Wednesday, August 25, 2010

New Center for Barth Studies Book Review

Matthew J. Aragon Bruce reviews Matthias Gockel, Barth and Schleiermacher on the Doctrine of Election: A Systematic-Theological Comparison (OUP, 2006). Be sure to check it out.

Coincidently, Matt Bruce is writing on Barth and Schleiermacher for the upcoming Karl Barth Blog Conference, and Matthias Gockel is serving as his respondent.

9 comments:

Bobby Grow said...

That was a great review . . . thanks for providing the link, Travis.

Interestingly, as TFT constructs it, in his "Scottish Theology," there was a whole strain of Scottish theologians who thought through a "single-winged decree" as well. It would be interesting to see if Schleiermacher and/or Barth were aware of these 'Scots'.

W. Travis McMaken said...

Good question, Bobby. Don't know the answers myself. My suspicion, however, is that both strains are related back (in one way or another) to the Reformation that came out of Zurich and Heidelberg, whose notion of a unified covenant would - once the added layer of decrees thinking that came to dominate in the 17th century - lead in this direction.

Bobby Grow said...

Sounds good, Travis . . . it would be an interesting study to understand some of the ideological connections here (i.e. between Schle./Barth and the magesterial-era Reformation.

ken oakes said...

What I find strange about the review is the bizarrely harsh ending:

'One can only hope (and pray!) that future Barth scholars will follow Gockel and, in so doing, hasten the death of the unreflective Barthian scholasticism and historically ignorant Neo-Orthodox readings that continue to plague English-language Barth studies.'

English-language Barth studies is a pretty small world, and so I wonder just who he might have in mind. Or perhaps this is just typical review flair, and I shouldn't think too deeply about it.

W. Travis McMaken said...

Ken,

Being only the editor, not the author, I cannot comment on your observation. But, one can hardly disagree that one must read an author in historical context.

ken oakes said...

Travis,

I doubt anyone would disagree that an author should be read in context. I am not asking about that part of the review.

It's the tone of something as a 'plague' on English-language Barth studies that interests me (as it really is a small field). And as I studied at one of the other centers of English-language Barth studies, I simply wonder who he has in mind as there aren't that many people to have in mind.

W. Travis McMaken said...

Ken,

I understand that, but it isn't my place to speculate. :-)

ken oakes said...

Fair enough. :)

Thanks for the conversations.

W. Travis McMaken said...

Ken,

Send me an e-mail if you want me to put you in touch with the author.

derevth [at] gmail [dot] com