Barth, Israel, and Jesus: Karl Barth's Theology of Israel by Mark R. Lindsay

By Mark R. Lindsay

The angle of Karl Barth to Israel and the Jews has lengthy been the topic of heated controversy among historians and theologians. The query that has up to now predominated within the debate has been Barth's perspective, either theologically and essentially, in the direction of the Jews through the interval of the 3rd Reich and the Holocaust itself. How, if in any respect, did Barth's attitudes switch within the post-war years? Did Barth's personal theologising within the aftermath of the Holocaust take that horrendous occasion under consideration in his later writings on Israel and the Jews? Mark Lindsay explores such questions via a deep attention of quantity 4 of Barth's "Church Dogmatics", the "Doctrine of Reconciliation".

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Such arguments over the interpretation of Barth’s theology apply in the first place to Barth’s theological method. Equally, however, the content of his theology has been the topic of strenuous debate. Cornelis Van Til and Stanley Hauerwas, to take just two examples, reflect the polarities. 14 It is, we believe, to do Barth injustice, and to do the church irreparable harm, when orthodox theologians fail to make plain that dialectical theology is basically subversive 11 Webster, 13–14. 12 J. McConnachie, The Significance of Karl Barth, (London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1931), 93ff; G.

Bowden, Karl Barth, (London: SCM Press, 1971), 74–75. 35 M. M. ), Footnotes to a Theology: The Karl Barth Colloquium of 1972, (Corporation for the Publication of Academic Studies in Religion in Canada, 1974), 107. E. Demson, ‘Israel as the Paradigm of Divine Judgment: An examination of a theme in the theology of Karl Barth’, in Journal of Ecumenical Studies, (Fall, 1989), 611–627. E. Willis, ‘Bonhoeffer and Barth on Jewish Suffering: reflections on the relationship between theology and moral responsibility’, in Journal of Ecumenical Studies, (Fall, 1987).

Moreover, his confession of an aversion to Jews with whom he had personal interaction has been read back into his theology. ’33 In similar language, John Bowden also expresses concern at Barth’s abstraction of human suffering. He writes that 28 K. 1, trans. J. Bowden, (London: SCM Press, 1987), 439. 29 H. Gollwitzer, ‘The Kingdom of God and Socialism in the Theology of Karl Barth’, in G. ), Karl Barth and Radical Politics, (Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1976), 113. 30 Letter, Barth to Thurneysen, 27 June 1933, in Busch, Karl Barth, 226.

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