This book explores the doctrine of ascension, and Barth's ascension thought in particular. First, it examines the doctrine of Jesus Christ's ascension into heaven, presenting a sustained discussion of Karl Barth's approach to this doctrine and the significance of the doctrine within his theology as a whole. Secondly, through examining Barth's ascension thought and dialoguing with three other theologians (Torrance, Farrow and Jenson), a clearer understanding of Barth and his theology is achieved. The treatment of issues related to Christ's ascension across a broader (protestant) perspective increases the relevance and usefulness of this unique study. Andrew Burgess presents the doctrine of the ascension as an important and undervalued doctrine and encourages Christians to see how, like Barth, they might benefit in their ability to think coherently about the present age and about Jesus in relation to this age, enabling further thought about the work of the Holy Spirit, the church, and Christian ethics.
'This is a splendid analysis of a curiously neglected theme in the theology of Barth, which shows the significance of the ascension in Barth’s overall presentation of the person and work of Christ in the Church Dogmatics, and engages in lively dialogue with major recent studies of the doctrine of Christ’s exaltation. It is an excellent guide not only to Barth’s thinking but also to some central preoccupations in the theology of salvation and its effectiveness in human time.' Professor John Webster, Christ Church, Oxford, UK '… Burgess offers an interesting new way of reading Barth's theology, and he rightly highlights the importance of the agency of the risen Jesus in Barth's thought. As an interpretation of Barth, then, this book is valuable…' Faith and Theology '… Burgess offers an interesting new way of reading Barth's theology… As an interpretation of Barth, then, this book is valuable.' Princeton Theological Seminary
Contents: Introduction; Part I Karl Barth on Jesus' Ascension and Heavenly Session: The shape of Barth's theology; The doctrine of the Ascension; Ascension and the Church; Ascension and the Christian; Conclusion to Part I. Part II Dialogues: Thomas F. Torrance; Douglas Farrow: Ascension, Church, and Karl Barth; Robert Jenson: Trinity, Ascension, and Ecclesiology; Conclusion: the Ascended Lord. Bibliography; Index.
The work of Barth is central to the history of modern western theology and remains a major voice in contemporary constructive theology. His writings have been the subject of intensive scrutiny and re-evaluation over the past two decades, notably on the part of English-language Barth scholars who have often been at the forefront of fresh interpretation and creative appropriation of his theology. Study of Barth, both by graduate students and by established scholars, is a significant enterprise; literature on him and conferences devoted to his work abound; the Karl Barth Archive in Switzerland and the Center for Barth Studies at Princeton give institutional profile to these interests. Barth's work is also considered by many to be a significant resource for the intellectual life of the churches.
Drawing from the wide pool of Barth scholarship, and including translations of Barth's works, this series aims to function as a means by which writing on Barth, of the highest scholarly calibre, can find publication. The series builds upon and furthers the interest in Barth's work in the theological academy and the church.