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Thomas Aquinas and Karl Barth: An Unofficial Protestant-Catholic Dialogue

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Thomas Aquinas and Karl Barth, though separated by hundreds of years, are often taken as two of Christianity’s greatest theologians. This collection of essays undertakes a systematic comparison of them through the lens of five key topics: (1) the being of God, (2) Trinity, (3) Christology, (4) grace and justification, and (5) covenant and law. Under each of these headings, a Catholic portrait of Aquinas is presented in comparison with a Protestant portrait of Barth, with the theological places of convergence and contrast highlighted. This volume combines a deep commitment to systematic theology with an equally profound commitment to mutual engagement. Understood rightly and well, Aquinas and Barth contribute powerfully to the future of theology and to an ecumenism that takes doctrinal confession seriously while at the same time seeking unity among Christians.

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  • Explores a systematic comparison of Aquinas and Barth
  • Presents theological places of convergence as well as contrast
  • Combines a deep commitment to systematic theology with an equally profound commitment to mutual engagement
  • “Karl Barth on the Being of God” by Robert W. Jenson
  • “Theology, Metaphysics, and Discipleship” by Richard Schenk, O.P.
  • “Can Humility and Obedience Be Trinitarian Realities?” by Guy Mansini, O.S.B.
  • “Processions and Missions: A Point of Convergence between Thomas Aquinas and Karl Barth” by Bruce L. McCormack
  • “Natural Revelation in Creation and Covenant” by Keith L. Johnson
  • “The Crucified Lord: Thomistic Reflections on the Communication of Idioms and the Theology of the Cross” by Thomas Joseph White, O.P.
  • “Aquinas and Barth on Grace” by Joseph P. Wawrykow
  • “Reconciliation in Karl Barth and the New Life of the Justified Sinner in Christ” by Amy E. Marga
  • “Barth and Aquinas on Election, Relationship, and Requirement” by John R. Bowlin
  • “Divine Action and Human Action in St. Thomas Aquinas: An Analogia Legis” by Holly Taylor Coolman
  • “Epilogue: Musings on the Role Played by Philosophy in Ecumenical Dialogue” by Bruce L. McCormack
Common theological reflection on God and the gospel, hindered by compromise and intransigence alike, is best promoted by the virtues of learning, generosity, attentiveness and charity, all of which are manifest in the distinguished essays collected in this book. They form a rare example of the demanding and much-needed art of theological diplomacy.

John Webster, professor, University of St. Andrews

It must be acknowledged that White’s brilliant introduction is alone worth the cost of the volume. Add to this an array of richly developed essays by leading Protestant and Catholic scholars, treating the central domains of theology, and one has a book that will stand as a touchstone of ecumenical dialogue for years to come.

Matthew Levering, Perry Family Foundation Professor of Theology, University of Saint Mary of the Lake

Remarkable points of convergence combine with strong disagreements throughout the dialogue of this volume. Invariably, however, the reader will find illuminating precision in the delineation of theological issues in these erudite essays. By rigorously examining and comparing Thomas Aquinas and Karl Barth—the two preeminent representatives of Catholic and Reformed thought—this book makes a profound contribution to genuine ecumenical dialogue.

Hans Boersma, J.I. Packer Professor of Theology, Regent College

This is a delightful and stimulating book, full of careful exegesis of two of the most profound theologians ever to have written. Barth and Aquinas are often caricatured or expounded in such a way as to blunt their thought. Not here. Here their thought is at work in its fullness, and in genuine and lively debate. The result is a surprising degree of rapprochement, but also the sharpening and deepening of some old disagreements. Above all, what’s here is good theological thinking done with passion. There’s no higher praise.

Paul J. Griffiths, Warren Professor of Catholic Thought, Duke Divinity School

  • Title: Thomas Aquinas and Karl Barth: An Unofficial Catholic-Protestant Dialogue
  • Authors: Bruce L. McCormack, Thomas Joseph White
  • Publisher: Eerdmans
  • Print Publication Date: 2013
  • Logos Release Date: 2014
  • Era: era:Contemporary
  • Language: English
  • Resources: 1
  • Format: Digital › Logos Research Edition
  • Subjects: Barth, Karl, 1886-1968; Catholic Church › Doctrines; Catholic Church › Relations--Protestant churches; Protestant Churches › Doctrines; Protestant Churches › Relations--Catholic Church; Thomas Aquinas, Saint, 1225?-1274
  • ISBN: 9780802869760
  • Resource Type: Monograph
  • Metadata Last Updated: 2020-03-24T22:38:38Z

In the Logos edition, this digital volume is enhanced by amazing functionality. Scripture citations link directly to English Bible translations, and important terms link to a wealth of other resources in your digital library, including tools for original languages, dictionaries, encyclopedias, commentaries, and theology texts. Perform powerful searches to find exactly what you’re looking for. Take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.

Thomas Joseph White is director of the Thomistic Institute at the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, DC.

Bruce L. McCormack is Charles Hodge Professor of Systematic Theology at Princeton Theological Seminary.


Digital list price: $35.99
Save $7.00 (19%)