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Biography of Karl Barth (1886-1968)


Swiss Protestant theologian, born in Basel in 1886 and died on December 10, 1968. He was Professor of theology at Göttingen, Münster and Bonn. For his anti-Nazi stance, he had to leave his chair in 1935. It played a very important role in the deepening of Protestant theology, with deep impact even in the most advanced Catholic theology. Among his wide theological production should be remembered: commentary on the letter to the Romans and ecclesiastical dogma (work started in 1932 and which did not finish). Barth belongs to the so-called "dialectical theology", or "of crisis" that aims to provide a complete and coherent response to the word of God. This theology is opposed to "liberal theology", focused on linkages of Christianity with the best expressions of the culture and Western religion. In his commentary on the letter to the Romans, Barth emphasizes the qualitative difference between God and man, and therefore the absolute transcendence of God. God is the only positive, be; the man, as the world in general, is not - being. Any involvement between the two based on the absolute triumph of God on man, by means of the "crisis" can only be. It is very clear to Barth that saving crisis is not a flight of down upwards. The man doesn't even have the possibility of knowing God, can only know that you don't know it. Faith, therefore, is not the result of reasoning, or is based on a subjective feeling (so opposed to the psychologism and prevailing romanticism). Faith is the value of believing "in spite of", is the risk of credo quia absurdum. Faith has two aspects: one human, which is the belief in our not being anything and our radical impossibility. The second is the salvation from God. God is coming and "declares" that the man, his enemy, is her beloved son, and indeed is, because God's Word is efficient. In this it differs from Jaspers, for whom man can not leave their victim status.

The importance of Barth goes, even more than in his great work of dogmatic reconstruction, in the critical spirit of Fund that returned freedom to the theological search and believers. Critical spirit and freedom that he did not cease to practice before all the "idols" proposed by cultural and religious tradition.


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