Barth backwards: reading the Church Dogmatics ‘from the end’

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Barth backwards: reading the Church Dogmatics ‘from the end’

In an article newly published in the Scottish Journal of Theology, Academic Dean Rob McDonald proposes that reading Church Dogmatics 'from the end' can bring to light two key aspects of Barth's theology.

The Revd Dr Rob McDonald, Tutor in Christian Doctrine who was also recently appointed Academic Dean, has had a long-held interest in Karl Barth's Church Dogmatics that began when he was an ordinand at Ridley. We're delighted that his research will reach a wider audience through this publication.

More about the article

This article proposes a way of reading Karl Barth's Church Dogmatics backwards or ‘from the end’. Employing this method to explore The Doctrine of God and The Doctrine of the Word of God highlights two aspects of Barth's theology.

The first is the importance of communion to Barth's account of the immanence and economy of God, especially in his understanding of God as the ‘Lord of Glory’.

The second is Barth's careful balancing of christology and pneumatology across the first two volumes of the Dogmatics through the use of a chiastic structure that underpins his construal of divine election and his account of divine revelation.

The fourteen volumes of the Church Dogmatics
Church Dogmatics is the 14-volume magnum opus of Swiss Protestant theologian Karl Barth.


Entitled 'Barth backwards: reading the Church Dogmatics "from the end"', the article is published in the November 2018 issue of the Scottish Journal of Theology (Volume 71, Issue 4, pp. 379-390) and is available for purchase or to registered subscribers on the SJT website.

More about the author

Revd Dr Rob McDonald

Academic Dean
Tutor in Christian Doctrine

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