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Eschatological Presence in Karl Barth's Göttingen Theology$
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Christopher Asprey

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199584703

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199584703.001.0001

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(p.95) 3 Dogmatics
Eschatological Presence in Karl Barth's Göttingen Theology

Christopher Asprey

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines Barth's understanding of the nature and task of dogmatics, looking first at an informal but programmatic presentation he gave to faculty colleagues, followed by the prolegomena to his dogmatics lectures in Göttingen. Barth situates the task of dogmatics between a scholastic scientia de Deo, on the one hand, and a Schleiermacherian Religionswissenschaft, on the other. However, his eschatological focus makes it difficult to develop an account of dogmatics that avoids either making it part of the revelation event itself (along the lines of preaching), or opposing it to that event. The task of dogmatics is then to problematise the identity between preaching and the Word of God. In conclusion, a contrast is drawn with Barth's later lectures on John's Gospel, where his attention to the Johannine idea of witness encourages him to develop a more positive description of acts of human testimony to revelation.

Keywords:   dogmatics, preaching, Schleiermacher, scholastic, witness

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