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Title: Karl Barth and philosophy : the grammatical aim and character of his theology
Author: Willetts, J. G.
Awarding Body: University of Wales Swansea
Current Institution: Swansea University
Date of Award: 1997
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Karl Barth's historic rejection of philosophy in the service of theology is one of the seminal events in twentieth century theology. As a result of his divorce of philosophy from theology, Karl Barth's work is seldom appreciated as philosophically interesting or valuable. Yet, it is our contention that Karl Barth, far from pursuing theology apart from the benefit of philosophy, is in fact executing a philosophical, i.e., a grammatical approach to theology. It is clear that Barth shares certain affinities with analytic philosophy. It is also clear, as we show, that Barth's theology shares a striking commensurability with the later work of Wittgenstein. As such we show how comparisons of Barth's work with Wittgenstein and other Wittgensteinian philosophers display the grammatical aim and character of his theological interests. We show that Barth's treatment of the question of God's existence and the problem of significant reference are commensurate with the aims and character of grammatical philosophy. We also meet objections which are often levelled against Barth that would mitigate the strength of our contention, namely that Barth is a fideist or a realist. Finally, we return to the notion of God's hiddenness to underscore the grammatical nature of Karl Barth's theology.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available