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The Ordering of the Christian Mind: Karl Barth and Theological Rationality

Authors Martin Westerholm
ISBN 9780198753124
Publisher Oxford University Press
Place of publication Oxford
Publication year 2015
Published at
Language en
Keywords Barth, reason, rationality, truth, faith, understanding, Paul, Anselm, standpoint, freedom
Subject categories Philosophy, Ethics and Religion, Systematic theology


The most common criticisms of Barth’s work concern his description and deployment of theological reason; this study aims to facilitate fruitful consideration of the legacy and ongoing potential of Barth’s theology by developing a new account of his work in this sphere. It does so, first, by showing that Barth understands the question of reason as the question of coming to acknowledge the truth of God through the moral ordering of the activities of the mind in correspondence to the activity of God; secondly, by arguing that Barth develops an intellectually and spiritually cogent account of the moral ordering of creaturely thought by reconsidering the proper standpoint, orientation, and freedom of Christian reasoning. It proposes that, for Barth, well-ordered Christian thought operates from the standpoint of the eschatological subject, takes its orientation from the Christ’s being and activity and the content of the Christian confession, and finds its proper freedom in allowing itself to be shaped by the necessity that is proper to the truth of God.

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