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Barth's "Göttingen Dogmatics" - §2: Preaching as the Starting Point and Goal of Dogmatics

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More on Barth’s first dogmatics lectures! This episode addresses the relationship between dogmatics and preaching. We get a number of Barth “greatest hits” – like an early form of his approach to the three-fold Word of God (revelation, scripture, and preaching), and his distinction between regular and irregular dogmatics. But the central issue is the relationship between God’s word and the human word of preaching. Also, I use the idea of Sachkritik to expand on Barth’s definition of theology.

This is part 3 of a multi-part series, and you can find the series index here.





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Theology and "The Promise of Hope," with Christine Helmer

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Long-time readers will know that those of us here at DET have a tendency post on the subject of theology. You know, from time to time.

And sometimes those posts take a step back and reflect on what exactly theology is, how to best explain it, and so on. It’s sort of like that scene in the movie, Office Space: “What would you say…you do here?”

So, for instance, a quick perusal of the blog yielded these relevant results:
What is theology? Who is a theologian? Why should theology persist? (2011)Sarah Coakley defines Systematic Theology (2014)Theology = Worldview? Christine Helmer on the Problem with Contemporary Approaches to Doctrine (2015)Marilynne Robinson on Theology (2017)
Now I’m circling back to one name that’s already on that list – Christine Helmer. In her new book, How Luther Became the Reformer (2019), she pauses to reflect on the discipline of theology in the midst of some rather fascinating historiographical analysis. She pauses for these reflections in order to connect …

Meanwhile, back at the ranch… (December 31, 2019 ed.)

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…or, Something to keep you busy over the weekend…

…or, The Past Fortnight in the Theoblogosphere.

It’s been about four months since the last link post, but New Year’s Eve felt like a good time to do another.

It was a very busy Fall, professionally speaking. The highlight of it was getting to travel to Hannover, Germany to deliver a public lecture as part of a Ringvorlesung on Karl Barth and politics (click here to see the brochure) at the invitation of Marco Hofheinz and the Leibniz Universität Hannover Institute of Theology.

So that was a great opportunity and experience, and writing the lecture absorbed a great deal of time and energy.

In the meantime, an article that I’ve been working on for a long time made it into print: “Theory and Praxis in Theology ‘after’ Karl Barth: Eberhard Jüngel and Helmut Gollwitzer on Socialism and Solidarity,” International Journal of Public Theology 13 (2019): 432–48. I gave a version of this paper at AAR a few years back, and I’m glad to have it …

My Top 5 Books of 2019

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I read a lot of books in 2019. Here are my top 5.


Featured Books: 

-Balmer, Evangelicalism in America
-Heschel, The Insecurity of Freedom: Essays on Human Existence
-Hunsinger, Karl Barth and Radical Politics, 2nd edition
-Marable, Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention
-Weinberg & Bealer, The World of Caffeine: The Science and Culture of the World's Most Popular Drug





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Women of the Reformation (redux)

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Back in 2017, we put together a series of posts on the Reformation to celebrate its 500 year anniversary (#Refo500atDET). To kick off that series, I wrote two posts on Reformation Women (part 1, part 2).

You can now access audio and video versions of that content through the players below, or through The McKrakenCast (podcast) or my YouTube channel. Be sure to subscribe to your preferred medium!





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Meanwhile, back at the ranch… (August 23, 2019 ed.)

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…or, Something to keep you busy over the weekend…

…or, The Past Fortnight in the Theoblogosphere.

Bless me, gentle readers, for I have sinned. It has been nearly four months since my last confes…I mean…links and updates post.

Folks who know that I’m a university professor might be tempted to think that I might be more productive over the summer as opposed to the fall and spring semesters, given the general patterns of the academic calendar. Alas, none of that holds true for those of us in the academic administration game. I’ve got an 8–5 with a set number of vacation days just like any other working stiff.

But enough about me. You’re here for the best curated religion, theology, politics, higher education, and current events link list on the web!

Before diving into the links, however, I’d just like to highlight a piece by Eli Valentin, entitled “Toward a Post-Maria Puerto Rican Pastoral Theology”. He says some nice things about Helmut Gollwitzer and my book, Our God Loves Justice (#…

Karl Barth, Theology, and Secularism. And the Numinous.

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It seems as though I’m going through something of my own, personal Barth revival.

After years of focusing elsewhere, especially on Helmut Gollwitzer, I have – for one reason or another, at least for the time being – returned my attention to the fleshpots of Egy...I mean…to Karli. There’s that podcast series on his Göttingen dogmatics, for instance. And this post.


Anyway, I’ve been reading the first Barth in Conversation volume (I feel like I’ve heard that title, or something very like it, somewhere before…), and thought that I would share some of it with you, gentle and patient readers.

In this passage, a journalist named Seiler interviews Barth and asks, among other things, about the state of contemporary theology. And of course, when we say “contemporary” here we mean 1960. Seiler suggests that Christianity had once been a question of confession, but has now become silent – part of the sociocultural furniture without anything in particular to add to the conversation. As you can …