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Title: As we forgive : forgiveness and the church in Karl Barth's Doctrine of reconciliation
Author: Coutts, Jon Randall
ISNI:       0000 0004 2739 795X
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2013
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As a critical commentary on the fourth volume of Karl Barth’s Church Dogmatics, this thesis explains the place and meaning of forgiveness by embedding it within an account of Christ’s ongoing ministry of reconciliation. Chapter one begins with an assessment of the scholarly literature pertaining to Barth’s ecclesiology and ethics, emerging with sympathy for Barth’s approach and a readiness to pursue greater specificity about the proper constancy and character of Christian life and community as it looks to be made ever-new in Christ. Weaving through The Doctrine of Reconciliation, chapter two gathers that forgiveness is more than a mere reaction to sin and enmity: it finds its impetus and extent in the positive mission of God. Here it is seen that the once-for-all and ongoing quality of the Christ event serves to perpetually intertwine matters of justification with sanctification and vocation, closely joining the communal to the personal. Paying close attention to Barth’s unfinished ethics sections, chapter three then shifts to the sacraments and the Lord’s Prayer in order to depict the shape of the reconciling community wherein Christian forgiveness finds its home. There it is argued that a dynamic of mutual confession and perpetual invocation is vital to the ministry and mission of the church. Within this it becomes clear that Christian forgiveness is not a therapeutic exoneration meant to contrive togetherness; it is a divine gift of freedom meant to be shared. In the fourth and final chapter, then, forgeries of self-forgiveness and false peace are exposed in the light of a constructive depiction of Christian forgiveness, which is depicted as a gift freely given yet vitally embedded with hope for further reconciliation in Christ. Chapter sections thus explore the practical relationship of forgiveness with the reconciling activities of forbearance, confrontation, confession, repentance, correction, and restoration.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Forgiveness