In the business of theology it is hard not to be controversial - Jurgen Moltmann

Thursday, 16 August 2007

無可避免的田立克/蒂利希?:: the inevitable Tillich?

保羅田立克/蒂利希也許是 『文化神學』的創始人,而且早期跟普及文化研究的先驅 『法蘭克福學派』 關係密切,但他在近年方興未艾的普及文化神學討論中少被提及,自有其因。一來他對普及文化非常抗拒,二來他的文化觀是一套靜態的、且以歐美為中心的文化觀,跟當代文化多元的大環境格格不入。田立克/蒂利希在廿世紀神學自有其重要位置,可是假如要在歐美以外的處境建構 『當代普及文化神學』,他的貢獻十分有限而且邊緣。


          I am quite bemused to learn about the association between Paul Tillich and the Frankfurt School (the predecessor of contemporary cultural studies).  It was Tillich who supervised the doctoral work of Theodore Adorno, and it was also under him as dean that Max Horkheimer was appointed as chair of social philosophy at Frankfurt University.  After all of them were expelled by the Nazi and relocated to the USA, they maintained close association. (Source: Kelton Cobb, The Blackwell Guide to Theology and Popular Culture, 2005: 97-100.)

          Cobb considers Tillich 'the one who created the discipline "theology of culture" ' (98), and 'the single theologian within the Frankfurt circle' (99).  He therefore laments that Tillich is totally left outside of the picture in contemporary discussions in theology / religion and popular culture that have been emerging since the 1990s.  Cobb calls this a 'strange kind of amnesia and wasted resources' (99).

          Cobb is partly right here.  Paul Tillich might be credited as the first person to use the term 'theology of culture' when he delivered his first public lecture under the title 'On the Idea of a Theology of Culture' (lecture to Kant Society in Berlin, 1919; published as part of What is Religion? in 1969).  While his understanding and his theology of culture went through substantial change in subsequent decades, he had persisted to work on correlating culture and theology — hence his famous 'method of correlation' in doing theology.  In a nutshell, we have not venerated the ancestor.

          Over the past few decades, when people talk about theology of culture, they tend to refer to H. Richard Niebuhr's well known framework of 'Christ and Culture' (lecture in Austin Seminary, Texas, 1949; published 1951), whether positively or negatively, whether embrace or critique or supplement or outright discard.  Some might even imagine that it is the framework.  In this sense the field has not done justice to Tillich.

          Nonetheless, Cobb is also only partly right.  Tillich is usually left outside of this emerging field because he has a well known 'aversion to popular culture', to use Cobb's own words (99).  Given the intrinsic incompatibility, Cobb's attempt to bend Tillich to address popular cultural concerns is less than convincing. 

          More importantly, Tillich's fundamental notion of culture is obsolete.  It is a static view of culture and is Euro-American-centred.  The cultural pluralism of the world is not at all in view.  His 'method of correlation' is a correlation with some imaginary unchanging thing out there called 'culture'.   Henceforth, the relevance of Tillich's theology of culture to the present discussions on theology of popular culture can only be limited and peripheral.  This is even more so in a non Euro-American context.

          Notwithstanding Tillich's important place in modern theology, a theology of (popular) culture for today should legitimately move beyond him.  On the contrary, an endeavour to use him as the key foundation to construct such a theology is itself a waste of resource.   


題外:On the Chinese names of Tillich:

很多年前,他一直是田立克;不知甚麼時候開始,他突然變了蒂利希。其實兩個翻譯都不及格。(或許還有其他的,我未聽過。我出名悖 [無知],請有識之士指教。)

田立克,令人以為是飲料,阿華田加好立克。這應該是其實不大懂德文的華語人的手筆,因為那個 『克』,大概是誤把德文的 「ch」 尾讀成 「k」 而來的吧。

蒂利希,更離奇,應該是粵語人手筆,因為那個 『希』,只在粵音 (hei) 裡面才能夠跟德文的 「ch」尾相乎,華語讀來完全莫名其妙。

要來個貫通華語粵語的翻譯,應該用 『睇你黑』 或者 『替你黑』。那個 『黑』,國粵語都能呼應原文的 「ch」。Paul Tillich 全名就叫: 『阿婆睇你黑』。




Benjamin Wu said...


1. ch前或後有s時:
a. sch:發英文 [ sh ] 的音,如Fisch(猜到中文意思了吧)、Porsche(音近「波爾謝」、「破鞋」,而非「保時捷」)、Scheiße(音近「篩塞」,即英文shit)。
b. chs:發 [ks],如wachsen(音近「瓦克森」,成長)、Lachs(音近「辣克斯」,鮭魚)。

2. ch:
a. 放在e或i後、或後接e,即ech、ich或che時,發 [ ç ],音近注音的「ㄏㄧ」或日文的「ひ」,只是沒有「ㄧ」的音,成為無聲子音。如ich(「一ㄏ(ㄧ)」,我)、Kir-che(「ㄎㄧ爾ㄏㄧㄜ」,教會)、Ge-schich-te(「格夕ㄏ(ㄧ)特」,歷史)。
b. 其它狀況發英文 [ h ] 的音,音近注音的「ㄏ」,只是沒有「ㄜ」的音,成為無聲子音。如Buch(「布赫」,書)、Nacht(「那赫特」,夜晚)。



Yam 飲者 said...