Karl Barth

Karl Barth (bärt), 1886–1968, Swiss Protestant theologian, one of the leading thinkers of 20th-century Protestantism. He helped to found the Confessing Church and his thinking formed the theological framework for the Barmen Declaration. He taught in Germany, where he early opposed the Nazi regime. In 1935 when he refused to take the oath of allegiance to Adolf Hitler, he was retired from his position at the Univ. of Bonn and deported to Switzerland. There he continued to expound his views, known as dialectical theology or theology of the word. Barth's primary object was to lead theology back to the principles of the Reformation (called neo-orthodoxy). For Barth, modern theology with its assent to science, immanent philosophy, and general culture and with its stress on feeling, was marked by indifference to the word of God and to the revelation of God in Jesus, which he thought should be the central concern of theology. In the confrontation between humanity and God, which was Barth's fundamental concern, the word of God and God's revelation in Jesus are the only means God has for Self-revelation; Barth argued that people must listen in an attitude of awe, trust, and obedience. This theological position is also related to those of Emil Brunner, Friedrich Gogarten, and Rudolf Bultmann, although Barth's position is the stricter. Barth's writings include The Epistle to the Romans (tr. 1933), The Word of God and the Word of Man (tr. 1928), Credo (tr. 1936), and Church Dogmatics (Vol. I-IV, tr. 1936–62).

See T. F. Torrance, Karl Barth (1966); R. E. Willis, The Ethics of Karl Barth (1971); E. Busch, Karl Barth (1976); G. W. Bromiley, An Introduction to the Theology of Karl Barth (1981).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2013, The Columbia University Press.

Selected full-text books and articles on this topic

Disruptive Grace: Studies in the Theology of Karl Barth
George Hunsinger.
W.B. Eerdmans, 2000
Karl Barth: Theologian of Freedom
Clifford Green.
Fortress Press, 1991
Portrait of Karl Barth
Robert McAfee Brown; Georges Casalis.
Doubleday, 1963
Barth
A. D. R. Polman; Calvin D. Freeman.
Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing, 1960
The Hastening That Waits: Karl Barth's Ethics
Nigel Biggar.
University of Oxford, 1993
Barth and Schleiermacher on the Doctrine of Election: A Systematic-Theological Comparison
Matthias Gockel.
Oxford University Press, 2006
God Here and Now
Karl Barth; Paul M. van Buren.
Routledge, 2003
The Epistle to the Philippians
Karl Barth.
John Knox Press, 1962
The Only Way: How Can the Germans Be Cured?
Karl Barth; Marta K. Neufdd; Ronald Gregor Smith.
Philosophical Library, 1947
Karl Barth Dogmatics in Outline (1947)
Hauerwas, Stanley.
First Things: A Monthly Journal of Religion and Public Life, March 2000
Karl Barth: Against Hegemony
Timothy Gorringe.
Oxford University, 1999
That Jesus Christ Was Born a Jew: Karl Barth's Docrine of Israel
Katherine Sonderegger.
Pennsylvania State University Press, 1992
As in a Mirror: John Calvin and Karl Barth on Knowing God : A Diptych
Cornelis Van Der Kooi; Donald Mader.
Brill, 2005
The Person and Work of Christ Revisited: In Conversation with Karl Barth
Holmes, Christopher R. J.
Anglican Theological Review, Vol. 95, No. 1, Winter 2013
Jesus Christ and the Modern Sinner: Karl Barth's Retrieval of Luther's Substantive Christology
Marga, Amy Ellen.
Currents in Theology and Mission, Vol. 34, No. 4, August 2007
How to Serve God in a Marxist Land
Karl Barth; Johannes Hamel.
Association Press, 1959
Theology and Church: Shorter Writings, 1920-1928
Karl Barth; Louise Pettibone Smith.
Harper & Row, 1962
Christmas
Karl Barth; Bernhard Citron.
Oliver and Boyd, 1959
A Map of Twentieth-Century Theology: Readings from Karl Barth to Radical Pluralism
Carl E. Braaten; Robert W. Jenson.
Fortress Press, 1995
Librarian’s tip: Includes multiple works by Karl Barth
Not Pledging as Liturgy: Lessons from Karl Barth and American Mennonites on Refusing National Oaths
Perry, John.
Mennonite Quarterly Review, Vol. 76, No. 4, October 2002
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