Home » Course Material » The Life and Work of Karl Barth


The Life and Work of Karl Barth


The Life and Work of Karl Barth

An Introduction


Barth’s theocentric (Christocentric) thought is a startling contrast to

1: Schleiermacher’s theology of feeling

2: Hegel’s theology of philosophical speculation

3: Ritschl’s theology of moral judgments

4: Troeltsch’s theology of the history of religions.



Early Developments

1: God is GOD.

            2: in recent (i.e., 19th Century) theology “God” is humankind speaking to itself in a loud voice.

3: God alone can facilitate the knowledge of God.




1919 – Commentary on Romans

1921 – 2nd edition of Romans

1921 – professor of theology at Goettingen

1922 – professor of theology at Muenster

1930 – professor of theology at Bonn


1927 – Christian Dogmatics


1931 – Fides Quarens Intellectum


1932 – Church Dogmatics (his great work)

1: scriptural

2: Christological

3: ecumenical


Its Characteristic Features

1: the Word of God is its constant point of departure

2: it moves from reality to possibility

3: as it does so it gives rise to “objectivism” (but not to remoteness or that which                                                                                     humans can domesticate: in this                                                                                                regard it lies between Idealism and                                                                                          Realism.)