The Karl Barth Society of Germany, founded in 1997, is serving the promotion of theological research and education in the spirit of Karl Barth’s thinking. It does so through regular events and activities. It feels duty-bound to the perspective direction of this theology to the “matter” that, as Barth never got tired to emphasize, is concentrated in the person of Jesus Christ. The Society invites the reflection of Barth’s body of thought and encourages everyone to take an own and fresh look at the texts of the bible. They provide us with a healthy break from our daily routine by pointing us to the one Jesus Christ, who in crucifixion and resurrection came closer to us humans than we can ever be to ourselves.
Karl Barth (1886-1968) is one of the most important theologians of the 20th century. For him, theological thinking and political engagement always went hand in hand and to this day his thinking inspires many churches and theologians worldwide. After studying theology, Barth became a pastor in Switzerland. He was irritated when his liberal teachers began to theologically endorsed the outbreak of the First World War. Karl Barth grew into a key figure in the spiritual resistance against National Socialism.
Barth becomes a professor of reformed theology, first in Göttingen, then in Münster and Bonn. Here he is developing his so-called revelatory theology: a human being cannot find God by himself, but is dependent on God’s revelation in Jesus Christ. This theological center also characterises his main work, the “Church Dogmatics”, which Barth wrote from 1932 and which remained unfinished. From this center, Barth develops fresh and stimulating aspects in the understanding of the Christian faith. Right from the beginning Barth is critical of National Socialism and sees the church on the wrong path if it cooperates with it. He is one of the main authors of the “Barmen Theological Declaration” (1934), the founding document of the “Confessing Church”. In 1935 Barth and others, due to their refusal to take an oath on Hitler, is expelled from Germany, he then becomes a professor in Basel. After the Second World War, he makes a great effort to reconcile the people around the world with Germany. His stance against nuclear weapons in the 1950s also serves to reduce the division between the East and the West. With his intense ecumenical commitment he is one of the most important figures of the “World Council of Churches” and also finds a hearing in the Roman Catholic Church.
The non-profit society is serving the promotion of theological research and education in the spirit of Karl Barth’s thinking. It does so through regular events and activities. The society supports the continuation of the Karl Barth Archive, which manages his literary remains in Barth’s former home, Bruderholzalle 26 in Basel, on behalf of the Karl Barth Foundation.
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