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Protestant Theology in the Nineteenth Century: Its Background and History [Paperback]

By Karl Barth (Author)
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Overview
Introduction by Colin E. Gunton Interest in Karl Barth is running at unprecedented levels in the English-speaking world, and it is high time that his excellent survey of formative eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Protestant thinkers be made available again to theological students and general readers. Featuring an extensive introduction by Colin E. Gunton that recontextualizes and reintroduces Barth's work for a new generation, this book provides a superb review of the shapers of modern Protestant thought and practice. Barth offers insightful readings of all the most significant figures of the modern period - Rousseau, Lessing, Kant, Hegel, Schleiermacher, Feuerbach, Ritschl, and others - as well as several lesser-known thinkers. Also included here are Barth's preface to the original 1946 German edition and a translation of his hard-to-find essay "On the Task of a History of Modern Protestant Theology." In addition to providing insight into some of the church's seminal theologians, this volume offers an excellent look at Barth himself. In capturing Barth's personal views on doctrine, the church, and intellectual history, the book also provides valuable background reading for those studying Barth's own theology.

Publishers Description
Introduction by Colin E. Gunton Interest in Karl Barth is running at unprecedented levels in the English-speaking world, and it is high time that his excellent survey of formative eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Protestant thinkers be made available again to theological students and general readers. Featuring an extensive introduction by Colin E. Gunton that recontextualizes and reintroduces Barth's work for a new generation, this book provides a superb review of the shapers of modern Protestant thought and practice. Barth offers insightful readings of all the most significant figures of the modern period -- Rousseau, Lessing, Kant, Hegel, Schleiermacher, Feuerbach, Ritschl, and others -- as well as several lesser-known thinkers. Also included here are Barth's preface to the original 1946 German edition and a translation of his hard-to-find essay "On the Task of a History of Modern Protestant Theology." In addition to providing insight into some of the church's seminal theologians, this volume offers an excellent look at Barth himself. In capturing Barth's personal views on doctrine, the church, and intellectual history, the book also provides valuable background reading for those studying Barth's own theology.

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Item Specifications...


Studio: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
Pages   672
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.98" Width: 6.38" Height: 1.41"
Weight:   1.95 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jul 17, 2002
Publisher   Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
Edition  Reprinted  
ISBN  0802860788  
ISBN13  9780802860781  


Availability  1 units.
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More About Karl Barth


Karl Barth Karl Barth (May 10, 1886 – December 10, 1968) was a Swiss Reformed theologian. Barth is often regarded as the greatest Protestant theologian of the twentieth century. His influence expanded well beyond the academic realm to mainstream culture, leading him to be featured on the cover of Time on April 20, 1962.

Beginning with his experience as a pastor, Barth rejected his training in the predominant liberal theology typical of 19th-century European Protestantism. Instead he embarked on a new theological path initially called dialectical theology, due to its stress on the paradoxical nature of divine truth (e.g., God's relationship to humanity embodies both grace and judgment). Barth's unease with the dominant theology which characterized Europe led him to become a leader in the Confessing Church in Germany, which actively opposed Adolf Hitler and the Nazi regime. In particular, Barth and other members of the movement vigorously attempted to prevent the Nazis from taking over the existing church and establishing a state church controlled by the regime. This culminated in Barth's authorship of the Barmen Declaration, which fiercely criticized Christians who supported the Nazis.

Many critics have referred to Barth as the father of neo-orthodoxy — a term emphatically rejected by Barth himself. A more accurate description of his work might be "a theology of the Word." Barth's work had a profound impact on twentieth century theology and figures such as Dietrich Bonhoeffer — who like Barth became a leader in the Confessing Church — Thomas Torrance, Reinhold Niebuhr, Jacques Ellul, Stanley Hauerwas, Jürgen Moltmann, and novelists such as John Updike and Miklós Szentkuthy.

One of the most prolific and influential theologians of the twentieth century, Barth emphasized the sovereignty of God, particularly through his reinterpretation of the Calvinistic doctrine of election, the sinfulness of humanity, and the "infinite qualitative distinction between God and mankind". His most famous works are his The Epistle to the Romans, which marked a clear break from his earlier thinking; and his massive thirteen-volume work Church Dogmatics, one of the largest works of systematic theology ever written.

Karl Barth was born in 1886 and died in 1968.

Karl Barth has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Church Dogmatics
  2. Columbia Series in Reformed Theology
  3. Facets
  4. Galaxy Books
  5. Karl Barth Church Dogmatics
  6. Library of Theological Ethics
  7. Making of Modern Theology
  8. Pittsburgh Reprint Series
  9. Question What You Thought Before
  10. scm classics


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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > History > Europe > Germany > General
2Books > Subjects > History > Europe > Germany
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Authors, A-Z > ( B ) > Barth, Karl
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Church History > Protestant
5Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Protestantism > General
6Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > General
7Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > Protestant
9Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Religious Studies > History


Christian Product Categories
Books > Theology > Theology & Doctrine > General



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Reviews - What do customers think about Protestant Theology in the Nineteenth Century: Its Background and History?

Karl Barth  Mar 20, 2006
This is a book which I did not have in my library. It emphasizes his interpretation and outlook as a theologian.
 
Really better on the Eighteenth Century  Nov 3, 2002
The first Complete English Edition had almost 400 pages for Part 1 - Background, before the few hundred pages of History which cover the century mentioned in the title, including chapters on Schleiermacher, Baur, Feuerbach, and Strauss. Most of the chapters have a heavy philosophical theme, but lines of verse liven up Barth's analysis of Lessing's play, "Nathan the Wise," the poems of Herder, and much of what Barth has to say about Novalis, who proclaimed, "The secret path leads inwards. Eternity with its worlds, the past and the future, is within us, or nowhere." Most pages in this book which have footnotes start with a footnote number 1, and anyone flipping through pages might well forget where "Frag., 593" can be found. An earlier review of this book has incorrect citations on David Friedrich Strauss. Albert Schweitzer wrote about Strauss in his THE QUEST FOR THE HISTORICAL JESUS, a book which covered a topic on which Struass wrote three books with varying points of view and for different audiences. The biography called D. FR. STRAUSS AND THE THEOLOGY OF HIS TIME was by Hausrath, who called him "essentially a pathological figure."

The last page on Hegel provides the kind of contrast which makes a comparison of the two parts of this book imperative. "Theology had, and still has, no occasion to throw stones at Hegel, as if it had not trodden the same path as he, only not in so firm or so logical a manner as he did. When we come to consider Schleiermacher we shall have to ask very seriously whether his secret is a different one from that of Hegel, only that with Hegel it might be a secret which was to a great extent more respectable and at all events more instructive than that of Schleiermacher."

 
Well informed about some things I know  Oct 28, 2002
As philosophy has developed into a field in which a prime consideration is whether it is possible to catch someone in the act of thinking, theology is expected to be something a bit different. In Chapter 23, on Richard Rothe, Karl Barth wrote: "His biographer Hausrath reports in amazement that one never seemed to meet him when he was not in secret conversation with an invisible power and reality; on one bright day during his lifetime he is said to have appeared to one of his pupils `in a transfigured form'." For those who lack such attributes, as in the case of the most typical, Barth observed, "We may reflect upon the great practical problem he raised, which caused him to be so violently rejected, and think how he was in fact unable to find an effective counter to this rejection; we may observe him in the grief and loneliness which was brought upon him on the one hand by the truth he unwillingly represented, and on the other by the insufficiency and lack of fertility of his zeal for truth. Observing these things we involuntarily see not only him, bit in a certain aspect the typical theologian of the century, so that we are not then content, like Hausrath, to establish that Strauss was `essentially a pathological figure.' " I'm not giving a page number for anything in this review, knowing that a 1959 translation of eleven chapters of this book was published with the title FROM ROUSSEAU TO RITSCHL, the complete book was prepared from lectures "which Hitler prevented him from finishing" according to the Preface to the First Complete English Edition in the Judson Press edition, 1973, and I have not had an opportunity to compare either with whatever might be currently available.

What strikes me about the book, as a whole, is that it attempts to cover religious thought at a time which coincides with the concepts of Karl Jaspers in his unfinished history of THE GREAT PHILOSOPHERS VOLUME IV, subtitled: The Disturbers. Barth died in 1968 and Jaspers in 1969, though Jaspers was born in 1883 and Barth in 1886, and both were concerned about German thought in the century that produced them. Jaspers sees a relationship between Kant and Lessing, though "Kant's CRITIQUE OF PURE REASON appeared a few weeks after Lessing's death." Lessing might not have learned much from Kant, but Kant "learned aesthetics and religion from him. . . . Seen objectively, here were two Germans who overcame and went beyond the halfhearted and shallow Enlightenment of reason to the true enlightenment, which is the medium and presupposition of the philosophy of Existenz." Kant and Lessing are both considered in Part I/Background of PROTESTANT THEOLOGY IN THE NINETEENTH CENTURY by Karl Barth.

A big difference between Barth and Jaspers is on David Friedrich Strauss, who gets credit, in Jaspers, for information on a huge volume by Reimarus, which "became known at a time when it had lost most of its interest. A quarter of the material was published in 1850-52 in Niedner's JOURNAL OF HISTORICAL THEOLOGY; the rest was reported on in a careful analysis by D. F. Strauss." Barth is more interested in what Strauss might have been thinking, and quotes that, "he found it possible to write, as early as 7th April, 1837: `I am beginning to find the manner of pure science a dry one. I was not really meant to be a scholar; I am much too dependent upon mood, and far too self-occupied.' " (Chapter 19/Strauss). Barth even quotes Albert Schweitzer, [this is not in the book, D. FR. STRAUSS UND DIE THEOLOGIE SEINER ZEIT], who wrote, "Strauss must be loved in order to be understood." Barth suggests that we sympathize. "It may well be that in David Friedrich Strauss, just because there is no tragic quality in him, a secret ailment of the whole of modern theology is focused and represented in a special way, so that it was not without justice that he was probably the best-known and most influential theologian of the nineteenth century, in non-theological and non-church circles." It is in the field of music, in which the praise of Strauss for Mozart, the universal genius, where Barth found Strauss superior to those who most ferociously were his detractors. "In this poor Strauss really seems to have chosen the better part, as against Nietzsche, who, as is well known, was the helpless slave of the dreadful Wagner at the time of his great deriding of Strauss."

 

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