THE COURAGE TO BE/Cynthia Coffel WAS RAISED IN THE kind of family in which just about everyone owned his or her own private copy of The Courage to Be. Do you remember The Courage to Be from your freshman year of college and that class in contemporary religious thought? The book explores ways in which people might find courage to affirm themselves, their existence, their "Being," in spite of their anxiety about death, their worry about the meaninglessness of their lives and their guilt about their moral failings. Originally delivered as a series of lectures at Yale University in 1952, the book, now considered a classic, was written by Paul Tillich, a refugee from Hitler's Germany, a professor at Union Seminary and at Harvard, and one of the greatest Protestant theologians of our time. My father bought his copy of The Courage to Be after he graduated from the Yale Divinity School, that brick building with the white spires where he studied as a young man and then, ten years later, taught; my sister bought her copy when she took high school philosophy at the Day Prospect Hill School for Girls, the tony place my parents sent her
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