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Title: God alongside us : Karl Barth's reform of John Calvin's theological method and the doctrine of divine providence
Author: Kelso, Adelia Dorothy
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1993
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The doctrine of divine providence is not always perceived as being both relevant to the 20th century and consistent with the Reformed theological tradition. This study compares and contrasts the father of Reformed theology, John Calvin, and the 20th century Reformed theologian, Karl Barth, in their respective doctrines of providence and the method by which they arrive at them. The first three chapters set out Calvin's doctrines of the knowledge of God, providence and predestination, doctrines linked together both in method and in content. Because the Word of God is broader than the incarnate Jesus Christ, divine providence extends beyond what we can know through God's act in Christ. His understanding of the Word of God as both Jesus Christ and scripture, the use of a general revelation, his humanist education and philosophy, and his understanding of God's accommodation to humankind influences his doctrine of providence to such a degree that Calvin ends up with a God behind the God we know in the revelation of Jesus Christ. Chapters Four through Six set out Barth's doctrines of the knowledge of God the Revealer, election and providence. His methodological starting point, the revelation of God in Jesus Christ, necessarily elicits a different understanding both of election and providence, one which shows that Jesus Christ reveals who God is, not merely one aspect of God. In the revelation of God in Jesus Christ we learn that there is no hidden God whom we cannot know. Chapter Seven shows that Barth's doctrine of providence has both reformed Calvin and speaks to modern ears. Barth's doctrine of providence is a doctrine of alongsidedness which places God wholeheartedly within the human situation while retaining the Reformed emphasis on God's sovereignty.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available