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Karl Barth and the Analogia Entis
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Karl Barth and the Analogia Entis


T&T Clark 2011

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Gathering Interest


Keith Johnson presents a fascinating new study challenging the classical view of Karl Barth’s rejection of the Roman Catholic understanding of analogia entis, or the “analogy of being.” Better understand the meaning and development of Karl Barth’s treatment of the analogia entis, as Johnson examines Barth’s approach to the analogy and its relation to the approaches of other key voices in the debate, Przywara, Söhngen, and Balthasar.

With Logos Bible Software, this volume is enhanced with cutting-edge research tools. Scripture citations appear on mouseover in your preferred English translation. Important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Powerful topical searches help you find exactly what you’re looking for. Tablet and mobile apps let you take the discussion with you. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.

Expand your study—read Erich Przywara’s Analogia Entis: Metaphysics: Original Structure and Universal Rhythm for yourself.

Key Features

  • Reexamines Barth’s rejection of Przywara’s Analogia Entis
  • Examines the substance and development of Barth’s treatment of the analogy
  • Connects Barth’s approach to those of prominent voices, Przywara, Söhngen, and Balthasar


  • Introduction
  • The Background to the Debate
  • Incarnation and Analogy
  • The Nature of Barth’s Rejection of the Analogia Entis
  • Przywara’s Analogia Entis and the “Invention of the Anti-Christ”
  • Barth’s Analogia Fidei and Its Implications
  • Analogy and Covenant
  • Analogy and the Church for the World
  • Conclusion

Praise for the Print Edition

Keith Johnson’s Karl Barth and the Analogia Entis is perhaps the best work on this demanding topic ever to have been written. It contributes not only to the field of Barth studies but also to modern theology in general. It approaches this vexing question with painstaking care, erudition and sophistication. In the process it makes a vital contribution to contemporary ecumenical discussion among Protestant and Roman Catholic theologies. I believe it will become a standard point of reference and that it will be widely read and cited.

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

Given that metaphysics seems to be making a comeback in American Protestant theology, Keith Johnson’s fine study of the debate between Karl Barth and Roman Catholic theologians with respect to the so-called ‘analogy of being’ could not be more timely. The verdict of the last generation on this debate was that it rested on a misunderstanding on Barth’s side. Johnson gives us ample reason to question this verdict—and even more reason to take Barth’s criticisms seriously. This is ecumenical theology at its best—sober and penetrating but unfailingly courteous. This book will be much-discussed.

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

Keith Johnson’s forcefully argued and elegantly written book is the best we have on the theological substance and historical development of Karl Barth’s treatment of the analogia entis . . . The fallout is both a defense of Barth’s resistance to the positions staked out by his Catholic conversation partners, and, more importantly, a deeper understanding of the history and issues involved. Throughout, Johnson’s mastery of Barth’s theology, its continuities and its developments, its nuances and depths, is flawless. He helps us see what a truly Protestant theology of grace looked like for Karl Barth, and he helps us imagine what such a theology might look like for us now.

John Bowlin, Rimmer and Ruth de Vries Associate Professor of Reformed Theology and Public Life, Princeton Theological Seminary

Keith Johnson’s study of the debate between Karl Barth and Roman Catholicism over the issue of analogia entis is first-rate historical theology. Carefully researched, balanced in judgment, and clearly written, it helps fill a gap in scholarly literature on Barth’s remarkable relationship with Roman Catholic theology and opens numerous doors for future research.

Daniel L. Migliore, professor emeritus of theology, Princeton Theological Seminary

Johnson has written an excellent book, offering a lucid analysis of Barth’s lifelong engagement with the analogia entis, an engagement often referenced but seldom understood. In the course of this work, he carefully exposits and evaluates not only Barth’s approach to the topic, but also its relation to the approaches of his key conversation partners—Przywara, Söhngen, and Balthasar. The result is at once fascinating and compelling, and establishes Johnson as a theologian of the first order.

—Paul T. Nimmo, chair in systematic theology, University of Aberdeen

Careful historical research, a stimulating and well-defined interpretative agenda, and a willingness to venture bold, yet nuanced, theological judgments distinguish this timely and impressive book. Scholars interested in the development of Barth’s thought and the difficult question of Barth’s relationship to twentieth-century Roman Catholic theology will gain much from it.

—Paul Dafydd Jones, associate professor of religious studies, University of Virginia

Product Details

About Keith L. Johnson

Keith L. Johnson is assistant professor of theology at Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois. He earned his PhD from Princeton Theological Seminary, ThM from Duke Divinity School, and MDiv from Baylor University. He is the author of Theology as Discipleship, as well as numerous articles. He also coedited Bonhoeffer, Christ, and Culture.

Sample Pages from the Print Edition