Karl Barth: Theologian of Christian Witness, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Karl Barth

Theologian of Christian Witness, 1st Edition

By Joseph L. Mangina


224 pages

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The thought of Karl Barth (1886-1968) has undergone a remarkable renewal of interest in the past twenty years. Joseph Mangina's Karl Barth: Theologian of Christian Witness offers a concise, accessible guide to this important Christian thinker. Uniquely among introductions to Barth, it also highlights his significance for Christian ecumenism. The first chapter describes Barth's extraordinary life, from his youthful break with liberalism during the First World War, to his mature theology in the Church Dogmatics. Subsequent chapters offer a detailed reading of this magisterial work, and place Barth in dialogue with five contemporary thinkers: George Lindbeck on revelation, Michael Wyschogrod on election, Stanley Hauerwas on creation, Robert Jenson on reconciliation, and Henri de Lubac on the church. These ecumenical conversations not only set Barth's thinking in greater relief, but serve to demonstrate its continuing theological fruitfulness. The book concludes by examining Barth's wider significance for the church in our time.


'Professor Mangina’s book will be especially prized by students of theology and their teachers as a superbly executed and flawlessly written guide to the greatest work of theology of the twentieth century, Barth’s Church Dogmatics. Mangina tells us enough about Barth to convince us that it would be worth the effort to take the plunge into his theology itself. That’s the mark of a masterful introduction: it does not try to replace the original with a scaled-down summary but leaves the reader impatient to get on to the real thing.' Garrett Green, Professor of Religious Studies, Connecticut College, USA 'Barth studies are currently blessed with a number of new introductions. Mangina's book takes its place alongside the excellent new offerings by John Webster and Eberhard Busch. Mangina has mined some of the relatively untapped posthumous "Complete Edition" (Gesamtausgabe) materials to add color and depth to our understanding of Barth. This volume will be widely used in the classroom.' George Hunsinger, McCord Professor of Systematic Theology, Princeton Theological Seminary, USA '… a lively introduction to the immense resource of Church Dogmatics…' Encounter 'Mangina […] provides […] a clear and direct introduction - and does so brilliantly… Mangina has written a far more serviceable and constructive (and enjoyable) introduction, which, like all really good introductions, speaks to more than simply the beginners.' Themelios 'One could not ask for a better text to introduce theology students to Barth's work, and even for the well-versed Barth reader, Mangina's presentation is fresh, astute and appealing.' Christian Century 'Joseph Mangina succeeds where many others have failed in offering a readable yet comprehensive introduction to Barth's magum opus, the eight-thousand-page Church Dogmatics. Mangina's succinct and clear prose reads like that of a seasoned lecturer who knows how to draw out the important distinctions and make the relevant cri

Table of Contents

Contents: Preface; Introduction; The laughter of the angels: on reading Barth; Speech and mystery: revelation; Lord of the covenant: God; Heaven and earth: creation; Into the far country: reconciliation; Christian existence: church and ethics; The finger of the Baptist: Barth and the Christian witness; References; Index.

About the Author

Joseph L. Mangina is an Assistant Professor at Systematic Theology, Wycliffe College, University of Toronto, Canada.

About the Series

Great Theologians Series

Great Theologians Series
The Ashgate series, Great Theologians, presents a cluster of high profile titles focusing on individual theologians from the ancients through to the contemporary. The series includes a balance between important new perspectives on major figures who have already received much research attention in the past, and lesser-known theologians or those on whom there has been little published to date. Offering a fresh approach to in-depth theological studies, each book presents an accessible, stimulating new study and comprehensive overview of the theologian and their writing, whilst providing a detailed survey of the historic and contemporary international research already undertaken from a range of different perspectives, and analysing important trends of interpretation and research. This series is intended to provide an invaluable and lasting resource at the upper level of study and academic research.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
RELIGION / General