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date: 10 April 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines Barth’s approach to patristic theology as well as his engagement with key doctrines and councils of the patristic era. It is clear in relation to Barth’s use of, and engagement with, the patristic fathers that the Bible is always sovereign over the church and its teachings; even so, the patristic witness is thought to proffer an authoritative reading of Scripture. This chapter, therefore, explores Barth’s approach to the patristic fathers in relation to the ‘Scripture principle’ and Barth’s Protestant, modern, and critical heritage. Having outlined Barth’s orientation, the chapter considers Barth’s approach to the major councils and definitions of the early church. It pays particular attention to the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed in relation to the divinity of Christ and the Symbol of Chalcedonian in relation to the hypostatic union.

Keywords: Chalcedon, creed, hypostatic union, method, Nicaea, orthodoxy, patristic theology, Scripture principle

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