“Geschichte signals a deft riposte to the charge of Hegelianism, easily leveled against Barth given his intensive utilization of the motif of Aufhebung throughout the Dogmatics. Barth’s basic response to the charge is easily imaginable: dogmatics has no fundamental relationship with the apprehension of Geist offered by ‘philosophic history’; it does not read ‘world history’ as Spirit’s ‘field of actualization’, with nations and prominent individuals functioning as vehicles of Spirit’s drive towards self-realization. Nor, more specifically, are the life, death and resurrection of Christ especially illustrative of Spirit’s progress, even granted that the pictorial Vorstellungen of ‘revealed religion’ apprehend this ‘true content’ in advance of speculative thought. Whereas for Hegel Geist’s outworking manifests itself in the person of Christ, Barth uses Geshichte to underscore that Christ, as an irreducible particular person, is one who is ‘logically indispensable’ to and ‘materially decisive’ for a dogmatic account of reconciliation.”
Thursday, February 25, 2010
Paul Jones on Barth, Hegel, and ‘Geschichte’
Paul Dafydd Jones, The Humanity of Christ: Christology in Karl Barth’s Church Dogmatics (London: T&T Clark, 2008): 198.