Hope in Barth's Eschatology: Interrogations and Transformations Beyond Tragedy, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Hope in Barth's Eschatology

Interrogations and Transformations Beyond Tragedy, 1st Edition

By John C. McDowell


276 pages

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pub: 2017-11-03
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This title was first published in 2000. Hope in Barth's Eschatology presents a critical investigation and survey of Karl Barth's writings, particularly his Church Dogmatics IV.3, in order to locate the character and nature of 'hope' within Barth's eschatology. Arguing that Barth, with his form of hope that refuses to shy away from the dark themes of the 'tragic vision', could be seen to undermine certain tragic sensibilities necessary for a healthy account of hope, John McDowell locates Barth within the context of larger traditions of theological thinking, and influential accounts of Christian hope, examining the work of Steiner, MacKinnon, Pannenberg, Rahner, Moltmanm and others. Addressing the relative neglect that Barth commentators have paid to eschatological themes, McDowell maintains that to miss what Barth is doing in his eschatology, is to seriously misunderstand Barth's broader theological sense. This book offers a significant contribution to the ongoing task of understanding Barth's theology whilst developing a way of reading hope and eschatology that, ultimately, places some critical questions at Barth's door.


’This is not just an excellent treatment of Karl Barth's eschatology; it is also a lively engagement with major debates about God, contemporary human life and fundamental ways of orienting ourselves towards the future’. Professor David F. Ford, University of Cambridge, UK 'Cracking his way through the thickets of Barth-criticism and commentary, and negotiating the vast tracts covered by Barth's own writing, McDowell renders a valiant service to Barth studies by detailing Barth's teaching on eschatology. The undertaking is little short of heroic and acquaintance with the English-language scholarship impressive… This is an excellent beginning - and it sets up a certain expectation…' The Expository Times 'McDowell renders a valiant service to Barth studies…The undertaking is little short of heroic and acquaintance with the English-language scholarship impressive. But something stirs beneath the text which is perhaps even more promising than what we have published at this point…McDowell shows himself to be an able theologian…This is an excellent beginning - and it sets up a certain expectation (as all talk of eschatology should)' Literature and Theology. 'This is a thought-provoking study, born out of a very wide reading of Barth.' Reviews in Religion and Theology '… McDowell's book is an important and welcome addition to Barth scholarship and to the discussion of Barth's eschatology in particular.' International Journal of Systematic Theology '… this is an important topic in Barth studies, and the extensive research, bibliography and notes on this important topic will serve Ashgate's readers well…' The Bulletin of the Institute of Reformed Theology

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction; Silenus’ wisdom and the ’crime of being’: George Steiner on the untragic nature of Christian hope; Escaping contingency: Barth’s eschatological actuality; Barth’s developing eschatology (1909-1924); Barth’s Christological hermaneutic of eschatological assertions (GD-CD, I); Contriving creation eschatology under Christological control: the doctrine of election (CD, II-III); Being placed in hope: Christ’s prophetic work (CD, IV.3, IV.4); Hope’s performance in anticipating the coming dawn (CD, IV.3, IV.4, CL); Conclusion: faintly detecting Edgar’s voice in Barth; Select bibliography, Index of names.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
RELIGION / General