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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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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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).Read more ›