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date: 03 June 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Standing in a relation of both continuity and discontinuity with modernist Protestantism, Barth offers a vision of the Christian life that is radically Christocentric, eschatological, and morally engaged. The subject of the Christian life for Barth is the whole person, the embodied self not excluding emotions and affections. To be a Christian is to live a life marked by prayer, joy, and love of both God and neighbour. Like John the Baptist in Matthias Grünewald’s ‘Crucifixion’, the Christian is called to bear witness to the divine mercy in Jesus Christ. We see this vision played out in Barth’s doctrine of reconciliation, which shows how the stories of Christians unfold within God’s story. Barth’s late lectures on ethics, titled The Christian Life, portray Christian existence as invocation using the Lord’s Prayer as model. This ethic is marked by a ‘great passion’ that nevertheless takes shape in the midst of the quotidian and the secular.

Keywords: Christian life, ethics, experience, gratitude, joy, neighbour, prayer, witness

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