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Doctrine of the Word of God: Prolegomena to Church Dogmatics (Vol 1, Part 1) [Hardcover]

By Karl Barth (Author)
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Pages   528
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.88" Width: 5.54" Height: 1.33"
Weight:   1.56 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Dec 9, 2003
Publisher   T. & T. Clark Publishers
ISBN  0567090132  
EAN  9780567090133  

Availability  0 units.

Karl Barth Church Dogmatics - Full Series Preview
Image Title Price Stock Qty Add To Cart
  The Doctrine of the Word of God (Church Dogmatics, vol. 1, pt. 2)   $ 141.40   In Stock  
  The Doctrine of God (Church Dogmatics, vol. 2, pt. 1)   $ 137.80   In Stock  
  The Doctrine of God (Church Dogmatics, vol. 2, pt. 2)   $ 150.96   In Stock  
  Church Dogmatics, Vol. 4: The Doctrine of Reconciliation   $ 123.22   In Stock  
  Doctrine of Reconciliation: Jesus Christ the Servant As Lord (Church Dogmatics, Vol 4, Part 2)   $ 123.22   In Stock  
  Doctrine of Reconciliation: Jesus Christ the True Witness (Church Dogmatics Ser. : Vol. 4 Pt. 3, 2nd Half) (Vol 4)   $ 130.56   In Stock  
  The Doctrine of Reconciliation (Church Dogmatics, Volume IV, I) (Vol 4)   $ 123.22   In Stock  

Item Description...
Described by Pope Pius XII as the most important theologian since Thomas Aquinas, the Swiss pastor and theologian, Karl Barth, continues to be a major influence on students, scholars and preachers today.Barth s theology found its expression mainly through his closely reasoned fourteen-part magnum opus, Die Kirchliche Dogmatik. Having taken over 30 years to write, the Church Dogmatics is regarded as one of the most important theological works of all time, and represents the pinnacle of Barth s achievement as a theologian.>

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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. Question What You Thought Before
  9. scm classics

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1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Authors, A-Z > ( B ) > Barth, Karl   [47  similar products]
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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Book one of fourteen(!): just the setup, ma'am.  Dec 6, 2008
Karl Barth, The Doctrine of the Word of God (Scribner, 1936)

Depending on your point of view, Karl Barth's Church Dogmatics is either the greatest religious treatise, or the greatest piece of intellectual masturbation, of the twentieth century. Either way, you have to admit it's an enormously impressive achievement. Spanning just shy of nine thousand pages over the course of fourteen volumes, Church Dogmatics is the go-to reference when it comes to Protestant theology; no matter how obscure the point you want insight on, Barth has probably analyzed it straight into the ground and back out the other side. (I should note here that, for the first time, to mark the seventy-fifth anniversary of the current edition, T&T Clark are--finally!--releasing a paperback edition of Church Dogmatics. The page count will be smaller by two thousand, but the volume count is more than doubled. Riddle me that, Batman.)

Despite my not being a Christian--despite, in fact, my decided antipathy toward the Church--I have long wanted to read the Church Dogmatics, simply because Barth actually found nine thousand pages' worth of material to address as regards the Church. (Also because Barth is, when it comes down to it, a very good writer; his essay on Mozart is sure to be enjoyed by Christian and secular readers alike.) After a decade and a half of waffling on the idea, I decided to bite the bullet and sit down with volume one this year, and continue on through the series at the rate of one book a year (while noting the irony that if I'd started in 1993, I'd be done now). And, thus, we come to The Doctrine of the Word of God, the first volume (the preface, really) of Church Dogmatics, and why a heathen like me is sitting here getting ready to review it. I say "getting ready" despite that fact that I've already written three hundred odd words because, obviously, I haven't actually addressed the content of the book yet.

It's pretty obvious that over the course of nine thousand pages, Barth has all the room he could possibly need to delve as deeply into whatever subject he's got his teeth into at any given moment as he needs to. In this case (and I should mention that these five hundred seventy-five pages comprise Chapter One and the first half of Chapter Two), Barth is still getting warmed up. The first book is about how to approach dogmatics (which is, of course, the study of dogma), not dogmatics itself. The definition of dogmatics as it relates to the Church (the Lutheran Church in particular, naturally), how the definition of dogmatics in the Protestant Church differs from the definition of dogmatics in the Catholic Church, and what all this means with regards to how Barth will approach the subject for the nest eight thousand four hundred pages.

For those of you who feel the need to skim, Barth's translator, (the no doubt long-suffering) T. F. Torrance, notes that it's possible to simply read the bits that are printed in regular font and ignore the stuff printed in small font (since Barth will often go off on tangents running two of three pages, it seemed more confusing than it was worth, I guess, to try and make footnotes out of these passages). I, on the other hand, am here to tell you that if you don't read the fine print, you're going to miss out on all the fun this book has to offer. Yes, I did say, and mean, "fun". For all that this project has an air of the dry and scholarly about it, when Barth hits his stride, he can be just as catty as Paris Hilton with a Swiss accent; back in the days before the Internet, printed exchanges of heated debate were not uncommon (there's a great example in Pick's book of criticism on Gerard Manley Hopkins' "The Windhover"); Barth, while writing the updated 1934 edition of the Dogmatics, was obviously embroiled in quite a few of these, and he often used these "diversion passages" (it's misleading to call them footnotes) to express his frustration that a particular critic didn't get what he was on about, expound on hos another dogmatist had missed the mark entirely on a particular point, or what have you. It's great stuff. We all know there are few things more fun to watch (though less fun to participate in) than a heated religious debate; I grant you, we're only getting one side here, but that doesn't make the schadenfreude any less delightful.

All that said, it is hard going; I ended up taking an extended break once I'd gotten about halfway through the book and coming back to it five months later, when I felt that I was ready to handle Barth's (or Torrance's, though having read any number of bad translations from Germanic languages--and one or two literal word-for-word translations of Barth--I have to say that Torrance did a damned fine job of making this book as readable as he could) long-winded, digressive style once again. This is not a book you'll be keeping by the window bench for light reading while you're gazing out at the tulip beds. Barth's goal was to create as definitive a religious reference as possible, and the style reflects that. So I can't really say that this is the kind of thing you're going to find yourself reading for pleasure...unless you're me, because obviously I'm doing just that. If you do decide to take the plunge with me, however, even if you're just as much a heathen as I am, reading something this huge is really its own reward. ***


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