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date: 05 December 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Due to a widespread perception that he was a theologian of division, Karl Barth is not generally counted amongst the twentieth century’s great theologians of culture. Although this reputation derives largely from an unfair caricature, it also grows out of Barth’s very real scepticism concerning the possibility of a theology of culture that could avoid the deification of human achievements. Those who delve deeply into Barth’s understanding of culture, however, find in his writings a rich resource in his eschatological appreciation of secular culture. This chapter examines his writings on culture between 1926 and 1932, including his lectures on ethics and Church Dogmatics I/1, as well as his later essays on Mozart (1956) and relevant portions of Church Dogmatics IV/3, noting how these texts can be positively interpreted and can fund a contemporary theology of culture.

Keywords: art, Christology, culture, eschatology, freedom, hope, Kingdom of God, parable, secular

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