Conversing with Barth. Edited by John C. McDowell and Mike Higton. Aldershot: Ashgate, 2004, ix + 234 pp., $29.95 paper
The fourth book in the Barth Studies series edited by John Webster, George Hunsinger, and Hans-Anton Drewes seek to debase the misconception that Barth’s theology is arbitrary and conversation-stopping.
They contend that Barth’s commitment to identifying and articulating his own theological location actually enables a more vital and significant engagement with alternate views. There is an obvious undergirding postliberal notion: only when you are explicitly grounded in your tradition can real meaningful dialogue begin (with incommensurable counterpart).
This combination of theological particularity and conversational openness (explicated in John Webster’s opening essay) thus serves as the model upon which the 11 essays in this book operate.
Graham Ward puts Hegel and Barth in dialogue, presenting Barth as culturally open.
George Hunsinger compares Barth and Calvin in their systematic fashion of the doctrine of justification and sanctification.
Mike Higton draws parallel from Barth’s writing with the use of figural imagination by Auerbach and Dante.
Ben Quash focuses on the classy theological exchange between Barth and von Balthasar.
McDowell writes on Donald MacKinnon‘s notion of the tragic in relation to eschatology and hope in Barth.
David Clough contributes on Robert Jenson‘s theological methodology and John Howard Yoder’s pacifist criticisms of Barth’s views on just war.
Timothy Gorringe presents Barth’s view of culture. and Eugene F. Rogers, Jr. explores Barth’s pneumatology (wrongly considered as a weak spot in Barth).
David Ford concludes in a very brief afterword expressing Barth’s usefulness for contemporary conversational theology.