Showing posts from November, 2010

2010 KBBC: Week 3, Day 1

On the Monstrosity of Christ : Karl Barth in Conversation with Slavoj Žižek & John Milbank By Paul Dafydd Jones For a while, I hoped to frame this conversation in terms of a dramatic interchange – something along the lines of “A Slovenian philosopher, a British theologian, and a Swiss dogmatician walk into a bar…” Alongside an eye-wateringly hip assemblage of cinematic references, literary allusions, and comedic scenes – my early favorites being when Barth imagines a young adult novel, entitled Are you there God? It’s me, Žižek , and when Milbank waxes poetic about the Twilight movies – I wanted to engage some topics that would likely receive attention, were the authors to meet for drinks. Primarily, I envisioned an intense discussion of the logos asarkos and the logos ensarkos , with Milbank talking up the former category, Barth emphasizing the latter, and Žižek asking whether recent debates are but symptoms of secret puzzle, embedded in the Church Dogmatics – a puzzle that

2010 KBBC: Week 3, Outline and Biographical Information

So, we're back for the third and final week-long session of the 2010 Karl Barth Blog Conference (KBBC). For the full story, be sure to read the 2010 KBBC Welcome and Introduction . Here are the key points: The overarching theme is ”Karl Barth in Conversation with…” , where the blank is filled by some significant thinker or field. This session puts Barth into conversation with more philosophically inclined modern thinkers, although a number of them could also be classified as theologians. The first two sessions were awesome! Check them out here , or use the KBBC tab at the top of the page to access all the material from the past four years of Karl Barth Blog Conferences. This is the last session, and your last chance to join in the conversation. We’re making this into a book! Please donate via PayPal , or order a book through our Amazon Associates account (widget in the right side-bar). If you need to buy something from Amazon, just surf over through our widget and we'll ge

2010 KBBC Update

If all goes according to plan, the third and final session of the 2010 KBBC will being on Monday. Stay tuned!

Call For Papers - Bonhoeffer Graduate Student Conference

I’ve been asked to publicize the following call for papers. My apologies to the organizers for being slow in doing so. The good news is that the deadline is still in the future! Perhaps I can talk my wife into letting me send in a proposal… =================================== CALL FOR PAPERS New Conversations on Bonhoeffer’s Theology A Graduate Student Conference at the University of Notre Dame April 10-11, 2011 Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-45) remains one of the most prominent and contested modern German theologians. His theology has been at the center of important discussions on pastoral theology, practical ethics, political responsibility, and the role of the Christian in the modern world. Bonhoeffer’s dramatic involvement in the assassination plot against Hitler, and consequent execution, has no doubt contributed to the widespread interest in his work. Today he is among the most widely read theologians in North America and Europe. Recent scholarship on Bonhoeffer’s theolo

Barth on the Incontestable Greatness of Schleiermacher’s “Christian Faith”

Karl Barth, The Theology of Schleiermacher: Lectures at Göttingen, Winter Semester of 1923/24 (Dietrich Ritschl, ed.; Geoffrey W. Bromiley, trans.; Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company): 189-90. Bold is me; italics is Barth. The incontestable greatness of the Glaubenslehre consists in good part of the fact that in spite of its bulk of over a thousand pages is can be easily surveyed because it is well arranged, and it is well arranged because it simply develops a single thought. Older dogmatic works like Augustine’s Enchiridion , Bonaventura’s Breviloquium , Aquinas’ Summar , Calvin’s Institutes , and Zwingli’s Commentary on True and False Religion , not to speak of Melanchthon’s Loci , cannot even remotely compare with it in this regard. In them the material constantly bursts with invisible force out of the confines of the system that no doubt the authors had before them as an ideal. The adopted order, even if it is skillfully worked out as in the Scholastics, i

2010 KBBC 3rd session update

It is no doubt clear by now that my goal of posting the 3rd 2010 KBBC session between AAR and SBL will not be met. Oh well. The 3rd 2010 KBBC session will begin with an outline and biographical materials on Nov 29th, and continue throughout that week. We've saved some of the best stuff for last, so be sure to come back and participate. Until then, catch up on your 2010 KBBC reading with the widget in the right sidebar, or consider making a nominal donation to the KBBC publication project via the PayPal button.

Confession Time

So, I've been hard at work writing my dissertation since sometime in late June. This does not mean that I've been writing every day - in fact, there have been some periods of intense reading sprinkled around in there as well. But, the point is that I've been directly concerned with getting my dissertation on paper over the past months. Those of you who hang around here know that I'm a theologian by trade, and that is why this confession may shock some of you. Brace yourself while I try to convince myself to go through with this... ...OK, here it comes... I LOVE doing scriptural exegesis! There, I've said it. Everything is out in the open. I have no more secrets (OK, I may have one or two...or more...that's not important) - I am a theologian who loves to exposit Scripture. Some of my most enjoyable periods in writing my dissertation have been working on some extended exegetical excurses. In fact, that's what I'm doing right now. And boy, is it fun.

“A Reformed theologian writes only for today.”

This is from Robert McAfee Brown’s introduction to George Casalis, Portrait of Karl Barth (Anchor Books; New York, 1963): xiv-xv, where Brown undertakes a description of Barth’s relation to the preceding theological tradition, and how he viewed his own monumental theological production. The church of today must listen to the fathers, even though it may disagree with the way the fathers stated things. The church today does the fathers a disservice if it merely quotes them, trying to preserve unchanged their all-too-human reactions to the gospel…This is why Barth can say, and apparently honestly mean it, that when he has finally finished the Church Dogmatics , it will be time for someone to begin the task all over again for the next generation. This does not mean that his work will go on the discard heap, or that dogmatics is really an expendable luxury in the life of the church, but that theology is an ongoing process, never completed, never perfect, always in need of restating in a ne