Karl Barth

Theologian, Author

1886 – 1968

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Who was Karl Barth?

Karl Barth was a Swiss Reformed theologian. Barth is often regarded as the greatest Protestant theologian of the twentieth century. His influence expanded well beyond the academic realm to mainstream culture, leading him to be featured on the cover of Time on April 20, 1962.

Beginning with his experience as a pastor, Barth rejected his training in the predominant liberal theology typical of 19th-century European Protestantism. Instead he embarked on a new theological path initially called dialectical theology, due to its stress on the paradoxical nature of divine truth. Barth's unease with the dominant theology which characterized Europe led him to become a leader in the Confessing Church in Germany, which actively opposed Adolf Hitler and the Nazi regime. In particular, Barth and other members of the movement vigorously attempted to prevent the Nazis from taking over the existing church and establishing a state church controlled by the regime. This culminated in Barth's authorship of the Barmen Declaration, which fiercely criticized Christians who supported the Nazis.

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Born
May 10, 1886
Basel
Parents
Nationality
  • Switzerland
Profession
Education
  • University of Berne
  • Humboldt University of Berlin
Died
Dec 10, 1968
Basel

Submitted
on July 23, 2013

Citation

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