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Is it Possible and Desirable for Theologians to Speculate after Barth?



This essay asks what Karl Barth meant by ‘speculation’ in volume two of the Church Dogmatics. Rather than equating speculative theology with metaphysical theology in general, Barth views speculation not as a monolithic act but as a conglomeration of modes of theological speech that undermine God's revelation in Jesus Christ. This essay argues that Barth's views of speculation, rather than undercutting the use of metaphysics in theology, pave the way for a responsible Christian use of metaphysics by tying one's use of categories and concepts in theology closely to the text of Scripture.