. For Tillich, God is not the potter, the watchmaker, nor the chess master. God is not a being at all, but rather God is being itself, what he calls "the ground of being." By moving away from the supernatural and toward the existential, Tillich's theology opens the door to the possibility that Christian practice can be enlightened from its encounter with Buddhism.