Paul Tillich and Carl Rogers Conversation: Review with Commentary


Mouladoudis, Grigoris


The aim of this paper is the review of the content of the conversation—and not of the “dialogue” as I think—held in 1965 between Paul Tillich, the German existential theologian and philosopher, and Carl Rogers, the American psychologist and creator of the person-centered approach1. By using qualitative methodology and presenting their views, I would like to explore six topics all pursued by Rogers with Tillich: (1) the importance of self-affirmation, (2) the nature of man, (3) the basic alienation and estrangement of man, (4) Tillich’s theological language and terminology, (5) the acceptance in interpersonal relations, and (6) what constitutes the optimal person. Finally, I conclude with a commentary regarding their discussion, and I trace the similarities and differences between them.