THE DIVIDED MIND OF MODERN THEOLOGY: The Writings of Karl Barth and Rudolph Hultmann, 1908-1933 by James D. Smart

THE DIVIDED MIND OF MODERN THEOLOGY: The Writings of Karl Barth and Rudolph Hultmann, 1908-1933

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Finding instructive parallels between the European theological mood of the 1920's and our own decade, the author believes that by going back to the theological debate which took place between two of the foremost German theologians of the first half of this century may help Protestant theology, particularly in America, gain a new vitality. He attempts to rehabilitate the theological controversy of forty years ago by a thorough- going analysis of the issues raised by these two theologians; and he decries the current tendency in American theology to by-pass, or to call for a ""going beyond Barth"" as being little more than a return to the shallow liberalism of the 1920's. The American church has tried to absorb the fruits of the theological revolution initiated by Barth and Bultmann, and others, without having responsibly ""fought its way out"" of the liberal era. The analysis the author makes of the Barth-Bultmann controversy in the years indicated is acute and informed, and is set forth with assiduous scholarship and in bristling style. Unfortunately, he does not come to grips fully with the post Barthian and post-Bultmann trends now arising in American theology, which cannot be so reproachfully dismissed as simply a return to earlier liberalism. The book does not reassure the reader that the author has himself understood the deeper potentialities of the liberal era or been able to get beyond the thought of his two representatives, especially to see the limitations of Barth and Bultmann for the present.

Publisher: Westminster