The Austin Dogmatics, 1957-1958

The Austin Dogmatics, 1957-1958


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The Austin Dogmatics brought the theology of Karl Barth to the United States in an accessible and forceful statement of the most exciting theology of the day. In addition, the yearlong course of lectures proposed a radical theology of Christian mission and ministry to the American churches that grew from the author's three years of working in the inner city. While at times hammering home a single point, the lectures often flower into a passionate homiletical style that is still captivating half a century later.

Publication of the Austin Dogmatics fills a gap in American theological history. In 1963, the author published The Secular Meaning of the Gospel, which the press identified with the death of God movement. While the author denied the association, the Austin Dogmatics explains how he moved from the strict Barthianism of his early period to the linguistic analysis of his middle period. His late and perhaps most important work that lay ahead was yet in another direction entirely, making van Buren one of the most versatile and adventuresome American theologians of the second half of the twentieth century.

The current publication includes personal reminiscences by friends and colleagues after the author's passing.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781606088678
Publisher: Wipf & Stock Publishers
Publication date: 03/22/2013
Pages: 406
Product dimensions: 6.90(w) x 10.00(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Paul van Buren was Assistant Professor of Theology at the Episcopal Seminary of the Southwest (1957-1960) when he wrote the Austin Dogmatics and Associate Professor there (1960-1964) when he wrote The Secular Meaning of the Gospel. He was later Professor of Religion at Temple University (1964-1986) when he wrote the trilogy A Theology of the Jewish-Christian Reality.

Ellen Charry is the Margaret W. Harmon Professor of Theology at Princeton Theological Seminary. Her most recent book is God and the Art of Happiness(2010).

Table of Contents

Editors Preface xiii

Acknowledgments xvi

Editors Introduction xvii

Part 1 Prolegomena-T-The Doctrine of the Word of God

1 The Place and Task of Dogmatics 3

1 Dogmatics as a Function of the Church 3

2 Dogmatics as a Discipline 7

3 Dogmatics and the Commission of the Church 13

4 Dogmatics, Dogma, and the Word of God 19

2 The Word of God as the Criterion of Dogmatics 24

5 The Nature of the Word of God 24

6 The Word of God as the Citerion of the Church 33

7 The Word of God as the Criterion of Dogmatics 41

3 The Revelation of God 46

8 The Place of the Doctrine of the Trinity 46

9 The Triune God 49

10 The Eternal Son 61

11 The Eternal Spirit 65

4 The Witness to Revelation 72

12 The Three Forms of the Word of God 72

13 The Word of God Written 78

14 The Authority and Freedom of Scripture 91

15 The Word of God Proclaimed 100

Part 2 God's Decision-The Doctrine of God the Creator

5 The God Who Has Decided 105

16 The Knowledge of God 107

17 God's Love in His Decision 114

18 Gods Freedom in His Decision 117

6 God's Decision 120

19 God's Decision as God's Self-Determination 120

20 God's Decision about Jesus Christ 126

21 God's Decision about the Church, the Individual, and the World 129

7 God's Creation 138

22 Creation and God's Decision 138

23 Creation and Covenant 143

24 God's Creature 152

25 Humanity in the Covenant 155

8 The Lord of Creation 158

26 The Sovereignty of Gods Decision 158

27 The Messengers of God 165

28 The Freedom of Obedience to God's Decision 167

29 The Freedom of Obedience under God's Decision 174

Part 3 God's Decision Enacted-The Doctrine of God the Redeemer

9 Jesus Christ, the Servant Lord: True God 179

30 The Obedience of the Son of God 181

31 The Disobedience of Humanity 219

32 The Justification of Humanity 222

33 The Holy Spirit Gathers the Church in Faith 230

34 Baptism 244

10 Jesus Christ, the Lordly Servant: True Human 252

35 The Glory of the Son of Mary 252

36 The Scatteredness of Humanity 265

37 The Sanctification of Humanity 268

38 The Holy Spirit Builds Up the Church in Love 274

39 Preaching: The Ministry 288

11 Jesus Christ, the Coming Lord 294

40 The Triumph of the Son of Man 294

41 The Failure of Humanity 301

42 The Vocation of Humanity 305

43 The Community of Hope 308

44 The Act of Thanksgiving 321

12 The Obedience of Faith 327

45 The End as the Revelation of Jesus Christ

46 The World on Its Way to Meet Jesus Christ

47 The Suffering and the Freedom of the Children of God

48 The Wisdom and the Patience of the Children of God

Concluding Considerations

Editor's Epilogue 337

Personal Reminiscences 340

Reminiscence 1-by James A. Wharton 340

Reminiscence 2-by Dietrich Ritschl 342

Reminiscence 3-by Thomas J. Dean 347

Appendix A Partial List of Graduate Seminars Taught by Paul van Buren 367

Appendix B Chronology of Paul van Buren's Writings 368

Bibliography 373

Index 377

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"This hitherto unpublished cycle of early career lectures makes absorbing reading for those interested in the reception of Barth's theology as well as for those concerned with constructive doctrinal work . . . Here we catch a glimpse of how [a] deep admiration for Barth's theological achievement inspired [van Buren] to a vigorous practical dogmatics."

—John Webster, Professor at University of Aberdeen

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