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The Autonomy Theme in the Church Dogmatics : Karl Barth and his Critics - John Macken

The Autonomy Theme in the Church Dogmatics

Karl Barth and his Critics

Hardcover Published: 27th April 1990
ISBN: 9780521346269
Number Of Pages: 244

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The problem of human freedom before God echoes through the conflicts of western theology since Augustine and Pelagius and has posed an acute question to theologians for the past 200 years. Karl Barth, perhaps the greatest Protestant theologian of this century, with the directness that was characteristic of him, faced not only the question of autonomy but also the theological answers that liberals had attempted to provide to it. His dissatisfaction with their answers led him to start a theological counter-revolution, which (until recently) was thought to adopt a negative answer to the question of autonomy. In this careful study Fater Macken shows that a major re-interpretation of Barth's thought in this regard took place since 1968, and that - far from being an opponent of human freedom in relation to God - Barth is now thought to have proposed a positive account of human autonomy as his theology developed. A major reappraisal has thus taken place with regard to Barth's attitude towards the modern world, and Dr Macken demonstrates that - while remaining a staunch opponent of liberal theology - Barth was neither fundamentalist nor conservative, but a creative and original thinker. This notable book, written by a Roman Catholic theologian, is the first work in English to investigate the thought of Karl Barth on the autonomy theme. Set as it is in the wider context of the modern Christian response to questions raised by the Enlightenment, it provides a comprehensive and useful guide to the 'new wave' of German Barth interpretation.The problem of human freedom before God echoes through the conflicts of western theology since Augustine and Pelagius and has posed an acute question to theologians for the past 200 years. Karl Barth, perhaps the greatest Protestant theologian of this century, with the directness that was characteristic of him, faced not only the question of autonomy but also the theological answers that liberals had attempted to provide to it. His dissatisfaction with their answers led him to start a theological counter-revolution, which (until recently) was thought to adopt a negative answer to the question of autonomy. In this careful study Fater Macken shows that a major re-interpretation of Barth's thought in this regard took place since 1968, and that - far from being an opponent of human freedom in relation to God - Barth is now thought to have proposed a positive account of human autonomy as his theology developed. A major reappraisal has thus taken place with regard to Barth's attitude towards the modern world, and Dr Macken demonstrates that - while remaining a staunch opponent of liberal theology - Barth was neither fundamentalist nor conservative, but a creative and original thinker. This notable book, written by a Roman Catholic theologian, is the first work in English to investigate the thought of Karl Barth on the autonomy theme. Set as it is in the wider context of the modern Christian response to questions raised by the Enlightenment, it provides a comprehensive and useful guide to the 'new wave' of German Barth interpretation.

"...a comprehensive and commendable study that contributes to understanding Barth's position in the Kantian tradition...The final chapter is an excellent conclusion and evaluation... No scholar with an interest in Barth or the manner in which theology has dealt with Kantian problems should miss this work." Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society

Preface
Introduction
The history of the term 'autonomy'
Kant and the term 'autonomy'
Fichte: the Ich as first principle of philosophy
Autonomy opposed to theism?
Autonomy in the Church Dogmatics
The background: Barth's reaction against Liberal theology
Autonomy, theonomy and heteronomy in the Prolegomena
Autonomy in the doctrine of Election
The doctrine of Creation: against rival concepts of autonomy
The doctrine of Reconciliation: correspondence and distinction between God and man
Nature as distinct from grace: the Lights of the World
Autonomy and Baptism: the ethical subject distinct from God
The Autonomy Theme in Barth Criticism Since 1950: 12. Barth criticism before 1968: a negative balance - Wolfhart Pannenberg
Barth's positive relationship to modern autonomy: Barth criticism since 1968
Autonomy and Idealism in Barth
Autonomy and ontology: Eberhard J8ngel
Conclusions
Critical questions
Autonomy in the Church Dogmatics
List of abbreviations
Notes
Bibliography
Author index
Subject index
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521346269
ISBN-10: 0521346266
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 244
Published: 27th April 1990
Publisher: CAMBRIDGE UNIV PR
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 21.59 x 13.97  x 1.75
Weight (kg): 0.46