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…by Bishop Robert Barron, who manages to work the thought of Paul Tillich in, which is not something you run into in most film reviews:
All of this actually put me in mind of Paul Tillich, one of the most significant Christian theologians of the last century. In his massive Systematic Theology, Tillich presented what he called the three ontological polarities, that is to say, tensions or contraries that characterize living things at every level. A good part of the drama and difficulty of human life follows upon our consciousness of living in the midst of these polarities. The first is dynamics and form. Plants, animals, and human beings could not live unless they were marked by novelty, movement, change, and the constant adaptation to the environment in which they find themselves. At the same time, all such organisms possess a fundamental structure that preserves their identity and stability across time. Without a reliable cellular, molecular, muscular, and nervous system, no animal or plant could subsist; instead it would be, in short order, absorbed by its surroundings. What we call “life” is in fact a subtle and carefully calibrated balancing act between dynamics and form; too much of one or the other would spell disaster.
Second - Polarities - One - Path - Freedom
The second of the ontological polarities is freedom and destiny. The former is liberty to choose, to move, to be different, to find one’s own path. Without freedom, no living thing could possibly thrive. Tillich remarks that the uniqueness of each tree, plant, animal, and person is, to a large extent, a function of this capacity. However, freedom is in tension with destiny, by which Tillich means the substrate upon which freedom stands, the givens with which freedom works. Liberty never operates in a vacuum, nor is it capable of positing itself; rather, it works with the...
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