Monday, April 02, 2012
Karl Barth on the Enlightenment
In my ongoing efforts better to understand how Enlightenment thinking affected Biblical and textual studies in the 19th century, I have been reading Karl Barth's From Rousseau to Ritschl (SCM Press, 1959). Karl Adams famously described Barth's 1922 Romans Commentary and its critique of Enlightenment-influenced German Protestant liberalism as like "a bombshell on the playground of the theologians." Though the conclusions Barth eventually reached in his neo-orthodox theology are far from orthodoxy, he does offer a compelling analysis and critique of how the Enlightenment undermined the traditional, Biblical, Christian worldview. Michael Horton also spends a considerable amount of time in The Christian Faith, surveying and interacting with Barth.
Here are a couple clips of the precisely elocuting Barth from an old documentary for those who want to brush up on their theological German and see the man in action: