Karl Barth als Lehrer der Versöhnung (1950–1968): Vertiefung – Öffnung – Hoffnung

9783290178338Das Buch dokumentiert das dritte Internationale Symposium zum Werk Karl Barths. Im Mittelpunkt stehen Barths Arbeiten zur Versöhnungslehre. Ihre Innovationen vor allem auf den Feldern der Christologie, der Soteriologie und der Rechtfertigungslehre werden vorgestellt, aufgearbeitet und auf ihre für Theologie, Kirche und Gesellschaft orientierende Kraft befragt. Aber auch Barths Bemühungen um Ausgleich zwischen den Fronten des Kalten Krieges, in der Absage an einen ideologisierten Antikommunismus und in der Suche nach einem dritten Weg zwischen Realsozialismus und Kapitalismus werden analysiert.

Ausgewiesene Autorinnen und Autoren präsentieren die neuesten und wichtigsten Erkenntnisse und liefern so ein repräsentatives Gesamtbild des aktuellen Forschungsstandes zur Theologie Barths zwischen 1950 und 1968.

With thanks to TVZ for the review copy.  The TVZ website doesn’t include the table of contents, so below, please find photos of said pages:




Astute readers will note right off that the languages of the essays are German and English and that they cover a wide range of Barthian topics. Most interestingly, there are essays about Barth and Bultmann; Barth’s understanding of preaching; the suffering of God; Barth’s eschatology; Barth and Schleiermacher; and the universality of grace to name only a few.

This is a prime example of the standard conference volume and the great benefit of such volumes (that is, the making available of cutting edge academic papers to people unable to attend every Conference they wish they could) in the service of the academy.  The papers are all generally good and some (like that concerning Bultmann and Barth) are utterly exceptional.  Every conceivable subject receives at least a passing glance, so that at the end of the day, this volume can easily be considered a compendium of Barthian theology in dialogue with his modern interpreters.

The cream of the crop, as hinted at above, though, is the stunningly interesting essay by Konrad Hammann, one of Bultmann’s most gifted, well informed, and intelligent interpreters.  In his relatively long and extremely informative essay, Hammann explicates Barth’s understanding (and at many points misunderstanding) of both Bultmanns’s methodology and intention.   Other notables also come into focus and Barth’s penchant for name calling is on full display.

In spite of Barth’s various disagreements with Bultmann and others, though, Hammann rightly points out the various interests and ideas they had in common and most importantly their common faith and membership in the household of God.

Here, then, we have a useful reminder of the fact that what separated Barth and Bultmann was never sufficient to divide them from their common faith.

Persons interested in Karl Barth will wish to read this volume.  And they should do so.