Many of Barth's theological themes, such as revelation and election, have received numerous scholarly examinations, whilst Barth's doctrine of the church has been largely ignored. Yet, Barth entitled his massive systematic theological opus the Church Dogmatics, and the church was a central element of his thought from first to last. This book seeks to fill a lacuna in studies of Barth's theology, presenting the first comprehensive examination of Karl Barth's doctrine of the church in over three decades. Kimlyn Bender examines Barth's ecclesiological thought, from his early theological treatises to his massive unfinished dogmatics, in light of his interaction with both Roman Catholicism and Protestant Liberalism. A special emphasis is placed upon Barth's mature ecclesiology in the Church Dogmatics.
Table of Contents
Contents: Introduction. Part One Barth's Early Ecclesiology: Barth's early theology: battles on the left and on the right; The path to the ecclesiology of the Church Dogmatics. Part Two Barth's Mature Ecclesiology: The election of Jesus Christ: the foundation of ecclesiology; Reconciliation as the context of ecclesiology; The origin of the church as the fellowship of the spirit; The order of the church as the body of Christ; The ordination of the church as the people of God in the world; Looking back and looking ahead. Bibliography; Index.
'Kimlyn Bender offers a lucid, well-organised and thorough account of Barth's doctrine of the church, a doctrine derived from and informed by a Christo-logic at every point... Bender has filled a significant gap in English language Barth studies and serves as a sure-footed guide who blazes a trail through tough territory and points out the stunning scenery as he goes.' Zeitschrift fÃ¼r Dialektische Theologie 'This well-documented and clearly presented study of the ecclesiology of Kark Barth comprises a bold attempt to revisit a topic that, for over 50 years, has been treated by a number of noted Barthian experts... The sheer skill and intensity with which Bender conducts this exposition is impressive... As an orderly and serious compendium of Barth's thought on the Christian community, this study is valuable... Bender's passion for the event of the church as Barth understood it might lead many readers to learn on their own why the avid master of Basel still generates like-minded scholars.' Theological Studies ’Bender’s work is a wonderful contribution to Barth studies and to ecclesiological reflection in general. Bender makes a strong case that future thinking on the nature and task of the church ought to go ’through and not around Barth’s doctrine of the church’ (p. 284). Certainly future work on Barth’s ecclesiology will have to be undertaken in dialogue with Bender’s elaboration and interpretation of it.’ Ecclesiology