Karl Barth

Kimlyn Bender

in The Oxford Handbook of Ecclesiology

Published in print June 2018 | ISBN: 9780199645831
Published online July 2018 | e-ISBN: 9780191756740 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

Karl Barth

Show Summary Details


Karl Barth’s ecclesiology is marked by a deeply Christological character set within a Trinitarian context. While the emphasis of Barth’s early ecclesiology was primarily critical in nature and exhibited stark apocalyptic contrasts, his mature ecclesiology moved in ever more Christological, constructive, and analogical directions while not abandoning its highly dialectical and eschatological qualities. Barth’s mature ecclesiology is characterized by an emphasis upon the covenantal unity of Christ with his church grounded in an eternal election, upon the inalienable distinction and asymmetrical relation that ever remains between them, and upon church’s calling by the Holy Spirit and ordained task of witness. This witness is not a repetition or extension of the perfect and complete work of Christ but the commission to proclaim this perfect work and to live a life of correspondence to it, all for the sake of a watching world.

Keywords: Christology; church; Church Dogmatics; Christian witness; dialectical theology; ecclesiology; Karl Barth

Article.  12262 words. 

Subjects: Christianity

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content. subscribe or purchase to access all content.