Karl Barth's kenotic dogmatics
LE3 .A278 2015
Master of Arts
Acadia Divinity College
Swiss theologian Karl Barth played a key role in the development of Protestant Christian theology in the twentieth century. This purpose of this thesis is to investigate the links between Christology and method in Barth’s dogmatics. It examines the theologian from an historical perspective in his transition from the liberal Christian tradition through his dialectical period and into his substantial prolegomena to the Church Dogmatics. Paying special attention to Immanuel Kant, Friedrich Schleiermacher, and Ludwig Feuerbach, the second chapter contrasts Barth’s dogmatic method as based in faith and prayer with the anthropocentric principles of the Enlightenment. The final chapter gives shape to the Swiss theologian’s integrated doctrines of revelation and reconciliation by looking at God’s acts and disposition in Christ. In it I argue that dogmatics is Christological specifically as it reflects the content and character of the kenotic – obedient servant – Christ. I suggest, finally, that Barth’s kenotic Christ correlates with the prohibitive name he found in Anselm’s Proslogion: ‘that beyond which no greater thing can be conceived.’
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