Item description for Karl Barth: God's Word in Action by Paul S. Chung...
Description: In this creative and original book, Paul S. Chung interprets Karl Barth as a theologian of divine action. Chung appreciates Barth's dogmatic theology as both contextual and irregular, and he retrieves the neglected sides of Barth's thought with respect to political radicalism, Israel, natural theology, and religious pluralism. Endorsements: In this insightful and wide-ranging consideration of Barth for today, Chung reminds us of both the particularities of Barth's politicized theology and his theologized politics. Thereby Chung, in a properly Barthian mode and with the refreshing frame of a second-generation minjung theologian, demonstrates Barth's ongoing relevance for this politically charged and pluralistically cultured day. _Duane H. Larson, President, Wartburg Theological Seminary, Dubuque, IA. Transversing both the German and the Anglo-Saxon scholarship on Barth, this concise and clearly written book shows how Karl Barth's theology, from beginning to end, contains a contextual dimension that is bound to disturb our all-too-comfortable dichotomies between dogmatics and ethics, the gospel of the church and the politics of this world. Writing from his Asian minjung liberative background, Dr. Chung has done a favor to both the student and the scholar, and to the legacy of Karl Barth. -Niels Henrik Gregersen, Professor of Systematic Theology, University of Copenhagen, Denmark. Chung demonstrates Karl Barth as a radical theologian with a convincing aptitude. I personally appreciate the kinship this independent reading has with my own footsteps, identifying Barth as a resisting theologian. -Prof. Dr. Peter Winzeler at the University of Bern, Switzerland. Author of Widerstehende Theologie: Karl Barth 1920-35. An ambitious and groundbreaking study, in which Chung makes a significant contribution to the renewal of Barth studies by combining methodological, biographical, social/political, and theology-of-religions perspectives.-Veli-Matti Karkkainen, Professor of Systematic Theology, Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, CA. Chung's lucid study of Karl Barth's theology displays and mobilizes the power of Barth's thinking and praxis for present-day socio-historical biblical exegesis, including ecumenical, intercultural, interreligious, and liberating theology and praxis.-Prof. Dr. Ulrich Duchrow, University of Heidelberg, Germany. Chung offers an incisive interpretation of Karl Barth's relevance not only for contemporary liberation and political theologies but for Christian theology's engagement with Judaism and other religions. Especially intriguing is his reading of Barth's appropriation of Luther's Christology, a reading that roots the ""liberative"" dimensions of Barth's theology in God's humanity in Christ.-Lois Malcolm, Associate Professor of Systematic Theology, Luther Seminary. About the Contributor(s): Paul S. Chung is Assistant Professor at Wartburg Theological Seminary, Dubuque, Iowa. He is the author of Martin Luther and Buddhism: Aesthetics of Suffering (second edition, 2007) as well as numerous articles.
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Reviews - What do customers think about Karl Barth: God's Word in Action?
Karl Barth the radical Sep 29, 2008
Posted on September 11, 2008 by Halden
While theology in the United States has enjoyed a renewed interest in the theology of Karl Barth, many crucial aspects of his thought have been neglected. I sometimes wonder whether the sort of "Barth exegesis" that its common today tends towards a rather rationalistic sort of scholasticism. Certainly many of the debates about Barth's theology are crucially important, but sometimes the sort of christological calculus that many employ in Barthian circles tends towards a form of abstraction.
However, there are many books emerging on Barth that deal, in different, complementary ways with Barth's thought. One such recent book is Paul Chung's Karl Barth: God's Word in Action. One of the things that I found most helpful about this book was the way in which it spent time exploring the radical political roots of Barth's theological thought which precipitated and informed his "dogmatic turn" during his pastorate as Safenwill from 1910-1918. Chung helpfully explores how Barth's radical politics, including his early socialism shaped his later thought. Chung also explores the much-neglected connection between Barth's thought, especially in the Romans commentary and Christoph Blumhart, whose radical theology of the kingdom of God indelibly stamped Barth's theology.
Chung also does some good work exploring what Barth's theology has to say in regard to the problem of the Jewish-Christian schism, liberation theology, and inter-religious dialogue. All of this is couched in his investigation of how Barth's radical political theology, centered on the invasive Word of God in Jesus Christ, shapes a particular mode of faithful Christian theopolitics.
I think this is really some of the finest sort of work on Barth coming out these days (and of course it is not a lone example of this by any means). What is needed in Barth scholarship is more intensive work in making connections between Barth's work and the contemporary theological and cultural situation. No true follower of Barth can be content to simply exposit Barth's thought. Chung does something important in highlighting the radical politics which undergirds the whole of Barth's theology. Too few theologians writing on Barth today take his politics with enough seriousness, particularly Barth's commitment to radical Christian socialism. More engagement with the radical Barth is, in my view, a very necessary thing, and Chung's book is a good step in the right direction.