Document Type : Research Paper
Department of Qur'an and Hadith, Faculty of Theology, College of Farabi, University of Tehran, Qom, Iran
One of the important issues of today's philosophy of religion, which is tied to the knowledge of linguistics, theology, and interpretation, is the issue of "language of religion" or "religious language". In the present era, the western thinkers have usually considered religious language to be non-cognitive and devoid of cognitive load by proposing theories such as iconography, functionalism, allegory, and mythology. Meanwhile, Paul Tillich (1886-1965), a German-American Christian theologian, considers the language of religion to be symbolic. From his point of view, religion is the knowledge of the sublime and the heart's bond with it, and since the sublime is unlimited and unattainable, religious propositions cannot speak of it in ordinary language, and inevitably, the language of religion will be a symbolic language. In this article, after the detailed explanation and analysis of Paul Tillich's symbolic theory, the many challenges of this theory have been discussed; conceptual ambiguity, ambiguity in results, contradiction between theory and its owner's practice, confusion between symbol and symbolic language, confusion between concept and example of divine existence, and especially non-cognizableness of religious propositions are among these challenges. In addition, the differences in terms of background, teachings, challenges, and solutions between the space of "Holy Bible" and "Christian theology" on the one hand and "Qur'an" and "Islamic theology" on the other hand are so deep and fundamental. It is assumed that Tillich's theory is effective in Christian theology, it cannot be effective in the field of Qur'an.