Tillich and the abyss: Foundations, feminism, and theology of praxis

Sigridur Gudmarsdottir*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review


This book examines Paul Tillich’s theological concept of the abyss by locating it within the context of current postmodern antifoundalist discussions and debates surrounding feminism, gender, and language. Sigridur Gudmarsdottir develops these tropes into a constructive theology, arguing that Tillich’s idea of the abyss can serve as a necessary means of deconstructing the binaries between the theoretical and the practical in producing nihilistic relativism and the safe foundations of knowledge (divine as well as human). How does one search for a map and method through an abyss? In his writings, Tillich expressed the ambiguity and groundlessness of being, the depth structure of the human condition, and the reality of God as an abyss. The more we gaze into this abyss, the more we encounter the faults in our various foundations. This book outlines how Tillich’s concept of the abyss creates greater opportunities for complexity and liminality and opens up a space where life and death, destruction and construction, fecundity and horror, womb and tomb, can coincide.

Original languageEnglish
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages193
ISBN (Electronic)9783319336541
ISBN (Print)9783319336534
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2016.

Other keywords

  • feminism
  • theology
  • abyss
  • Tillich


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