This book takes its place within an impressive array of attempts to wrestle with Karl Barth’s theology from a Catholic point of view. Hans Urs von Balthasar presents an exposition of “the whole of Barth’s thought,” for the purpose of a confessional dialogue among theologians. Not to be construed as an “introduction” to Barth’s theology, this effort provides a Catholic response which, though not “official,” nonetheless seeks to express a common direction and movement within Catholicism.
As von Balthasar writes in the foreword, “No one should think he can quickly dispose of questions posed here offhandedly. It was precisely because writers were in the habit during the time of the Reformation of theologizing with a hammer that the split in the Church became irreparable. And to work at overcoming this split means much effort. Only the patient need apply.”
The Theology of Karl Barth shows how a rethinking of basic issues in fundamental theology—concerning the relation of nature and grace, philosophy and theology, the “analogy of being” and the “analogy of faith”—might lead to a rapprochement between the two great rivers of Christianity, without compromising the center of gravity of either. In the process the book makes a major contribution to renewed understanding of Christianity in a secularized modern world.