Finding a Home for my Intellectual Heroes

Tillich (2)

All arts create symbols for a level of reality which cannot be reached in any other way.

Paul Tillich, Dynamics of Faith

I am posting a photo of this collage I created in 1989, my second year of teaching.  Paul Tillich became one of my intellectual heroes and guiding forces as I developed a course in the Humanities at Lamar High School in Arlington, Texas.  In 1996, when I transferred to Martin High School across the city, I imported Tillich into my Philosophy classes.  He, along with Emerson, Thoreau and Nietzsche were my main pillars as I sought to challenge students to think independently, to find their own voice.

As I have wound my way through this final year of teaching, approaching retirement, I often looked up at Tillich’s portrait from my school desk, thankful for all that he brought to my interior life. Today I’ll say Good-Bye to this image, as a graduate from this school returns from the university to purchase him.  I’m always pleased when a student thinks enough of one of my heroes to buy my artwork created in tribute.  Earlier this school year, a current student in my art history class purchased my framed collage of Gerhard von Rad, another hero of mine that unfortunately I could not work into my curriculum with the depth that I did Tillich.

Thanks for reading.

I make art in order to explore.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself that I am not alone.

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5 Responses to “Finding a Home for my Intellectual Heroes”

  1. lindahalcombfineart Says:

    What a wonderful, powerful work of art and what a lovely experience.


  2. deeplygrateful Says:

    Von Rad was my primary commentary for my sermon series on Genesis. I would love to see your picture of him. That collage of Tillich is stunning!


    • davidtripp Says:

      Thank you. Your response inspired me to seek out a public library so I could post my Von Rad collage for you to see. It’s up on my latest blog. Thank you so much for responding! I would love to know more about your connection to Von Rad and your Genesis work. I was a pastor long ago over a period of eleven years, and my seminary Ph.D. minored in Old Testament. That was how I came to know of Von Rad’s contributions.

      Liked by 1 person

      • deeplygrateful Says:

        If you browse through my OT section of my blog you can see some of my notes on Genesis. With my sermons on Von Rad I never quoted him by name, but how he showed the theology of J, E, D, and P was fascinating. Even if modern scholarship has much dissent over dating for those four sources (or if there are more or less than four), all of them owe a lot to him. Von Rad’s reverence for God blew me away. Many times it was almost devotional for me to read his commentary. I never expected that since I grew up very conservative. But he worked with the text! That is how he showed the beauty of Genesis and the God of the Genesis text.


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