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T&T Clark Karl Barth Collection (19 vols.)
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Overview

These new volumes from T&T Clark on Karl Barth offer the latest scholarship on this massively important figure in Christian theology and biblical studies whose work continues to influence the church and the academy today. Barth, the Swiss pastor and Protestant systematician, was described by Pope Pius XII as the most important theologian since Thomas Aquinas. Barth continues to be a major influence on students, scholars, and preachers from every Christian tradition. His theology found its expression mainly through his closely reasoned 14-part magnum opus, Die Kirchliche Dogmatik, or Church Dogmatics. The Church Dogmatics, which took over 30 years to write, is regarded as one of the most important theological works of all time, and it represents the pinnacle of Barth’s achievements as a theologian.

This collection of monographs provides helpful resources on Barth’s thought and influence, guides to his work, and in-depth analysis of his contributions to theological and biblical studies. Several volumes focus on the influence Barth has had on the Christian world and compare his thought and influence with those of other noted figures in history, such as John Howard Yoder and Hans Urs von Balthasar and the development of Catholic doctrine leading up to Vatican II.

The Logos Bible Software editions of these volumes are designed to streamline and enhance your study and understanding of Karl Barth. Scripture passages link directly to your English translations and original-language texts, and important theological concepts link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. In addition, you can perform powerful searches by topic and find what other authors, scholars, and theologians have to say about topics like Barth’s analogia entis, Barthian neo-orthodoxy, and the relationship between Barth and Calvin’s doctrines of election.

Get nearly 50 volumes of Barth's work including Church Dogmatics with the Karl Barth Collection.

Key Features

  • Provides historical-critical studies on Barth's theology
  • Offers in-depth guides to Barth’s thought and influence
  • Presents critical comparative analysis of Barth and other prominent theologians
  • Includes a comprehensive index to Karl Barth's Church Dogmatics

Product Details

Individual Titles

Karl Barth’s Church Dogmatics: An Introduction and Reader

  • Author: R. Michael Allen
  • Publisher: T&T Clark
  • Publication Date: 2012
  • Pages: 256

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This reader from Karl Barth’s multi-volume Church Dogmatics offers an introduction to the whole work, key readings in reasonable portions with introductions, and provides helpful pointers to secondary material for further interaction with the primary literature. An ideal textbook for all beginners studying the work of one of the most important theologians of the last century.

Embarking on the study of Barth’s Church Dogmatics is no easy matter. This careful selection, with its perceptive introduction and commentaries, is an excellent guide to exploring one of the monumental texts of modern theology.

John Webster, professor of systematic theology, University of Aberdeen

This volume is a welcome resource for both teachers and students of Karl Barth’s theology. Michael Allen’s well-chosen excerpts from the Church Dogmatics are lengthy enough to provide a feel for Barth’s sprawling theological discourse and wide-ranging enough to provide an appreciation of the full scope of his dogmatic thought. The introduction and notes locate Barth’s work within the context of classical and modern divinity and direct readers to the best English-language literature on the Basel theologian. Those who have heretofore feared the prospect of exploring Karl Barth’s massive Church Dogmatics may now take courage thanks to Allen’s able guidance.

Scott R. Swain, associate professor of systematic theology, academic dean, Reformed Theological Seminary, Orlando

This is a judiciously selected and carefully introduced series of key readings from the Church Dogmatics. Allen has done the newcomer to Barth a great service by preparing this collection of texts from what remains the most important work in theology of recent times. This volume is a fine resource both for inspiring readers to venture further into Barth’s work for themselves and for encouraging students to engage appreciatively and critically with its content.

—Paul T. Nimmo, lecturer in systematic theology, University of Edinburgh

R. Michael Allen is assistant professor of systematic theology at Knox Theological Seminary

Letters of the Divine Word: The Perfections of God in Karl Barth’s Church Dogmatics

  • Author: Robert B. Price
  • Series: T&T Clark Studies in Systematic Theology
  • Publisher: T&T Clark
  • Publication Date: 2011
  • Pages: 224

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The introduction locates Barth’s doctrine of the divine perfections within the unfolding logic of the Church Dogmatics and then surveys the state of Barth scholarship on this doctrine. Chapters one through four provide focused analysis of each of the four sections of Barth’s doctrine of the perfections, pausing at various points to address relevant debates within broader Barth scholarship. Chapter five draws together some of the key theological decisions which shape Barth’s account of the perfections and suggests further lines of inquiry.

Literate, articulate, a model of expositional clarity and care, this fine essay sets before us Barth’s doctrine of the divine perfections in all its complexity, resonance, and power. It is an important contribution to a growing literature on a central dogmatic theme and a welcomed reminder of the abiding importance of the practice of theological commentary on the formative texts of the tradition. In the contested world of contemporary Barth scholarship, we can never be recalled too often to close reading of the sources themselves. It is the great merit of this exemplary study of Church Dogmatics to do just that.

—Donald Wood, lecturer in systematic theology, University of Aberdeen

Price has given us a great gift: a careful and charitable guided tour through one of the most complex sections of Barth’s Church Dogmatics. His close exposition of Barth’s text unveils the inner logic of Barth’s argument by highlighting important connections and insights that often go unnoticed. Chapter by chapter, he opens up new vistas from which we can view the contours of Barth’s entire theology more clearly, and the result is a better grasp of Barth’s ongoing relevance for contemporary thought. This book stands in the best tradition of theological commentary, and it will be valuable to any theologian engaged in a serious study of Barth’s theology or the doctrine of God.

—Keith L. Johnson, assistant professor of theology, Wheaton College

Robert B. Price received his PhD from the University of Aberdeen and is assistant professor of theology in the Talbot School of Theology at BIOLA University.

Doxological Theology: Karl Barth on Divine Providence, Evil, and the Angels

  • Author: Christopher C. Green
  • Series: T&T Clark Studies in Systematic Theology
  • Publisher: T&T Clark
  • Publication Date: 2011
  • Pages: 256

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This volume offers a careful exploration of doxological theology in volume III of Barth’s Church Dogmatics. In 1949, Karl Barth confidently upheld a high doctrine of divine providence, maintaining God’s control of every event in history. His argument is at once cheerful, but also defiant in the face of a Europe that is war-weary and doubtful of the full sovereignty of God.

Barth’s movement to praise God shows his affinity for the Reformed theological tradition. While Barth often distances himself from his Calvinist predecessors in significant ways, he sees his own view of providence to be a positive reworking of the Reformed position in order to maintain what he understands as its most important insights: the praiseworthiness of the God of providence and the doxology of the creature. Doxological Theology investigates how the theologian, in response to the praiseworthy God of the Reformed tradition, is expected to pray his or her way through the doctrine of providence.

Of the making of books about Barth’s theology there appears to be no end. All credit to Christopher Green, then, for focusing on a relatively unexplored corner of Barth’s thought—his doctrine of providence—and for doing it the way Barth does it, using the Lord’s Prayer as an interpretive framework. This is an exceptionally close reading of Barth’s Christological correction of a central pillar of Reformed theology.

Kevin J. Vanhoozer, Blanchard Professor of Theology, Wheaton College Graduate School

In this book Green offers a careful and insightful exploration of volume III of Barth’s Church Dogmatics—one of the most important yet one of the least investigated parts of Barth’s corpus. Green’s exposition and analysis proceeds with both a deep sensitivity for the internal coherence of the rather diverse topics covered in [volume] III and a firm awareness of the broader content and form of Barth’s theology. At times creative, at times controversial, Green is always engaging. This book is destined to become a necessary conversation-point for any future work in this research area.

—Paul T. Nimmo, lecturer in Systematic theology and Christian ethics, University of Edinburgh

Barth scholars will be engaged with Green’s adjudication of the various related issues vis-à-vis the relevant secondary literature, especially in the footnotes . . . a range of other readers, from postliberals to evangelicals and even Pentecostals, will appreciate the fundamentally performative theology of providence presented in this excellent first book.

Religious Studies Review

Christopher Green earned his PhD from King’s College, Aberdeen and is lecturer in theology at Wesley Institute in Sydney, Australia.

God’s Being in Reconciliation: The Theological Basis of the Unity and Diversity of the Atonement in the Theology of Karl Barth

  • Author: Adam J. Johnson
  • Series: T&T Clark Studies in Systematic Theology
  • Publisher: T&T Clark
  • Publication Date: 2012
  • Pages: 240

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One of the most pressing issues in the doctrine of the atonement today is the question of the unity and diversity of the work of Christ. What are we to make of the diversity within the biblical witness and the history of doctrine when it comes to explanations of the meaning and significance of Jesus’ death and resurrection? Without a grasp of the unity of his work, our understanding and use of the diversity runs the risk of becoming haphazard and disordered. Proposals regarding the unity of Christ’s work today tend to focus on the metaphorical nature of language, the role of culture, and various possible conceptual schemes, rarely reflecting on unity and diversity proper to the being God.

To fill this gap, Johnson draws on Karl Barth’s integrated account of the doctrines of God and reconciliation, harnessing the resources contained within the doctrines of the Trinity and divine perfections to energize a properly theological account of the unity and diversity of the atonement.

Adam Johnson received his PhD from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and is an associate professor of theology at Cedarville University.

The Word of God and Theology

  • Author: Karl Barth
  • Editor: Amy Marga
  • Translator: Amy Marga
  • Publisher: T&T Clark
  • Publication Date: 2011
  • Pages: 256

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This classic volume of Barth’s essays was first published in 1924 under the title Das Wort Gottes und die Theologie. In this brand new English edition, along with each chapter, the entire critical apparatus and is translated, including an explanatory passage giving general historical context and details of Barth’s own biography. These essays represent the very best of Barth’s work. Far from being superseded by the Church Dogmatics, this resource provides helpful insight into Barth’s theology.

Karl Barth (1886–1968), a Swiss Protestant theologian and pastor, was one of the leading thinkers of twentieth-century theology, described by Pope Pius XII as the most important theologian since Thomas Aquinas. He helped to found the Confessing Church and his thinking formed the theological framework for the Barmen Declaration. He taught in Germany, where he 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 University of Bonn and deported to Switzerland. There he continued to write and develop his theology.

Barth’s work and influence resulted in the formation of what came to be known as 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.

Amy Marga is assistant professor of systematic theology at Luther Seminary in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

Incarnational Realism: Trinity and the Spirit in Augustine and Barth

  • Author: Travis E. Ables
  • Series: T&T Clark Studies in Systematic Theology
  • Publisher: T&T Clark
  • Publication Date: 2013
  • Pages: 288

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In the last half of the twentieth century, a consensus emerged that Christian theology in the Western tradition had failed to produce a viable doctrine of the Holy Spirit, and that Augustine’s Trinitarian theology bore the blame for much of that failure. This book offers a fresh rereading of Western Trinitarian theology to better understand the logic of its pneumatology. Ables studies the pneumatologies of Augustine and Karl Barth, and argues that the vision of the doctrine of the Spirit in these theologians should be understood as a way of talking about participating in the mystery of God as a performance of the life of Christ. He claims that, for both theologians, Trinitarian doctrine encapsulates the grammar of the divine self-giving in history. The function of pneumatology in particular is to articulate the human reception and enactment of God’s self-giving as itself part of the act of God. This “self-involving” logic is the special grammar of the doctrine of the Holy Spirit.

Travis E. Ables (PhD, Vanderbilt University) is visiting assistant professor of historical theology at Eden Theological Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri.

Christ, Power, and Mammon: Karl Barth and John Howard Yoder in Dialogue

  • Author: Scott Prather
  • Publisher: T&T Clark
  • Publication Date: 2013
  • Pages: 320

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This book examines the role of the New Testament concept of the “principalities and powers” in the thought of Karl Barth and John Howard Yoder, showing how this biblical concept of power is central to the fundamental theological convictions of each thinker.

Prather offers a scholarly account of the underexplored theological and ethical import of a major biblical theme and addresses questions and concerns from a wide range of academic and lay theological interest. He brings Barth and Yoder into dialogue here and examines the three crucial areas: the “confessional” distinction of church and world, the demonization of political power, and the intrinsic relation between the political and economic powers.

While other theologians have rightly identified a “Christocentric” connection between the thought of Barth and Yoder, this is the first endeavor to bring them together through the sustained analysis of a single doctrinal or ethical issue.

This intensely reflective and ethically focused interpretation of the ‘theology of the powers’ within the work of Barth and Yoder addresses a central, albeit almost hidden, theological topic in its importance for any public agenda of Christian ethics. Scott Prather’s book presents anew the biblical tradition and the whole range of key questions and discernments disclosing a theological awareness of ‘the powers’ and a critique of their dominance in capitalism and political ideologies. This book is a real guide for the theologically grounded resistance of Christians against any socio-political structures claiming authority in and for themselves.

—Hans Ulrich, professor emeritus of ethics, Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg

Scott Prather holds a PhD in theology from the University of Aberdeen.

Karl Barth, Catholic Renewal, and Vatican II

  • Author: Benjamin Dahlke
  • Series: T&T Clark Studies in Systematic Theology
  • Publisher: T&T Clark
  • Publication Date: 2006
  • Pages: 208

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From the 1920s on, Karl Barth’s thought was received with great interest by Protestants and Catholic theologians alike. This study outlines how and why this happened, especially in the period leading up to Vatican II. Dahlke shows how the preoccupation with Barth’s Epistle to the Romans and the Church Dogmatics triggered a theological renewal among Catholic theologians. In addition to Hans Urs von Balthasar’s critical appropriation of Barth’s thought, the controversy about the issue of analogia entis with Erich Przywara is also dealt with.

Benjamin Dahlke’s book concisely tells the previously unknown, but nevertheless fascinating, story of the intensive dialogue between Karl Barth and a rather varied group of German speaking Catholic colleagues. Parts of Barth’s most attentive audience, it seems, came from a field that he himself looked upon with a curious mixture of suspicion, disdain, and lively interest. Dahlke shows that conversing with Barth or criticizing his theology became one of the most striking phenomena of Catholic theology in search of reform from the 1930s to the 1960s. Dahlke’s finely written book is in itself a history of Catholic theology on the way to Vatican II.

—Leonhard Hell, University of Mainz

Benjamin Dahlke is a postdoctoral research fellow in the Department of Catholic Theology at the University of Mainz in Germany.

Being in Action: The Theological Shape of Barth’s Ethical Vision

  • Author: Paul T. Nimmo
  • Publisher: T&T Clark
  • Publication Date: 2011
  • Pages: 214

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Winner of the 2009 Templeton Prize.

This book investigates the way in which the actualistic ontology, namely, the fact that God and human agents are beings-in-act in a covenant relationship—that underlies the Church Dogmatics of Karl Barth affects his conception of ethical agency. It analyses this effect along three paths of inquiry: knowing what is right (the noetic dimension) doing what is right (the ontic dimension) and achieving what is right (the telic dimension) The first section of the book explores the discipline of theological ethics as Barth construes it, both in its theoretical status and in its actual practice. In the second section, the ontological import of ethical agency for Barth is considered in relation to the divine action and the divine command. The final section of the book examines the teleological purpose envisaged in this theological ethics in terms of participation, witness, and glorification.

It is no exaggeration to say that, with this work, Mr. Nimmo has already established himself at the front-ranks of researchers in the theology of Karl Barth.

—Bruce McCormack, professer of theology,Princeton Theological Seminary

Paul T. Nimmo is King’s Professor of Systematic Theology at the University of Aberdeen.

Barth Reception in Britain

  • Author: D. Densil Morgan
  • Publisher: T&T Clark
  • Publication Date: 2012
  • Pages: 320

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This is the first book length assessment in English of the impact of Karl Barth’s theology in Britain. Beginning with the essays of Adolf Keller and H.R. Mackintosh in the 1920s, it analyses the interplay between Barth’s developing thought and different strands of English, Scottish and Welsh church history up to the 1980s. Barth’s impact on British perceptions of the German Church Struggle during the 1930s is discussed, along with the ready acceptance that his theology gained among the English Congregationalists, Welsh Nonconformists and theologians of the Church of Scotland. Half-forgotten names such as John McConnachie and Nathaniel Micklem are brought to light along with better known representatives of British Barthianism like Daniel T. Jenkins and T.F. Torrance. Barth and the secular theology of the 1960s are assessed, along with the beginnings of the Barthian renaissance linked with Colin Gunton and others during the 1980s. Barth Reception in Britain is a contribution to modern church history as well as the history of doctrine.

Morgan brings to his task a unique combination of wide knowledge of the theological life of the British churches in the twentieth century and sympathetic understanding of Barth’s corpus. His account of the matter could hardly be bettered: the portraits of theologians and institutions are animated; the judgements are thoroughly informed and persuasive. This is a book of rare intelligence and penetration.

—John Webster, professor os systematic theology, King’s College, Aberdeen, Scotland

D. Densil Morgan is professor in the School of Theology and Religious Studies, University of Wales, Bangor, and has published on Karl Barth, modern doctrine and twentieth century church history.

The Humanity of Christ: Christology in Karl Barth’s Church Dogmatics

  • Author: Paul Dafydd Jones
  • Publisher: T&T Clark
  • Publication Date: 2011
  • Pages: 304

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Drawing on the best English and German language scholarship to date, this book offers a novel interpretation of Barth’s mature Christology. Examining the entirety of the Dogmatics, it provides a nuanced analysis of Barth’s treatment of the Chalcedonian Definition, the enhypostasis/anhypostasis pairing, and various Protestant scholastic Christological distinctions; an examination of the co-inherence of Barth’s doctrines of God and Christ, which contributes to current debates about Barth’s doctrine of election; and a lengthy account of the Christology of Church Dogmatics IV that foregrounds Barth’s understanding of Christ’s human involvement in the drama of reconciliation.

Throughout the text, the author shows convincingly that Barth’s emphasis on Christ’s divinity goes hand-in-hand with a dogmatically rich and often startling account of Christ’s humanity. The text does not confine itself to the Church Dogmatics. It also situates Barth in the context of the wider Christian tradition and modern western philosophy of religion. Thus Barth is set in conversation with a wide range of thinkers, including Anselm of Canterbury, Martin Luther, John Calvin, Friedrich Schleiermacher, G.W.F. Hegel, Gottfried Thomasius, and Harry Frankfurt. In addition, the text makes a number of constructive gestures, showing a particular interest in feminist and liberationist trajectories of thought. The final chapter considers the standing of Barth’s Christology today and its pertinence for theological ethics and political theology.

An outstanding contribution to Barth scholarship. This book certainly is among the best studies of Barth’s theology of the last years. It can be recommended to anyone interested in theology. A must for Barth scholars.

—Markus Höfner, Theologische Literaturzeitung

Paul Dafydd Jones is assistant professor of western religious thought in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Virginia.

Reading the Decree: Exegesis, Election, and Christology in Calvin and Barth

  • Author: David Gibson
  • Series: T&T Clark Studies in Systematic Theology
  • Publisher: T&T Clark
  • Publication Date: 2012
  • Pages: 240

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What role does the interpretation of Scripture play in theological construction? In Reading the Decree David Gibson examines the exegesis of election in John Calvin and Karl Barth, and considers the relationship between election and Christology in their thought. He argues that for both Calvin and Barth their doctrine of election and its exegetical moorings are christologically shaped, but in significantly different ways.

Building on Richard A. Muller’s conceptual distinction between Calvin’s soteriological christocentrism and Barth’s principial christocentrism, Gibson carefully explores their exegesis of the topics of Christ and election, and the election of Israel and the church. This distinction is then further developed by showing how it has a corresponding hermeneutical form: extensive christocentrism (Calvin) and intensive christocentrism (Barth). By focussing on the reception of biblical texts Reading the Decree draws attention to the neglected exegetical foundations of Calvin’s doctrine of election, and makes a fresh contribution to current debates over election in Barth’s thought. The result is a study which will be of interest to biblical scholars, as well as historical and systematic theologians alike.

Dr. Gibson’s exploration of the complex of issues that arises in the theological intersection of Christology, election and Scripture in Calvin and Barth is deft and clear, and painstaking and fair. The way in which he approaches his task, by fashioning illuminating methodological tools to interrogate the two theologians, is very well done. The result is a fascinating and valuable study.

—Paul Helm, professor of theology, Regent College

Debates about the future of Reformed theology often tend to focus on the nature of the legacy of two men in particular: John Calvin and Karl Barth. Much ink has been spilled in examining the theological, social, intellectual, cultural, and even psychological backgrounds of these two men as a means of establishing their respective significance; but, in this work, David Gibson addresses these matters via a close study of their exegesis as a means of establishing just how faithful each was to their own stated scripture principle. Gibson’s work represents a constructive and insightful development of contemporary discussion of the nature of Reformed theology.

—Carl R. Trueman, professor of historical theology, Westminster Theological Seminary

David Gibson is assistant minister at High Church Hilton, Aberdeen. He studied theology at Nottingham University and King’s College London, and completed a doctorate at the University of Aberdeen.

Conversational Theology: Essays on Ecumenical, Postliberal, and Political Themes, with Special Reference to Karl Barth

  • Author: George Hunsinger
  • Publisher: T&T Clark
  • Publication Date: 2016
  • Pages: 272

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The essays in this wide-ranging collection fall into three main sections: Ecumenical Theology, Postliberal Theology, and Political Theology. The first section deals with Torrance and Barth on the Sacraments. Hunsinger includes here an examination of Torrance’s views of baptism and the eucharist, as well as Karl Barth’s voice on the Lord’s Supper. He also develops a post-Barthian appreciation of Jews and Judaism. In the second section Hunsinger discusses such figures as Hans W. Frei, Ernst Troeltsch and H.R. Niebuhr in terms of their contribution to Postliberal Theology. The final section offers a discussion of Political Theology, as part of which Hunsinger presents an in-depth analysis regarding the political views of Karl Barth, as well as Barth’s understanding of human rights. The book ends with a meditation on André Trocmé and how goodness happened at Le Chambon.

George Hunsinger brilliantly demonstrates how key theological impulses from Karl Barth continue to challenge the church to greater faithfulness in worship and sacraments, political witness, and ecumenical relations, also with Jews. Hunsinger’s generous orthodoxy is firmly grounded in Nicaea, Chalcedon, and the Reformation, while welcoming insights from other theological perspectives. These essays richly summarize commitments that have characterized all of Hunsinger’s work, including church catechisms and the National Religious Campaign Against Torture.

—John Burgess, professor, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary

George Hunsinger is Hazel Thompson McCord Professor of Systematic Theology at Princeton Theological Seminary, and is the author of numerous books on Karl Barth.

The Freedom of God for Us: Karl Barth’s Doctrine of Divine Aseity

  • Author: Brian D. Asbill
  • Series: T&T Clark Studies in Systematic Theology
  • Publisher: T&T Clark
  • Publication Date: 2016
  • Pages: 240

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This volume provides an analysis of divine aseity in Karl Barth’s thought and appreciates the vital role that this doctrine can play in contemporary theology. Brian D. Asbill begins by setting the general theological context, first through a broad sketch of the development of Barth’s understanding of the relationship between the life of God pro nobis (pronobeity) and a se (aseity), and secondly through the examination of the basic theological convictions that guide his approach to the divine being in Church Dogmatics II/1. The second section, ‘The Love and Freedom of God,’ turns to the dialectical pairings which guide Barth’s accounts of the divine reality in his earliest dogmatic cycle (The Göttingen Dogmatics §§16-7) as well as in his most mature treatment (Church Dogmatics §§28-31).

Particular attention is given to how these themes arise from revelation and relate to one another. In the final section, ‘The Aseity of God,’ Asbill identifies this doctrine’s basic features and primary functions. Divine aseity is characterized as the self-demonstration and self-movement of God’s life, a trinitarian and entirely unique reality, a primarily positive and dynamic concept, and the manner and readiness of God’s love for creatures. Divine aseity is said to indicate God’s lordship in the act of self-binding, God’s uniqueness in the act of self-revelation, and God’s sufficiency in the act of self-giving.

In this careful and thoroughly researched work, Brian D. Asbill shows that for Barth God’s “aseity”—his full self-sufficiency in himself as the Holy Trinity—is the depth of God’s being to all eternity. For Barth, this eternal depth of being means that there is no electing God prior to the Trinity. Asbill thus adds his powerful voice to the growing chorus of interpreters who would affirm the idea, on the basis of meticulous study, that for Barth the Trinity serves as the ground of pre-temporal election, not the other way around.

—George Hunsinger, Hazel Thompson McCord Professor of Systematic Theology, Princeton Theological Seminary

Brian D. Asbill received his Ph.D. from the University of Aberdeen and was used by theology departments at a variety of institutions throughout southern California. He has since joined the MBA class of 2016 at Cornell University.

Karl Barth and the Incarnation: Christology and the Humility of God

  • Author: Darren O. Sumner
  • Series: T&T Clark Studies in Systematic Theology
  • Publisher: T&T Clark
  • Publication Date: 2016
  • Pages: 256

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This work demonstrates the significance of Karl Barth’s Christology by examining it in the context of his orientation toward the classical tradition—an orientation that was both critical and sympathetic. To compare this Christology with the doctrine’s history, Sumner suggests first that the Chalcedonian portrait of the incarnation is conceptually vulnerable at a number of points. By recasting the doctrine in actualist terms—the history of Jesus’ lived existence as God’s fulfillment of His covenant with creatures, rather than a metaphysical uniting of natures—Barth is able to move beyond problems inherent in the tradition.

Despite a number of formal and material differences, however, Barth’s position coheres with the intent of the ancient councils and ought to be judged as orthodox. Barth’s great contribution to Christology is in the unapologetic affirmation of ‘the humanity of God.’

Darren O. Sumner is adjunct assistant professor of systematic theology at Fuller Seminary Northwest.

Fully Alive: The Glory of God and the Human Creature in Karl Barth, Hans Urs von Balthasar and Theological Exegesis of Scripture

  • Author: Jason A. Fout
  • Publisher: T&T Clark
  • Publication Date: 2016
  • Pages: 224

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Numerous contemporary theologians depict divine glory as overwhelming to or competitive with human agency. In effect, this makes humanity a threat to God’s glory, and causes God’s glory to remain opaque to human enquiry and foreign to human life.

Karl Barth and Hans Urs von Balthasar have avoided this tendency, instead depicting God’s glory as enabling people to participate in glorifying God. Nevertheless both accounts fall short of their initial promise by giving one-dimensional accounts of human obedience to God within largely conventional divine command accounts of ethics. The form of human obedience they present as compatible with divine glory does not actively overwhelm the human, but rather brackets out her agency as inappropriate in the face of divine revelation or command. And so, ironically, on these accounts God’s glory remains opaque to human enquiry and foreign to human life.

This study builds a case for seeing divine glory as intrinsically relational, creating a sociality which allows for a human agency transfigured by God’s glory. Moving beyond Barth and von Balthasar, this work turns to theological exegesis of Scripture to construct an alternative account of divine glory. This glory is worked out in the act of glorifying: first in God, then in divine glorifying of humans, creating a responsive human glorifying of God; and finally in processes of honouring or glorifying among humans. Divine glory is shown to be consistent with a responsive and creative human obedience to God, and shown to constitute human agency which is creaturely and dependent yet not overwhelmed.

There is extraordinary intensity in this engagement with God’s glory. Fout is profoundly perceptive in his appreciative and critical account of two of the greatest theologians of the past century, Barth and Von Balthasar. Yet he is also a considerable thinker in his own right, and his lively, attractive account of the glory of God culminates in a gripping final chapter that draws readers into the depths of the Book of Exodus, Paul’s Second Letter to the Corinthians and the Gospel of John, making clear what they mean for us now.

—David F. Ford, professor of theology, University of Cambridge

Jason A. Fout is a priest of the Episcopal Church (USA) and earned his PhD at the University of Cambridge, where he worked with Prof. Daniel W. Hardy and Prof. David F. Ford. He teaches theology and ethics in the Bexley Seabury Seminary Federation.

Karl Barth’s Theology as a Resource for a Christian Theology of Religions

  • Author: Sven Ensminger
  • Series: T&T Clark Studies in Systematic Theology
  • Publisher: T&T Clark
  • Publication Date: 2016
  • Pages: 272

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This book uses Karl Barth’s theology as a resource for Christian theology of religions. For this purpose, it examines Barth’s theology under the doctrinal aspects of revelation, revelation and religion, theological anthropology and election, addressing questions such as the possibility of and context for revelation, Barth’s understanding of religion, the theological approach to the human being, and soteriology. Furthermore, Barth’s thought is put into conversation with other approaches in the field of theology of religions, notably Karl Rahner’s inclusivism and John Hick and the pluralist paradigm.

It is shown that Barth’s theological system as a whole can serve as a resource for the Christian approach to and interaction with those of other faiths or no faith at all. This is achieved through maintaining a balance between the commitment to the own faith and the openness to the sovereignty of God impacting the whole of creation. Central to Barth’s approach is the challenge to the Christian community to see their presuppositions challenged in the most unexpected circumstances, while looking beyond human categories to affirm the dignity bestowed upon all of humanity through the divine Yes in the person Jesus Christ. Barth’s theology with its starting point in the person of Jesus Christ is advocated as a framework for the members of the Christian community as they live alongside those with a different faith from their own.

Sven Ensminger shows convincingly that Karl Barth’s examination of ‘religion’ and his qualification of the non-christian religions cannot be classified simply as ‘exclusivism.’ In his thorough study he outlines Barth’s multi-faceted doctrine of revelation and his understanding of religion. He takes Barth’s theological anthropology and his doctrine of election into account and relates Barth’s approach to Rahner’s ‘inclusivism’ and Hick’s ‘pluralism.’ The strength of the study lies in comprising a broad spectrum of Barth’s works and in drawing on the original German texts. This enables Ensminger to correct some misunderstandings of Barth and sheds new light on his approach as a resource for the current debate on theology of religions.

—Reinhold Bernhardt, University of Basel

Sven Ensminger is a graduate of the University of St Andrews, UK. He received his Masters from Yale Divinity School, USA, before returning to the UK for his doctoral studies. He has authored numerous book reviews and articles.

Karl Barth on Prayer

  • Author: Ashley Cocksworth
  • Series: T&T Clark Studies in Systematic Theology
  • Publisher: T&T Clark
  • Publication Date: 2015
  • Pages: 240

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Ashley Cocksworth presents Karl Barth as a theologian who not only produces a strong and vibrant theology of prayer, but also grounds theology itself in the practice of prayer. Prayer and theology are revealed to be integrally related in Barth’s understanding of the dogmatic task. Cocksworth provides careful analysis of a range of key texts in Barth’s thought in which the theme of prayer emerges with particular interest.

He analyzes: Barth’s writings on the Sabbath and uncovers an unexpected theology of contemplative prayer; the doctrine of creation of the Church Dogmatics and explores its prioritization of petitionary prayer; and the ethics of the doctrine of reconciliation in which a ‘turn to invocation’ is charted and the final ‘resting place’ of Barth’s theology of prayer is found. Through the theme of prayer fundamental questions are asked about the relation of human agency to divine agency as conceived by Barth, and new insights are offered into his understandings of the nature and task of theology, pneumatology, sin, baptism, religion, and sanctification. The result is a rich engagement with Barth’s theology of prayer, an advancements of scholarship on Karl Barth, and a constructive contribution to the theology of prayer.

Not all theologians write about the relationship of prayer and Christian theology. In this splendid study, Cocksworth (systematic theology, Queen’s Foundation, UK) offers a persuasive demonstration that prayer stands at the center of Karl Barth’s theological work.

—D.K. McKim, Memphis Theological Seminary

This is not only a deep and original study of Barth on prayer, engaging with the whole Church Dogmatics and a great many of this other writings, and showing how utterly central prayer is to his conception of Christian life, politics and theology; Cocksworth also sensitively relates Barth to other traditions of prayer, especially contemplation and meditation. His culminating original insight is into the importance of Barth’s development beyond a main emphasis on petition to an embracing ‘turn to invocation.’

—David F. Ford, University of Cambridge

Ashley Cocksworth is the tutor in systematic theology at the Queen’s Foundation, Birmingham, UK. He studied theology at the University of Edinburgh, UK and received his doctorate from the University of Cambridge, UK.

The Christ’s Faith: A Dogmatic Sketch

  • Author: R. Michael Allen
  • Publisher: T&T Clark
  • Publication Date: 2012
  • Pages: 256

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The Christ’s Faith coheres with orthodox Christology and Reformation soteriology, and needs to be affirmed to properly confirm the true humanity of the incarnate Son. Without addressing the interpretation of the Pauline phrase pistis christou, this study offers a theological rationale for an exegetical possibility and enriches a dogmatic account of the humanity of the Christ.

The coherence of the Christ’s faith is shown in two ways. First, the objection of Thomas Aquinas is refuted by demonstrating that faith is fitting for the incarnate Son. Second, a theological ontology is offered which affirms divine perfection and transcendence in qualitative fashion, undergirding a Chalcedonian and Reformed Christology. Thus, the humanity of the Christ may be construed as a fallen human nature assumed by the person of the Word and sanctified by the Holy Spirit.

The dogmatic location of The Christ’s Faith is sketched by suggesting its (potential) function within three influential theological systems: Thomas Aquinas, federal theology, and Karl Barth. Furthermore, the soteriological role of the doctrine is demonstrated by showing the theological necessity of faith for valid obedience before God.

R. Michael Allen is associate professor of systematic and historical theology at Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, Florida. He is the author of Karl Barth’s Church Dogmatics: An Introduction and Reader and Reformed Theology in the Doing Theology series.