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The SPCK Introduction to Karl Barth Paperback – 15 Apr 2010

3.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: SPCK Publishing (15 April 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0281060452
  • ISBN-13: 978-0281060450
  • Product Dimensions: 13.8 x 0.7 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 555,972 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


'Terrific… This really is a readable, accessible introduction that takes account of some of the most recent Barth scholarship. It is highly recommended for those coming to Barth's work for the first time.' --Oliver D. Crisp, Reader in Theology, University of Bristol

'This is a book worthy to stand beside Karen Kilby's introduction to Karl Rahner, an outstanding work that appears in the same SPCK series of brief studies of modern theologians.' --The Church of England Newspaper

'Of the many introductions to Barth, this ranks as one of the best. The clarity and ease of its exposition of Barth's life and thought are exceptional, as is its alertness to the deep impulses of Barth's theology. As the book guides readers through the great sweeps of Barth's arguments, it conveys the excitement and provocation which his work generates. Novices and seasoned readers alike will gain a great deal from this generous and perceptive account.' --John Webster, Professor of Systematic Theology, University of Aberdeen

About the Author

Professor D. Densil Morgan holds a personal chair at the University of Bangor and has previously taught at Princeton Theological Seminary in the United States. He is the author of The Humble God: a Basic Course in Christian Doctrine and is currently writing a volume on the reception of the theology of Karl Barth in Britain.

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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A very useful, interesting, readable and engaging summary of Karl Barth, his theology and his context.

If you know about Karl Barth you'll know he was a prolific writer. He is probably best known for his 'Church Dogmatics', where he develops and explains a comprehensive theology worked out from God's revelation in Jesus Christ, and the implications of this for theological thinking, for people, for philosophical thinking, for the church, how it is worked out in Trinitarian terms, etc. Having just embarked upon another theological course and having to evaluate theology using Karl Barth's theology as a conduit for reflection, I felt more and more daunted as I became aware of just how much Barth had written over such a long period. 'Where should I start?', 'How did his thinking change over time?', 'I can't possibly read all of it... in the next 6 weeks... help!?' were just some of my reactions.

Then I stumbled upon this little gem - this book was a great help. It gives an overview of Barth's life and context, explains how his view of God, his theology, developed and the influences (pastoring in a small Swiss town and dealing with social/industrial unrest, and then WWI)that led to pivotal changes in his theology. The book covers the whole of Barth's life, and provides a little more detail on some of the key points, such as key early theological influences, the decisive turn away from liberal theology, publication of Barth's commentary on Romans, the framing of the Barmen Declaration, Barth's dispute and falling out with Brunner, the development of Church Dogmatics etc. There are also some short forays into deeper questions such as the debate about Barth's rejection of natural theology, his involvement in politics and the practical outworking of his theology.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book because the SPCK Introduction to Kierkegaard was fanastic so I thought i'd learn about Karl Barth.
I read the book not knowing anything about Karl Barth at all and finished in a couple of days.

The author goes through his life thoroughly and shows how he was influenced in his early years.
There is a huge emphasis on Barth's Church Dogmatics, and his views on the things that were going on at that time such.

To be honest I read the book not knowing much about what Barth actually wrote about.
I didn't find the author's explanations very helpful and I don't really know what part of Barth's theology was so important.
I think the author assumes the reader knows a lot more than we do, there are various words and latin phrases that refer to some sort of theological meaning but the author doesn't explain it properly.
Maybe its me, but I didn't understand much of the book.

Maybe there is a better Introduction to Barth out there but this one wasn't the one for me.
Or maybe Barth is just extremely difficult to understand!
But I wouldn't really recommend this book to someone who has limited knowledge on theology.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Your prime introduction to the person and theology of Karl Barth 31 Oct. 2013
By Ed Fong - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"It is seldom wise for church historians to write books on systematic theology,..." so begins Professor Morgan in his Preface. A comment which I believe is way too modest, for he has outdone himself in providing us with this succinct and excellent introduction to Karl Barth. In a mere 105 pages, Professor Morgan takes us through a sweep of not only Karl Barth's life, but also the key highlights of his theology as shown in his magnum opus, the Church Dogmatics. In fact, the book divides itself neatly into two parts, with the first 50 pages focusing on Barth's life, and the theological and intellectual influences that shaped Barth up to the point he started writing CD in the early 1930s. The 2nd part summarises the key themes of Barth's theology as evinced in the CD, with intermittent paragraphs devoted to showing key events in Barth's life as he wrote CD over a nearly 40 year period. What I enjoyed about this book is the right combination of insights into both the theology and the life of Barth, hence heightening the appreciation of Barth's theology within the context and situations of his day. Professor Morgan also excels in the pithy but well-captured summaries of Barth's theological emphases that he provides along the way. Here, in this book, one finds a steady guide to hold the beginner's hand through their first-time venture into the vast terrain of Barth's legacy. A quick overview tour which, nonetheless, leaves one yearning for a further and deeper exploration.
5.0 out of 5 stars Fine intro 25 Mar. 2015
By toronto - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is indeed an excellent introduction to Barth. The first part is an amazing short background to Barth's background -- succinct placement -- and the second part covers everything from then on. It is clear! It is a really what it says it is -- an Introduction. Others are more convoluted. This is a good place to start.
0 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The SPCK Introduction to Karl Barth 21 Oct. 2012
By Ado - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Theology is an important topic for me because I'm a religious. I'm looking for these kind of book. Even though, I want more religious books for free.
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