Spirit, Religion, and the Christian Life

Christopher Asprey

in Eschatological Presence in Karl Barth's Göttingen Theology

Published in print July 2010 | ISBN: 9780199584703
Published online September 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191723209 | DOI:
Spirit, Religion, and the Christian Life

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This chapter examines Barth's pneumatology in Göttingen from three angles: his opposition to the doctrine of the Spirit in neo-Protestant theology, his Reformed doctrine of the Christian life, and sacramental theology. It argues that Barth's opposition to ‘religion’ in modern Protestantism is not based on any dualistic principle, but on his conviction that human beings must relate freely to God. His Reformed instincts lead him to describe the Christian life using the category of obedience, as well as faith; yet he is restricted by the concern that this might result in a form of subjectivism. He attempts to develop a doctrine of baptism that will cover this eventuality, by grounding the Christian subject in an event of grace. However, this will soon be abandoned, for it is only a temporary solution which cannot resolve a dilemma that really stems from a gap in his christology.

Keywords: baptism; faith; freedom; grounding; neo-Protestantism; obedience; pneumatology; religion; sacrament; subjectivity

Chapter.  26207 words. 

Subjects: Christian Theology

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