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BARTH AFTER KANT?

Authors


  • Timothy Stanley. The University of Newcastle, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, McMullin Building MC101A, University Drive, Newcastle, New South Wales 2308, AUSTRALIA. timothy.stanley@newcastle.edu.au

Abstract

Barth consistently comments on Kant's importance for his early thought in his autobiographical sketches, letters, and even more explicitly in his 1930 lectures on Kant in his Protestant Theology in the Nineteenth Century. Interestingly, however, little attention has been paid to these latter lectures on Protestant history in the secondary literature. In part, this oversight has been due to the manner in which Barth's theology has been thought to overcome Kant's influence much earlier on in his intellectual development. Hence, although commentators such as Merold Westphal, Simon Fisher and Bruce McCormack have developed keen interest in Kant's influence upon Barth's early work, even engaging Barth's Neo-Kantian context in great detail, my contention is that Barth's later interpretation of Kant is crucial to his intellectual development, and gives further insight into Barth's legacy for contemporary theology today. My aim in what follows is to refigure the relationship between Barth's early appropriation and critique of Kant, and the more onto-theological issues at stake in his later Protestant history lectures. In so doing, we can begin to discern in Barth, not an abandonment or disregard for the metaphysical questions of being, but rather, the call to face them all the more rigorously.

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