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Karl Barth:

God's Word in Action

By Paul S. Chung

Karl Barth

Karl Barth:

God's Word in Action

By Paul S. Chung

An insightful analysis of the writings of the German theologian Karl Barth, emphasising the political and social relevance of his thought.

Trade Information: JPOD
Available as: Paperback, PDF

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Print Paperback

ISBN: 9780227172667

Specifications: 229x153mm (9x6in), 518pp

Published: November 2008


PDF eBook

ISBN: 9780227903230

Specifications: 521pp

Published: March 2015

In this creative and original book, Paul S. Chung interprets Karl Barth as a theologian of divine action. Chung appreciates Barth's dogmatic theology as both contextual and irregular, and he retrieves neglected aspects of Barth's thought. The book also clarifies Barth's early interest in social and political ideas, and explores the political dimension in his later dogmatic writings, particularly in relation to his theology of Israel and issues of theologia naturalis and religious pluralism.

Barth's theology can only properly be understood through his social commitment, and Chung, drawing together the traditions of German and Anglo-Saxon theology, shows how Barth's political ideas relate to his theological position.


Introduction: Karl Barth in the Context of Competing Interpretations
1. Karl Barth's Theology and Socialism in Safenwil: 1910–1918
2. Karl Barth and the First Edition of Romans (1919)
3. Karl Barth between Hope and Disillusionment: The Tambach Lecture of 1919
4. Karl Barth and the Second Edition of Romans (1922)
5. Karl Barth: Between the Times in Germany
6. Karl Barth and Theologia Naturalis
7. Martin Luther in the Theology of Karl Barth
8. Karl Barth as a Theologian who Discovers Judaism for Christian Theology
9. The Liberative Dimensions in Barth's Theology
Conclusion: Karl Barth and an Unfinished Project for Religious Pluralism


Paul S. Chung is Associate Professor of Mission and World Christianity at Luther Seminary, Minnesota. He regularly publishes articles in religious journals. He is primarily interested in extending and deepening the horizons of Reformation theology in an Asian inter-religious context.

... an incisive interpretation of Karl Barth's relevance not only for contemporary liberation and political theologies but for Christian theology's engagement with Judaism and other religions. Prof Lois Malcolm, Luther Seminary, USA
An ambitious and groundbreaking study Veli-Matti Karkkäinen, Fuller Theological Seminary, USA
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