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Karl Barth’s commentary on Paul’s epistle to the Romans, in its two editions (1919 and 1922), is one of the most significant works published in Christian theology in the 20th century. This book, which landed “like a bombshell on the theologians’ playground,” still deserves close scrutiny one hundred years after its publication.In this volume, New Testament scholars, philosophers of religion and systematic theologians ponder the intricacies of Barth’s “expressionistic” commentary, pointing out the ways in which Barth interprets Paul’s epistle for his own day, how this actualized interpretation of the apostle’s message challenged the theology of Barth’s time, and how some of the insights he articulated in 1919 and in 1922 have shaped Christian theology up to our day. With his commentary, the young Swiss pastor paved the way for a renewed, intensely theological interpretation of the Scriptures.The volume thus centers of some of the key themes which run through Barth’s commentary: faith as divine gift beyond any human experience or psychological data, the Easter event as the turning point of the world’s history, God’s judgment and mercy and God’s one Word in Jesus Christ.This volume represents a major contribution to the interpretation of Karl Barth’s early thought.
Christophe Chalamet, Andreas Dettwiler and Sarah Stewart-Kroeker, Université de Genève, Switzerland.
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