Nations and Nationalism in the Theology of Karl Barth by Carys Moseley

By Carys Moseley

Karl Barth was once famous for his feedback of German nationalism as a corrupting impression at the German protestant church buildings within the Nazi period. Defining and recognising nationhood as targeted from the kingdom is a crucial even though underappreciated activity in Barth's theology. It flows out of his deep obstacle for the potential for nationalist dogma - that each state should have its personal kingdom - to advertise struggle. the matter inspired him to make his well-known holiday with German liberal protestant theology.

In this ebook, Carys Moseley strains how Barth reconceived nationhood within the gentle of a lifelong curiosity within the exegesis and preaching of the Pentecost narrative in Acts 2. She indicates how his obligations as a pastor of the Swiss Reformed Church required preaching in this textual content as a part of the church calendar, and hence how his defence of the inclusion of the filioque clause within the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed stemmed from his ministry, homiletics and implicit missiology.

The predicament to disclaim that international locations exist primordially in construction used to be an important reason behind Barth's dissent from his contemporaries over the orders of production, and that his polemic opposed to 'natural theology' used to be principally pushed by way of rejection of the German liberal concept that the increase and fall of countries is a part of a cycle of nature which easily mirror divine motion. by contrast conceit, Barth complex his well-known doctrine of the election of Israel as a part of the election of the group of the folk of God. this can be the way in which into figuring out the department of the area into countries, and the divine acceptance of all countries as groups in which individuals are intended to hunt God.

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Of these, Webster has been the most influential amongst students of Barth, but has the least to say specifically about politics, tending to play down Barth’s political 68 See for example Christopher Insole, The Politics of Human Frailty: a Theological Defense of Political Liberalism (London: SCM Press) 2004, 66–70. 69 Bernard Palmer, High and Mitred: A study of prime ministers as bishop-makers, 1837–1977 (London: SPCK) 1992. 71 I am very much indebted to this study for inspiration for the present book.

Jürgen Fangmeier, Erziehung in Zeugenschaft: Karl Barth und die Pädagogik (Zürich: EVZ) 1964. The period 1909–21 is covered in pp. 17–42. 23 ‘Die alten Hebr[äer] sollen keine Deutschen warden, aber Sie alten Hebräer’. Barth, Konfirmandenunterricht, 2. 24 Karl Barth, Moderne Theologie und Reichsgottesarbeit (1909) in Karl Barth, Vorträge und kleienere Arbeiten, 1905–1909, 334–66; Garry Dorrien, Theology Without Weapons: The Barthian Revolt in Modern Theology (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press) 2000, 30.

42 Nations and Nationalism in the Theology of Karl Barth proof that redemption came before creation in order of importance in his thought from the very outset. Some themes from the early sermons remained constants throughout Barth’s career: the Kingdom of God, socialism, and Swiss neutrality. Neutrality was central to Barth’s conceptualization of Switzerland as a secular parable of the Kingdom of God. 41 Fähler correctly argues that Barth saw in the concept of patriotism a compromise between socialism and neutrality.

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