John Webster interprets Barth's earlier work in exegetical and historical theology, particularly focusing on the work of the 1920s. In this new study of Barth's earlier theology, John Webster looks at the significance of historical theology and biblical exegesis in the formative years when Barth began his work as theological professor. Though this period of Barth's work has been the subject of much recent reinterpretation, little attention has been given to Barth's discovery of the classical Reformed tradition or to his intensive engagement with the theological interpretation of Scripture. The publication of many of Barth's lecture texts from the 1920s now makes it possible to present a rather different picture of Barth from that which has become conventional. The four studies in the book offer detailed readings of neglected texts: Barth's lectures on the Reformed Confessions and on Zwingli, his history of modern Protestant theology, and his exegesis of 1 Corinthians. They draw out the importance of Barth as Reformed theologian, his commitment to the Scripture principle and to the ethical character of Christian faith, and his constant work on biblical exegesis.
They also suggest that these texts show that many of the theological convictions which Barth expresses in his mature work were formed in his early years.
'The overall aim...is admirably achieved.'--Mark D Chapman, Ripon College Cuddesdon, Oxford "Theology " '...Webster offers a fascinating analysis.' --John Saxbee "Church Times " 'The overall aim...is admirably achieved.'--, "Theology " '...Webster offers a fascinating analysis.' --, "Church Times " '...Webster offers a fascinating analysis.' --Sanford Lakoff "Church Times " 'The overall aim...is admirably achieved.'--Sanford Lakoff "Theology " '[A] thorough, elegant analysis and reappraisal of his subject....the book is to be commended, for, in his own words, 'if we do not acquire the skills to listen to what the communion of saints says to us, what we have to say in our turn will be thin and unedifying, solemn at all the wrong places and lacking in joyful seriousness about the gospel' (65).' Michael Reeves, Themelios, 32/1--Sanford Lakoff "Themelios " 'Veterans of Barth scholarship and newcomers alike will certainly find this text engaging and insightful. There is no doubt that Webster has added another brilliant brush stroke to the varying portrait of Karl Barth's life and work.' --Sanford Lakoff "Scottish Journal Of Theology "