Tillich’s reason in existence
The following is my graphical rendering of Paul Tillich’s analysis of actual reason within existence. We begin with a linear look at the pieces which he sees as being in both essential union, and existential conflict. Each of the three continua represent a dimension of reason. This analysis of what he calls “ontological reason” hearkens back to classical conceptions of reason. It may surprise some to see an emotional dimension within Tillich’s analysis; we are used to opposing emotion to reason, but this only serves to locate ourselves within a historic period where the formal dimension is given high priority. Is it any wonder we see popular “irrational” (emotional) reactionary movements?
The “isms” in parentheses indicate the defensive/reactionary modes each of these continua are capable of. It is the practice of isolating oneself within one pole or the other that leads to the actual destruction of reason. He argues that the struggles between these poles lead to the quest for their union, the quest for revelation.
It can be a fun exercise to locate the emphasis of your particular community, be it professional, religious or otherwise.
The following graphic is simply another way of looking at the same thing with an emphasis on making clear the ultimate unity of reason and the various relations that obtain in existence.