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Church As Moral Community: Karl Barth’s Vision of Christian Life 1915–1922
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Church As Moral Community: Karl Barth’s Vision of Christian Life 1915–1922


Paternoster 2013

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Gathering Interest


In this work Michael O’Neil investigates Karl Barth’s theology in the turbulent and dynamic years of his nascent career, between 1915 and 1922. He focuses on the manner in which this theologian construed Christian and ecclesial existence. The author argues that Karl Barth developed his theology with an explicit ecclesial and ethical motive in a deliberate attempt to shape the ethical life of the church in the troublesome context within which he lived and worked. O’Neil adopts a chronological and exegetical reading of Barth’s work from the initial dispute with his liberal heritage (c.1915) until the publication of the second edition of his commentary on Romans. This work strives to contribute to a broader understanding of Barth’s theology both in its early development, and with regard to his ecclesiology and ethics.

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Key Features

  • Details the development of Karl Barth’s vision of Christian and ecclesial life in the early years of his career
  • Provides a reading of Karl Bath’s work from a chronological and exegetical standpoint
  • Offers a framework and material for contemporary ecclesial reflection


  • Reading Barth’s Ethics
  • In Search of a New World
  • Life in the Third Dimension: Der Römerbrief (1919)
  • Life in the Shadow of Death?
  • Der Römerbrief (1922): A Theory of Praxis
  • Concluding Reflections: The Church as Moral Community

Product Details

  • Title: Church As Moral Community: Karl Barth’s Vision of Christian Life 1915–1922
  • Author: Michael D. O’Neil
  • Series: Paternoster Theological Monographs Series
  • Publisher: Paternoster
  • Publication Date: 2013
  • Pages: 224
  • Christian Group: Reformed
  • Resource Type: Biography
  • Topic: Theology

About Michael D. O’Neil

Dr. Michael D. O’Neil is director of research and head of the departments of Christian thought, systematic theology, and church history at Vose Seminary in Perth, Australia. He earned his PhD from Murdoch University, focusing on the early theology of Karl Barth. His current research interests are Baptist heritage and theology, and the theology of justification.

Sample Pages from the Print Edition