A critical evaluation of the concept of the revolution of God in the theology of Karl Barth

Master Thesis

1987

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University of Cape Town

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The paradox evident in these quotations from Barth's writings forms the centre of his theology. On the one hand, humanity is incapable of speaking of God. On the other hand, it is imperative for humanity to speak of God. This dilemma is resolved by God's act for humanity in Jesus Christ, giving rise to a human response of faith and obedience. Humanity can speak of God only because God has revealed Godself. Hence, all theology and praxis begins doxologically, in praise for God's initiative of grace. This thesis proposes that Barth's perception of this initiative of God is best expressed in the concept of the revolution of God, which provides a paradigm from which to recover the liberative and humanising intention of his theology. This theology implies human praxis which participates in the divinely instituted process of transforming human reality. In this way Barth simultaneously speaks of God and humanity, without confusing the deity of God and the humanness of humanity. This provides a way beyond both quietism and the legitimation of power, choosing instead permanent confrontation with power in the interest of true humanisation.
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Bibliography: pages 163-166.

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