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Dogmatics in outline: With a new foreword by the author (Harper torchbooks, TB56. Cloister library) Unknown Binding – 1959


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Product details

  • Unknown Binding: 155 pages
  • Publisher: Harper (1959)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0007DFDHU
  • Product Dimensions: 20.1 x 13.5 x 1.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Peregrine Bluecher on 2 Aug 2010
Format: Paperback
Karl Barth was a prolific and often opaque writer; yet he once observed that Theology is pointless if it cannot be explained to a five-year-old. In this short work he comes close to achieving his object, to set out some of the most profound Christian theological insights in a way which any layman could grasp. He also comes remarkably close to bridging the gap between Catholic and Protestant; it is hard to see what a Catholic could object to in this work by a Lutheran writer.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Kurt Messick HALL OF FAME on 14 Jan 2004
Format: Paperback
One of the remarkable things about this text is that it is derived from lectures Barth delivered without notes. Reading the text shows the remarkable clarity and insight of a man who had spent a lifetime developing a massive theological system (although Barth himself would hesitate to call his work systematic theology, constrasting his work with Tillich, who explicitly claimed the description for his work). Barth's 'Church Dogmatics' represents a major achievement in the history of theology, twentieth century or otherwise; this text, 'Dogmatics in Outline', can serve as a good introduction, a brief overview, or a quick reminder of the greater work in 'Church Dogmatics'.
Barth warns against using this text in a Cliff-Notes fashion for the larger work; however, modern reality being what it is, many students and readers will never find the time to explore the larger work, so this is a welcome text. It goes beyond 'Church Dogmatics' in some ways, in that this text (perhaps more than any other of Barth's, or perhaps on a par with his 'Humanity of God') serves as a guide to Barthian thought without the difficulty involved in his weightier works.
'Dogmatics in Outline' has as its backdrop the war-weary European theatre; indeed, these lectures were delivered in the bomb-damaged University of Bonn. If ever there were experiences that would question the love of God and the grace of God toward humanity, the experiences of the few years preceding these lectures would have served as such. Barth takes the experiences of World War II and the Holocaust into full account as he discusses the importance of faith. One of Barth's concerns throughout his career, and certainly in the aftermath of world war, is that moderns have lost the ability to speak in theological and faithful terms.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By S. Meadows on 14 Oct 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Anyone who ever looks at theology these days cannot help but notice the shadows of certain figures looming large over them. Arguably, fewer of these are more prominent than Karl Barth. His Church Dogmatics is often cited as one of the greatest works of 20th century theology. It is, however, extremely long and, I might add, rather expensive. So in order to attempt to get to grips with Barth's theology, I have had his Dogmatics in Outline on my radar for some time. In this book, which is comprised of transcripts of lectures he gave in Germany, just after the Second World War, he condenses his magnum opus into a little over 140 pages, going through the Apostles' Creed, phrase by phrase.

Before he begins in earnest, though he gives us an outline of his plan, as well as some very useful discussions on the nature of faith. One must not think, though, that because the book is short that it is straightforward. It's very dense, particularly the early chapters. I think I could re-read the first 30 pages over and over again, get something new out of them every time and yet still not fully grasp the breadth of the vision that Barth was expounding.

As he moves on to look at the various bits of the Apostles' Creed, it does become a bit more accessible. Though that may be because I had, by that time, adjusted my reading to suit the cadences present in the text. In many ways, it is particularly hard for me to summarise what Barth's theology is, because what became clear is how much of an influence he has been on the leaders of the churches I have been a part of. That is, I view my own beliefs as being fairly orthodox and there is very little in this book that is vastly different from the teaching I have largely grown up within baptist, pentecostal and other nonconformist churches.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Kurt Messick HALL OF FAME on 20 Dec 2005
Format: Paperback
One of the remarkable things about this text is that it is derived from lectures Barth delivered without notes. Reading the text shows the remarkable clarity and insight of a man who had spent a lifetime developing a massive theological system (although Barth himself would hesitate to call his work systematic theology, constrasting his work with Tillich, who explicitly claimed the description for his work). Barth's 'Church Dogmatics' represents a major achievement in the history of theology, twentieth century or otherwise; this text, 'Dogmatics in Outline', can serve as a good introduction, a brief overview, or a quick reminder of the greater work in 'Church Dogmatics'.
Barth warns against using this text in a Cliff-Notes fashion for the larger work; however, modern reality being what it is, many students and readers will never find the time to explore the larger work, so this is a welcome text. It goes beyond 'Church Dogmatics' in some ways, in that this text (perhaps more than any other of Barth's, or perhaps on a par with his 'Humanity of God') serves as a guide to Barthian thought without the difficulty involved in his weightier works.
'Dogmatics in Outline' has as its backdrop the war-weary European theatre; indeed, these lectures were delivered in the bomb-damaged University of Bonn. If ever there were experiences that would question the love of God and the grace of God toward humanity, the experiences of the few years preceding these lectures would have served as such. Barth takes the experi Barth takes the experiences of World War II and the Holocaust into full account as he discusses the importance of faith. One of Barth's concerns throughout his career, and certainly in the aftermath of world war, is that moderns have lost the ability to speak in theological and faithful terms.
Read more ›
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