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The Word of Christ and the World of Culture: Sacred and Secular through the Theology of Karl Barth Paperback – October 1, 2005

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"A good introduction both to Barth's theology and to the theology of culture." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 276 pages
  • Publisher: Wipf & Stock Pub (October 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1597524077
  • ISBN-13: 978-1597524070
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,292,414 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
Amazing! This book shows how Orthodox Christology can provide a framework for engagement of the sacred and secular spheres which is both constructive and critical. Metzger shows how Barth's understanding of the relation of Christ's divine and human natures establishes the basis for a theology of culture.
Barth's paradigm, it is argued, provides a framework in which culture is allowed to truly be itself as secular, in distinct though inseparable relation to Christ. In Barth's day, his paradigm spoke against both the divinization of culture witnessed in Nazi Germany, and the secularization of culture in Soviet socialism, yet remained constructive calling for the humanization of culture to be truly secular in its proper sphere. Barth's appreciation of Mozart is shown not to be an anomaly in his theology as a whole, but rather the product of his Christological paradigm.
Today, the implications of this paradigm loom large for what Gunton refers to in the foreword as the often "distorted religious culture" of America and the West attempting to come to terms with Islam and the global world. I myself have often wrestled with the schizophrenic waffling between divinization and secularization of culture so evident here in America. This book has helped me set a framework in which Christology speaks both critically and constructively to both church and culture.
Metzger shows how Barth's paradigm establishes the framework for a theology of culture crucially relevant to our modern day, in which Christology calls culture to truly be itself. I highly recommend this book to anyone wishing to see Christology taken 'off the shelf' and into the world-at-large.
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Paul Louis Metzger is Associate Professor of Christian Theology and the Theology of Culture at Multnomah Biblical Seminary in Portland, Oregon. He is also the Director of the Institute for the Theology of Culture, "New Wine, New Wineskins," at Multnomah and editor of the new journal, Cultural Encounters. In his recent publication, The Word of Christ and the World of Culture: Sacred and Secular through the Theology of Karl Barth (2003), Metzger seeks to overcome the common perception that Karl Barth was theologically disinterested in culture. By mustering together his many theological writings about culture and the details of his practical engagement with cultural questions, Metzger demonstrates that Barth's theology-both in theory and in practice-was always culturally-engaged.

Metzger contends that Karl Barth's mature theology of culture emerged in the Goettingen Dogmatics, where Barth drew upon the christological categories of anhypostatsis and enhypostasis to produce a more adequate conception of the relation between the sacred and the secular than the dialectic of time and eternity of Romans II had permitted. According to Metzger, Barth sought a middle way between the fusion of the sacred and the secular and the separation of the sacred and the secular. "The problem with the medieval synthesis was that it did not make space for the radical difference between the sacred and the secular spheres. The problem with the Enlightenment project, on the other hand, was that by dismissing or at least privatizing the institution of religion, the secular created a vacuum it was unable to fill" (120).
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Format: Paperback
The World Of Christ And the World Of Culture: Sacred And Secular Through The Theology Of Karl Barth by Paul Louis Metzger (Assistant Professor of Christian Theology and Theology of Culture, Multnomah Biblical Seminary, Portland, Oregon) is a close and illuminating study of Karl Barth's revolutionary theological ideals. From exploring the sacred in the creative word to "theological politics" to the demise of corpus christianum, The World of Christ and the World of Culture balances centuries of tradition and faith with modern changes in human way of life looking for a road that unifies faith in God with adaptations to the onward march of Time. The World Of Christ And The World Of Culture is a most welcome addition to Christian Theological Studies reading lists and library collections.
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Metzger writes for the academy in this study of Karl Barth's thought on the relation of the sacred and the secular. But an unintended audience for his work are those outside academia who seek to enter the most current theological conversation regarding culture. A must for pastors and teachers who want to prepare with "one finger in the Bible and the other in the newspaper."
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