Conference « Paul Tillich et Paul Ricœur in dialogue ».

The conference « Paul Tillich and Paul Ricœur in dialogue » which will take place in Paris on June 24-26 2019 at Institut protestant de théologie, 83 Bd Arago, Paris.


The conference is jointly organized by association Paul Tillich d’expression française (APTEF) and Fonds Ricœur.


Scientific committee 


Marc Boss (IPT Paris)
Marc Dumas (Université de Sherbrooke)
Marcela Lobo (Université Catholique de Louvain)
Benoit Mathot (Universidad Católica del Maule)




Born more than a quarter of a century apart, Paul Tillich and Paul Ricœur had little opportunity to engage in personal conversations on the various subject matters they held dear. In the early 1960s, however, their paths have crossed in Chicago. On two occasions at least, the old German-American professor and his future French successor at the John S. Nuveen Chair of the University of Chicago met in the “windy city”. A trace of these encounters remains in the copy of the third volume of the Systematic Theology that Ricœur kept in his personal library, namely a dedication signed by Tillich on November 3, 1964 (“To Paul Ricœur, in friendship!”). As André Gounelle points out, references to Ricœur are certainly rare on Tillich’s side, but they do exist: “In the unpublished lectures of his last years, especially on the philosophy of religion, Tillich sometimes mentions Ricœur and it is always in positive terms”. On Ricœur’s side, the afterword he planned to write for the French translation of the Systematic Theology could unfortunately not be completed before his death. His work comprises references to Tillich in significant numbers but in the form of short quotes scattered over a wide range of texts. A quick survey based on the English texts inventoried on Digital Ricœur displays no less than forty-seven quotes from Tillich spread over eleven articles and twelve books authored by Ricœur .

The conference “Paul Tillich and Paul Ricœur in dialogue” pursues a twofold aim. On a historical level, the purpose is to scrutinize the published work as well as the archives of the two authors in search for new information about the crossroads of their journeys and new insights on what they thought they knew about each other. On a systematic level, the purpose is to explore the resources a free confrontation of their respective thoughts can provide. In the systematic section, preference will be given to papers proposing a comparative study of the two authors on a chosen topic. Papers on a chosen topic in only one of the two authors are also possible, but they will have to form a pair with a paper dealing with the same topic in the second author. To facilitate the creation of such pairs, a collaborative digital workspace will be available.
Particular though not exclusive attention will be paid to the following themes : “Phenomenology and Philosophy of Existence”, “Philosophy of History”, “Theories of the Symbol”, “Theogonies and theodicies”, “Debates with the Humanities and Social Sciences”,  “Arts and Literature”, “Philosophy and Theology”, “Perspectives on the History of Philosophy and Theology”, “Love, Justice and Power”, “Social Gospel and Religious Socialism”, “Intercultural and Interreligious Dialogues”, “Autonomy and Theonomy”, “Questions of Exegesis and Hermeneutics”.




  • Olivier Abel (Institut protestant de théologie)
  • Crépin Magloire Acapovi (Université d’Abomey-Calavi)

Béatrice Afiavi Agbo (Université d’Abomey-Calavi)
Marc Boss (Institut protestant de théologie)
Elisabeth de Bourqueney (UEPAL, Institut protestant de théologie)
Andrea Deciu Ritivoi (Carnegie Mellon University)
Marc Dumas (Université de Sherbrooke)
Cécile Fürstenberg (Centre Sèvres)
Christophe Gripon (Université Laval, Institut protestant de théologie)
Etienne Higuet (Universidade Metodista de São Paulo)
Chuan Huang (Université de Xiamen)
Gabriella Iaone (Faculté universitaire de théologie protestante de Bruxelles)
Robison James (University of Richmond)
Théo Junker (Directeur général honoraire du Parlement européen)
Frank Kamdem Joutsa (Université Catholique de Lyon)
Geoffrey Legrand (Université Catholique de Louvain)
Mattew Lon Weaver (Marshall School, Duluth, Minnesota)
Benoit Mathot (Universidad Católica del Maule)
Jean-Paul Niyigena (Catholic University of Rwanda)
Ivana Noble (Charles University, Prague)
Lucien Pelletier (Université de Sudbury)
Werner Schüssler (Theologische Fakultät Trier)
Nicola Stricker (EKIR, Institut protestant de théologie)


Conference Program:

Monday 24 June


14h-14h15 : Welcome Address


14h30-15h30 : The Question of Evil


- Gabriella Iaione : La question du mal chez Tillich et Ricœur
- Werner Schüssler : Dieu et le mal. Paul Tillich et Paul Ricœur sur le problème de la théodicée


15h45-16h45 : The Ethical Question


-Cécile Fürstenberg : « Le courage d'être » selon Tillich et « Être vivant  jusqu'à la mort » selon Ricœur. Dynamique commune et éclats singuliers autour de la question de la fin de vie
-Jean-Paul Niyigena : Finitude et responsabilité chez Paul Tillich et Paul Ricœur. Quelle éthique théologique ?


17h15-18h15 : The Question of Love, Power and Justice


-Marc Dumas : Amour (pouvoir) et justice chez Tillich et Ricœur. Une exploration
-Crépin Acapovi et Béatrice Agbo : Amour, pouvoir et justice chez Paul Tillich et Paul Ricœur : une approche herméneutico-ontologique de la mondialisation

18h30-20h00 : Break


20h30-22h00 : Evening Lecture :

Olivier Abel et Marc Boss, « Paul Tillich et Paul Ricœur: itinéraires croisés »


Tuesday 25 june


9h-10h : The Question of Psychoanalysis


-Benoit Mathot : Psychanalyse, herméneutique, dé-coïncidence. La réception de la psychanalyse chez Paul Tillich et Paul Ricœur
-Elisabeth de Bourqueney : Erik Erikson à l’interface du dialogue entre Paul Tillich et Paul Ricœur


10h15-11h45 : The Question of Politics


-Lucien Pelletier : Utopie et kairos chez Paul Tillich et Paul Ricœur
-Mattew Lon Weaver : Tillich and Ricœur on Power and Peace
-Andreea Deciu Ritivoi : Exile and the Imperative of Love: Ricœur and Tillich on the Challenges of the Political in Times of Crisis


12h15-13h15 : The Question of the Boundaries

-Nicola Stricker : Tillich et Ricœur: penser la frontière
-Frank Kamdem Joutsa : Philosophie et Théologie. Confins et circulation du Logos chez Paul Tillich et Paul Ricœur


13h15-15h00 : Break


15h-16h : The Question of the Symbol (I)


-Robison James : Improving Tillich’s Theory of the Religious Symbol By Adding Some Ricœur to It
-Ivana Noble : People as “Symbolic Animals” according to Tillich and Ricœur


16h15-17h15 :  The Question of the Symbol (II)

-Geoffrey Legrand : La théorie du symbole : de Tillich à Ricœur
-Christophe Gripon : Sanctification et Individuation : une discussion de l'approche téléologique du symbole chez Tillich, Jung et Ricœur


18h30-19h30 : Assemblée générale de l’APTEF / General Assembly of the APTEF

19h30 : Free evening


Wednesday 26 June


9h-10h : The Hermeneutical Question


-Etienne Higuet : Herméneutique phénoménologique des images chez Paul Tillich et Paul Ricœur
-Chuan Huang : La notion du « Soi » chez Paul Ricœur


11h45-12h45 : Closing Address by Theo Junker



Location of the conference :

Institut Protestant de Paris
Boulevard Arago, 83
75014 Paris

(Accss: RER B, station : Denfert-Rochereau)


Conference Fees

- Speakers : 25 euros
- Students : 25 euros
- Regular participants: 50 euros


Payment of registrations will be made in cash at the opening of the conference.
For any other information regarding registration:


Contact : Marcela Lobo :


For low-cost accommodation in institutions close to the conference venue (Défap, Foyer étudiant Saint-Jean-Eudes, etc.), contact Ms Camille Monjaux , who will inform you of the procedure to follow for bookings. Please specify that your message is about the conference “Paul Tillich and Paul Ricoeur in dialogue”. These low-cost accommodations (from about 35 to 60 euros) offer only limited comfort (double occupancy rooms, outdoor bathrooms, etc.) and are only available in limited numbers. If you wish to make a reservation, we invite you to contact Mrs Monjaux without delay. Payment transactions should be made directly with these institutions.
Please note that depending on your country of origin, you can also contact your national house on the website of the “Cité Universitaire de Paris” for a room between 50 and 60 euros per night:

For hotels

you will find below a list of three establishments located in the district where the conference will be held (14e Arrondissement), then addresses of sites that list hotels accessible to people with disabilities in all the districts of Paris. For reservations, we invite you to contact the hotel of your choice directly.

1/ Hotels located in the 14th arrondissement
- Hôtel du Lion** : 1 avenue du Général Leclerc 75014, about 90€. No access for people with disabilities.
- Hôtel du Midi ***: 4 Avenue René Coty, 75014 Paris, 01 43 27 23 25. About 114€. No access for people with disabilities.
- Hôtel Clairefontaine*** : 11 rue Fermat 75014. About 140/150€. One room with access for people with disabilities.


2/ Parisian hotels accessible to people with disabilities

Hôtel et Hébergements Paris-Handicap (Office du tourisme) :Informations here

Hotels accessible to people with disabilities (in the proposed list, the hotels “Novotel Paris Vaugirard Montparnasse” and “Novotel Paris Centre Gare Montparnasse” are relatively close
to the conference venue). Informations here.