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Theology of Karl Barth  

English-language resources by and about Karl Barth and his theology.
Last Updated: Sep 15, 2015 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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This guide was created for students of Dr. Andrea White's course on the Theology of Karl Barth.  Resources include books, journal articles, and electronic resources.


Searching for Karl Barth

The personal subject heading for materials about Karl Barth is "Barth, Karl, 1886-1968"

To find materials specific to Karl Barth's Church Dogmatics, use the subject heading "Barth, Karl, 1886-1968. Kirchliche DogmatikHowever, please note that earlier materials about the Church Dogmatics may not have this subject heading in the catalog, so a keyword search for the phrase "church dogmatic$" would also be helpful to find related English-language material.

The Library of Congress Subject Authority Files list all of the authorized subject headings for Karl Barth--this can be helpful when seeking a precise subject heading.  Tips on using the authority files are available.

The Library of Congress subject heading for systematic theology is Theology, Doctrinal.  Many of Karl Barth's works and works about him fit within this broad category.  Works about doctrinal theology generally begin with the call letters "BT".

A full guide to Library of Congress call numbers beginning with B can be found here:


Introductions to Karl Barth's Works

These books provide an overview to Karl Barth's theology and writings.

Cover Art
The Great Passion: An Introduction to Karl Barth's Theology - Eberhard Busch. (Translated by Jeffrey Bromiley and edited by Darrell L. Gruder and Judith J. Gruder)
Call Number: THEOLOGY BOOK STACKS: BX4827 .B3 B8513 2004
ISBN: 0802848931
With primary focus on the Church Dogmatics, this volume provides an overview of key topics of importance for understanding Barth and his theology.

Cover Art
How to Read Karl Barth: The Shape of His Theology. - George Hunsinger
Call Number: THEOLOGY BOOK STACKS: BT75 .B286 H85 1991
ISBN: 0195059743
This book is designed to help novice readers of Barth's Church Dogmatics by pointing out key motifs and themes. The book is intended to be read alongside Barth's work.

Cover Art
The Cambridge Companion to Karl Barth - John B. Webster, ed.
Call Number: THEOLOGY BOOK STACKS: BX4827 .B3 C26 2000
ISBN: 0521585600
This volume is helpful for gaining an understanding of trends in scholarship regarding Barth as well as significant topics in his theology. Topics include: revelation; the Bible; the Trinity; politics; Christian community; modernity and postmodernity.

Cover Art
Regarding Karl Barth: Toward a Reading of His Theology - Trevor Hart
Call Number: THEOLOGY BOOK STACKS: BX4827 .B3 H295 1999
ISBN: 0830815643
Rather than write an introduction to Barth's thought, Hart crafts a series of essays that dialogue with Barth's theology and other notable commentators (particularly Brunner, Kung, Lindbeck, McFague, and Moltmann) on a range of topics in which Barth took interest: revelation; ethics; religious pluralism; the Trinity; and creation included.

Writings by Barth

For the most comprehensive listing of works by Karl Barth, see the bibliographies listed in the Reference tab of this guide.  Below are a few items not otherwise mentioned in this guide; please check EUCLID or DiscoverE to determine the current availability of these volumes.

Barth, Karl.  The Epistle to the Romans, 6th  ed.  Translated by Edwyn C. Hoskyns.  London: Oxford University Press, 1993,1968.  Originally published as Der Römerbrief (Munich: Kaiser, 1926).  THEOLOGY BOOK STACKS: BS2665 .B341 1968                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

___.  Theology and Church: Shorter Writings 1920-1928.  Translated by Louise Pettibone Smith.  London: SCM Press, 1962.  Originally published as Die theologie und die kirche  (Zollikon-Zürich: Evangelischer Verlag AG, 1928).  THEOLOGY BOOK STACKS: BT80 .B373

___.  The Word of God and the Word of Man.  Translated by Douglas Horton.  Gloucester, MA: Peter Smith, 1978.  Originally published as Das wort gottes und die theologie (Munich: Christian Kaiser, 1928). THEOLOGY STORAGE LIBRARY: BR121 .B2455 1978

___.  “How My Mind has Changed in This Decade: Part Two.”  Christian Century 101, no. 22 (1984): 684-686.  (Originally published in 1939).  Available as a PDF in the ATLA Religion Database (Accession number: ATLA0000942469)

___.  The Epistle to the Philippians.  Translated by James W. Leitch. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2002.  Originally published as Erklärung des philipperbriefs, 6th ed.  (Zürich, Switzerland: Evangelischer Verlag A. G., 1947). THEOLOGY BOOK STACKS: BS2705 .B253 2002

___.  “No Christian Marshall Plan.”  Christian Century 65, no. 49 (1948): 1330-1333.  Available as a PDF in the ATLA Religion Database (Accession number: ATLA0001432039)

___.  “New Humanism and the Humanism of God.”  Theology Today 8, no. 2 (1951): 157-166.  Available as a PDF in the ATLA Religion Database (Accession number: ATLA0000651492) 

___.  Protestant Theology in the Nineteenth Century: Its Background & History.  London: SCM Press, 2001.  Originally published as Die protestantische theologie im 19. jahrhundert (Zollikon, Zürich: Evangelischer Verlag, 1952).  THEOLOGY BOOK STACKS: BT30 .G3 B32

___.  The Humanity of God.  Translated by John Newton Thomas and Thomas Wieser.  Richmond, VA: John Knox Press, 1960.  Originally published as Die Menschlichkeit Gottes (Zollikon-Zürich: Evangelischer Verlag A. G., 1956).  THEOLOGY BOOK STACKS: BT28 .B373

___.  Ethics.  Edited by Dietrich Braun.  Translated by Geoffrey W. Bromiley.  New York: Seabury Press, 1981.  Originally published as Ethik I, II (Zürich: Theologischer Verlag, 1973, 1978). THEOLOGY BOOK STACKS: BJ1253 .B3513

___.  Karl Barth Letters: 1961-1968.  Edited by Jürgen Fangmeier and Hinrich Stoevesandt.  Translated and edited by Geoffrey W. Bromiley.  Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1981.  Originally published as Karl Barth: Briefe, 1961-1968, V, Vol. 6 of the Karl Barth Gesamtausgabe (Zürich: Theologischer Verlag, 1975). THEOLOGY BOOKSTACKS: BX4827 .B3 A4 1980

___.  The Gottingen Dogmatics: Instruction in the Christian Religion.  Translated by G.W. Bromiley and edited by Hannelotte Reiffen.  Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2007.  Originally published as Unterricht in der christlichen religion (Zurich: Theologischer Verlag, 1991).  THEOLOGY BOOKSTACKS: BT75.2 .B3413 1991 V.1

___ and Rudolf Bultmann.  Karl Barth-Rudolf Bultmann Letters, 1922-1966.  Edited by Bernd Jaspert and Geoffrey W. Bromiley and translated by Geoffrey W. Bromiley.  Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1981.  THEOLOGY BOOKSTACKS: BX4827 .B3 A4 1981


    Biographies of Barth

    It has been observed by John Webster and other scholars that in order to understand Barth's theology, one must understand Barth's life.  The books in this section aim to acquaint the reader with Barth as a person, while also discussing his theological writings in context.

    Karl Barth: His Life from Letters and Autobiographical Texts - Eberhard Busch (Translated by John Bowden)
    Call Number: THEOLOGY BOOK STACKS: BX4827 .B3 B8713
    ISBN: 0800604857
    Busch presents Barth's life as much as possible using words from Barth himself, collected from unpublished letters and records of informal conversations as well as Barth's formal writings.


    Journals for Systematic Theology

    Journals which address systematic theology in a broader sense will publish articles in conversation with Barth's writings.  To find more specific references, check the Online Bibliography of Karl Barth or an article database like ATLA Religion Database or Index Theologicus

    International Journal of Systematic Theology
    ISBN: 1463-1652
    Focusing on doctrine with occasional articles related to ethics, historical theology, and the philosophy of religion, IJST publishes work from a variety of ecclesial and academic traditions, largely from scholars in North America and Europe.

    Modern Theology
    ISBN: 0266-7177
    This is an ecumenical source that dialogues with both contemporary and historic theologians. Articles, critical book reviews, review essays, and responses are published.

    Scottish Journal of Theology
    Call Number: ALPHA BY TITLE
    ISBN: 0036-9306
    A journal addressing topics of systematic, biblical, and historical theology. Publishes articles and book reviews.

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