The Role and Significance of Karl Barth`s Works for the Protestant Theology of the Twentieth Century.




Barth, Protestantism, dogmatics, theology, hermeneutics, neo-orthodoxy


Annotation: The article contains the research concerning the possible impact of Karl Barth`s figure and theological issues on the theology of the 20th century and the first decades of the 21st century. There is a comparative analysis of how powerful and significant was the level of impact of Barth`s scientific experience on the theologians of his era, in comparison with the most prominent representatives of Christian thought from the earlier centuries, beginning with the times of ancient church, the Middle Ages, the 16th century protestant Reformation, as well as his contemporaries. As it was clarified, Karl Barth made a striking impulse for the further radical deconstruction of what is considered to be the achievements of 19th`s century liberal protestant theology (which made him a lot of detractors among his colleagues), made a loud accent on the necessity of the Christocentric approach to all the spheres of theology, newly updated, actualized and convincingly demonstrated the importance of ancient church creeds and dogmas in the field of Triadology and Christology, as well as in an unusual way he intensified and revived the intellectual search in the protestant universities and academies by his reshaping and changing the paradigms of the whole western theology in a radical way. In the article were taken into account some reviews on Barth`s “Epistle to the Romans” (second edition, 1922), which caused lively discussions and prolonged controversy because of specific and non-standard hermeneutical approaches to the biblical text, which Barth demonstrated in this one of the most eminent theological works of the 20th century. The article reveals not only the attitude towards Barth`s theological heritage that was showed by his protestant colleagues, but also reveals the sincere admiration for his theology from some Orthodox researchers, in particular, the honored professor of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, John Karavidopulos, and the world famous specialist in the history of Christianity and medieval intellectual history, Jaroslav Jan Pelikan Jr., who converted to Orthodoxy in 1998. In the article`s conclusion there`s a piece of information concerning the fact that the impact of Barth`s dogmatics and hermeneutics on the modern departments of theology is not so noticeable as one might expect. In particular, we can make such a conclusion because of (1) the absence of true consolidation and common vision about the methods of theologizing between the western universities and church seminaries, (2) the popularity of so called “natural theology” which nowadays often seems to be regarded as an important prerequisite for all further theological researches, while Barth himself was a categorical opponent of this discourse, (3) the domination of binary opposition between conservatives and liberals in context of some modern theological discussions, while Karl Barth always tried to organically combine his devotion to the protestant orthodoxy with his efforts to be relevant and adequate to the requirements of his time.


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