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Durham e-Theses
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Barth’s concept and criticism of religion

Ruddock, Edgar C. (1976) Barth’s concept and criticism of religion. Masters thesis, Durham University.



The Thesis is set within the pastoral problem of how Karl Earth was to preach meaningfully to his congregations. For this study, the problem of religion was raised through concern over the relationship between institutional religion and living faith; over questions about the content of religious language, and the relevance of a largely conceptual religion to the concrete thought-forms of modem urban man. The study begins with an assessment of the significance of Barth's early years and theological development, and then moves on to sketch in some of Barth's major theological themes. There then follows a textual analysis of Barth's commentary on Romans Chapter 7, and the section in the Church Dogmatics (1.2) entitled The Revelation of God as the Abolition of Religion'. These are compared and contrasted, and linked to some biblical themes. The question of religion is then set in its historical context, attention being paid to Barth's understanding of the problem of religion in theology, to the distinctive characteristics of nineteenth century theology as they affected Barth's thought, and also to the debate between Karl Barth and Adolph von Hamack. Next attention is paid to Barth's methodology, assessing particularly the significance for the concept of religion of the Dialectical Method, and then more specifically of the influence on Barth of Soren Kierkegaard. The final section seeks to explore the way forward, assessing Barth's concept of true religion, and then asking what light is thrown on the concept of religion by Martin Buber. The thesis then concludes with a brief assessment of the significance of Barth's critique of religion for the modem church.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Arts
Thesis Date:1976
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:14 Mar 2014 16:28

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