- Copyright page
- List of Abbreviations
- List of Contributors
- The Tasks of Theology
- Revelation and Scripture
- Jesus Christ
- The Spirit
- Sin and Evil
- Human Being
- Christian Life
- Justification, Sanctification, Vocation
- Barth and the Racial Imaginary
- Barth and Modern Moral Philosophy
- Barth and Gender
- Barth and Public Life
- Barth and Hermeneutics
- Barth and Preaching
- Barth and Environmental Theology
- Barth and Culture
- Barth and Judaism
- Barth, Religion, and the Religions
- Barth and Contemporary Protestant Theology
- Barth and Roman Catholic Theology
Abstract and Keywords
This chapter argues against the familiar consensus that Barth’s relationship to modern moral philosophy is oppositional. It demonstrates that Barth appropriates the central insights of his philosophical predecessors and incorporates them into his ethics, even as he anticipates one of the most fruitful developments in contemporary moral philosophy: Stephen Darwall’s ‘second-personal ethics’. Rather than casting autonomy as sin, he recasts obedience to the Word of God as a form of autonomy. Barth incorporates the rational form of Kantian self-legislation and the social form of Hegelian mutual recognition into his account of subjective reception of revelation. Because Barth does not separate the sovereignty of revelation from the sociality of the church’s interpretation of Scripture and confession of faith, we—Barth’s readers—must not separate his account of hearing the Word of God from his account of hearing the divine command. In fact, we should take his account of the subjective reception of revelation as his most fulsome and winsome account of practical reason.
Derek Alan Woodard-Lehman is Lecturer in Theology and Ethics at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. He is currently completing a book entitled Confessing Freedom: Karl Barth and Spirit of Democracy, which reinterprets Barth’s theology in light of the ethical significance of his doctrine of revelation, its philosophical influences, and its political consequences for democratic practices, particularly in relation to the struggles of confessing churches against National Socialism in Germany and apartheid in South Africa. His recent and forthcoming publications include contributions to a Jewish–Christian roundtable on Law and Gospel in the Journal of Jewish Ethics, a special issue of Modern Theology on revelation and reason in Jewish and Christian post-liberal theology, co-edited with Randi Rashkover, and a chapter on Barth and liberation theology in the T&T Clark Companion to Political Theology.
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