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The Great Passion: An Introduction to Karl Barth's Theology [Hardcover]

By Eberhard Busch (Author)
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Item Number 143236  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   302
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.4" Width: 6.48" Height: 1.02"
Weight:   1.37 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Nov 30, 2004
Publisher   Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
ISBN  0802848931  
EAN  9780802848932  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
Widely regarded as the twentieth century's greatest theologian, Karth Barth refocused the task of Christian theology and demonstrated its relevance to every domain of human life, from the spiritual to the social to the political. It is precisely the broad sweep of Barth's theology that makes a book like The Great Passion of such great value - a succinct yet comprehensive introduction to Barth's entire theological program. Of the many people who write on the life and thought of Karl Barth, Eberhard Busch is uniquely placed. A world-renowned expert on Barth's theology, he also served as Barth's personal assistant from 1965 to 1968. As Busch explains, one cannot fully understand Barth the theologian apart from understanding Barth the man. In this book he weaves doctrine and biography into a superb presentation of Barth's complete work. Busch's purpose in this introduction is to guide readers through the main themes of the multivolume Church Dogmatics against the horizon of our own times and problems. In ten sections Busch clearly explains Barth's views on all of the major subject areas of systematic theology: the nature of revelation, Israel and Christology, the Trinity and the doctrine of predestination, the "problem" of religion, gospel and law, creation, salvation, the Holy Spirit, ecclesiology, and eschatology. A distinctive feature of the book is the way Busch lets Barth speak for himself, often through surprising quotations and paraphrases. Busch also shows how Barth's writing should be read as a dialogue, constantly and consciously engaging other voices past and present, both inside and outside the church. Most important, The Great Passion demonstrates that Barth's thought is still remarkably helpful today.

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More About Eberhard Busch

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Eberhard Busch is professor emeritus of Reformed theology at the University of Gottingen, Germany. A onetime student of and personal assistant to Karl Barth, he is also the son of one of the Barmen Declaration's original signers. His other books include Drawn to Freedom: Christian Faith Today in Conversation with the Heidelberg Catechism and The Great Passion: An Introduction to Karl Barth's Theology.

Eberhard Busch was born in 1937.

Eberhard Busch has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Abingdon Pillars of Theology

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Product Categories
1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Theology > General   [4167  similar products]
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > General   [8607  similar products]
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > Protestant   [815  similar products]

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Thinking after God in the Church  Nov 18, 2007
Eberhard Busch honors and does justice to the voluminous thought of the 20th century's greatest theologian Karl Barth by loading every paragraph with quotations from Church Dogmatics. He gives both a grand sweep of Barth's writing and frequent close looks at Barth's thought on critical points. Evangelism, for example, Barth taught as a theological act that does not separate knowledge of God from the method of communicating that knowlege. As simultaneously saint and sinner the evangelist/theologian will "find unbelief first and foremost in himself" and therefore not have to go far to "connect" with the sinner. I find that an important warning when there is more effort in many churches to "connect with the culture" than to hear the Word. And the one we address is already to be viewed as an "insider" by virtue of the Word of God already addressing him or her. We evangelize after God. Eberhard presents Barth as a critic of the church for the love of the church, calling into question our methodologies that are poor and distracting substitutes for the Word of God we are to hear and proclaim.
An Introduction to an introduction.   Feb 2, 2006
The book is an excellent first step to study K.Barth Theology. Somehow, that which looks impossible to read begins to be more clear. The theological language is advanced, but as you read about the personal events in Barth's life, it is possible to comprehend "why" he wrote in that way, and to better understand his way of thinking. This book gives us an introduction to Barth's Theology and a basis to go by as you later read Church Dogmatics.We can't forget that this is a book also written for someone who enjoys words and theological thinking.
Busch Knows Barth Through and Through  Oct 23, 2005
This book would have gotten 5 stars if Eberhard Busch had not compressed it so much, and if the last chapter on Time and Eschatology had been a bit cleaner. Even a summary of Barth like this requires careful, slow reading. Busch tries not only to summarize Barth's themes in the Church Dogmatics (which are given a great logical structure, as you can see in the Table of Contents), but does so while taking on (mostly German) contemporary critics. Busch is good at seeing points of dispute, and often raises good questions. I wish Busch had put more effort into the voices of Barth's critics. However, an introduction to Barth can only do so much of that. In doing so, Busch succeeds in answering many North American evangelical caricatures of Barth as the Father of Neo-Orthodoxy (a rather ignorant slap in the face to the greatest 20th century theologian). Whether Busch succeeds in helping Barth defeat the arguments of his German critics is really not the point of the book. These critics serve more as segues than serious voices. One would have to do have more equal dialogue.

The beginning is about Barth as a man, as a theologian. I particularly find inspiration in Busch's use of Grunewald's "Crucifixion" painting, where John the Baptist is pointing at Christ on the cross. Barth could see this portrait as the "one task of theology:" that we as the Church must say together that "He must increase, but I must decrease." Barth is never far from this picture when he tackles theological issues. Perhaps most relevant for me was Barth's ideas of Truth in a pluralistic world. I won't spoil the fun on that one, but read CD 1/2 for a full account of what "religion" is to Barth.

Since it is Barth condensed, read slowly and enjoy it just as you would the Church Dogmatics. Busch succeeds in pointing beyond himself to Barth, who points beyond himself to Christ. Just don't let it spoil you from reading CD and doing the dirty work and rewarding work!
Essential for serious Barth scholars  May 12, 2005
Eberhard Busch is the definitive author on anything to do with karl Barth. As Barth's personal assistant, Busch has insights that few can match and a style of writing - even when trasnslated - that is accessible and engaging.

The Great Passion teases out for the reader the main facets of the enormous influence of Barth's writing, a theologian who has been referred to as the greatest theological thinker since Thomas Aquinas. Some may find the prospect of reading Barth's enormous corpus daunting, but Busch is able to, in only a few hundred pages, paint a picture that is fascinating and informative at the same time.

I recommend this book to anyone who is interested in learning Karl barth in detail - both the uninformed and experts alike.

Read and enjoy!
Barth's Thoughts Are Tools for Political Scientists  Feb 21, 2005
A thanks must go to the author, Eberhard Busch, for this great summary of Barth's huge work in Germany on "Church Dogmatics." The well structured Table of Contents will be very helpful to researchers.

Beyond applying Barth's thoughts to theology, his work will be very helpful to those researchers who are working on the unification of theology with politics. Barth (1886-1968) was a "sin fighter" who worked to prevent WWI, the Jewish Holocaust (WWII) and the rise, above God, of German politics (Nazism). This does not mean that Barth would lift a religion above a government. His thoughts were primarily on God, the object of man. Thus, his discussion of God-related topics, e.g., freedom and truth, are excellent. I found one point on which we disagree. Barth speaks only about one Word of God, the Old and New Testaments. I see two Words of God - (1) scriptural sayings and (2) the science proposed by Saint Paul's at Rom. 1:20. Paul is telling us that people must go beyond their scriptures.

This book must be read by those people who have lost faith in God or who are trying to correct the rulings of the US Supreme Court on these two subjects: (1) separating State and Church based on the US Constitution and (2) unifying State and God based on the US Constitution and the US Declaration of Independence. In trying to separate State and Church, the US Supreme Court erred and is destroying the unification of God with people who work in all walks of life.

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