A Life in Conflict
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Publisher: Oxford University Press
Number of Pages: 480
Width: 16 cm
Height: 24 cm
From the beginning of his career, Swiss theologian Karl Barth (1886-1968) was often in conflict with the spirit of his times. While during the First World War German poets and philosophers became intoxicated by the experience of community and transcendence, Barth fought against all attempts to locate the divine in culture or individual sentiment. This freed him for a deep worldly engagement: he was known as "the red pastor," was the primary author of the founding document of the Confessing Church, the Barmen Theological Declaration, and after 1945 protested the rearmament of the Federal Republic of Germany. Christiane Tietz compellingly explores the interactions between Barth's personal and political biography and his theology. Numerous newly-available documents offer insight into the lesser-known sides of Barth such as his long-term three-way relationship with his wife Nelly and his colleague Charlotte von Kirschbaum. This is an evocative portrait of a theologian who described himself as "God's cheerful partisan," who was honored as a prophet and a genial spirit, was feared as a critic, and shaped the theology of an entire century as no other thinker.
This is a maginificent, engrossing lucid and comprehensive treatment of the most important theologian of the modern era. Tietz has given not only to Barth scholarship but also to the history of theology in the twentieth century a great gift. We are in her debt. She reminds us of Barth's abiding preoccupation with God, and specifically with Jesus Christ who is "the event God's grace, a new beginning between God and humanity that is grounded solely in God". She also helps us undertsand something of the conflicts that this preoccupation encouraged. * Christopher R. J. Holmes, Pro Ecclesia * Tietz's book presents us with a golden opportunity to get up to speed on the current understanding of Barth, both the man and his theology * James J Cassidy, New Horizons in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church * Tietz's Barth biography is a book worthy of recommendation not only for professional Barth researchers, but for everyone (even non-theologians) interested in church history and in contemporary history. * Frank Jehle, University of St. Gallen, St. Gallen, Switzerland, International Journal of Systematic Theology * Tietz's work fills a major scholarly lacuna and deserves wide readership among pastors, teachers, students, and lay believers. * J. Scott Jackson, The Living Church * ... Tietz's primary achievement here is surely to map the intellectual development of Barth and to locate that contextually within the political circumstances that surrounded him. * Kevin Hargaden, Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice, Studies in Christian Ethics * Tietz has written a readable and meticulously researched biography of Karl Barth (1886-1968). She integrates Barth's life and work, and a very ''human'' Karl Barth emerges. * D.K. McKim, CHOICE Connect, Vol. 59 No. 8 * Selected as a 2021 Book of the Year by Alan Billings, Church Times Tietz's book is outstanding: her chapter-length summary of Barth's monumental, multi-volume 'Church Dogmatics' (1932-67), theologically the cornerstone and pinnacle of his achievement, is among the best short treatments of it I have read. * Stephen J. Plant, Times Literary Supplement * Tietz provides a sound and useful orientation to Barth's life and work. * Michael Banner, The Tablet * Remarkable ... meticulously researched and thoroughly referenced... [it] will become a standard text for all engaging with Barth's theology for generations to come. * Natalie Watson, Church Times * Tietz uses an impressive array of primary sources such as letters to his friend Eduard Thurneysen to chart Barth's life. * Paul Richardson, Church of England Newspaper * Very readable and accessible... Tietz's biography is a good entry into [Barth's] life and thought. * Richard A. Kauffman, Christian Century * Karl Barth's life story is worth telling. Or, better still, worth reading. A new biography, Karl Barth: A Life in Conflict by Christiane Tietz, tells it well... It is a compelling read. * Neil Richardson, Methodist Recorder * Christiane Tietz compellingly explores the interactions between Barths personal and political biography and his theology... an evocative portrait of a theologian * , Englewood Review of Books * [Tietz] is a reliable guide to her academic grandfather and the biography functions as a sound, accessible introduction to Barth's thought. * R. R. Reno, First Things * Tietz successfully places Barth's heological writings within key events of his life and the wider world, providing a broader context that illuminates his thought far more than the typical summaries. The portrait that emerges across the decades of Barth's career is one of an irascible thinker who seems to enjoy having controversial opinions. * Best Books of 2021, Todd Brewer, Mockingbird * [The book] reads smoothly but with the kind of clarity that is symptomatic of the best kind of academic work. In other words, the book is highly readable yet very much built on a reliable foundation... Tietz's work is diligent and insightful. I suspect her book will become the standard biography of Karl Barth for some time. For students of Barth's theology, it is indispensable. * Stephen D. Morrison * Christiane Tietz has done exemplary well in composing a thoroughly broad and yet deep investigation...We further believe this biography will be the standard biography on Barth for many years to come. * Bradley M. Penner, Reviews in Religion and Theology * Tietz's work will be another standard biographical treatment of Barth for years to come and is thus highly recommended. * Ximian Xu, Journal of Reformed Theology * This book is a stunning achievement. That a biography of a theologian is so engrossing speaks not only to the kind of life that Barth led, but also to the skill and patience of the biographer. * Declan Kelly, Rezension Kelly Journal of Ecclesiastical History *