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Boigon, H. (1954). The Courage to be. By Paul Tillich Yale University Press, 1952 197 pp. $3.. Am. J. Psychoanal., 14(1):127-129.

(1954). American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 14(1):127-129

The Courage to be. By Paul Tillich Yale University Press, 1952 197 pp. $3.

Review by:
Helen Boigon, M.D.

The psychoanalytic process is scientific in that it searches for what is truer about that with which it is dealing—the motivations of the human being. Since it is not only an ever-more unbiased quest for fact, but also a means of therapy, it belongs not only to the province of science, but to that of art and of religion as well. Psychoanalysis is an art in that it works intrinsically in, with, and through feelings, their expression, content, meaning and relationships. It is a unique cooperation of three categories of feelings: those of the patient, those of the therapist, and those growing in the doctor-patient relationship. But the psychoanalytic process is essentially religious in nature because all human pursuits are founded in a religious or philosophic matrix. That is, they grow out of a framework of reference that supports them and is in its essence both personal and universal.

The Courage To Be is pertinent to our work in psychoanalysis because we must of necessity be interested in a religious question: What is the grounding of the human personality? If we work with human beings we have sooner or later to ask ourselves about the nature of this being and to concern ourselves with what is changing and what is eternal in the phenomena with which we work and of which we are a part. Dr. Tillich chooses as the concept around which to organize his thinking one in which “theological, sociological, and philosophical problems converge, the concept of courage.” Courage as a human act is an ethical concept.

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