Karl Barth and the Problem of War, and Other Essays on Barth

By John Howard Yoder

Edited by Mark T. Nation

Karl Barth and the Problem of War, and Other Essays on Barth

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  • ISBN: 9781592443574
  • Pages: 200
  • Publication Date: 9/26/2003
  • Retail Price: $27.00
Web Price: $21.60
Web Price: $21.60

Karl Barth and the Problem of War, and Other Essays on Barth

By John Howard Yoder

Edited by Mark T. Nation

paperback-logo

PAPERBACK

  • ISBN: 9781592443574
  • Pages: 200
  • Publication Date: 9/26/2003
  • Retail Price: $27.00
Web Price: $21.60

About-

A passionate opponent of Nazism, Karl Barth was required to serve in the Swiss army. At the age of 54, he helped guard the Swiss border at Basel from German intruders. Some would suggest this is all we need to know in order to understand Barth's views on Christianity and war. John Howard Yoder begged to differ.

"Karl Barth and the Problem of War" is an essay in which Yoder articulates the views of his former teacher on war, these views comprising a position he refers to as "chastened non-pacifism." Through a rigorous examination of Barth's ethical method, Yoder seeks to show how the logic of Barth's basic theological commitments makes him even closer to pacifism than is often noticed.

Here five additional essays, three of which have never before been published, join this long essay. These essays offer further reflections on Barth's "chastened non-pacifism," as well as offering some of Yoder's fruitful use of Barth's theology for social ethics.

Endorsements & Reviews-

"In these pages one of the 20th century's most important figures in Christian social ethics engages with another over a period of thirty years, with the result that light shines on both. John Howard Yoder's 1970 study of Karl Barth on the problem of war is a classic piece of critical interpretation of Barth's ethical thought, and it remains one of the most searching English-language analyses of his treatment of a particular moral issue and of his 'casuistical' method. It has been long out of print and, like most of the other essays helpfully gathered together in this book, difficult to obtain. Anyone who cares about method in theological ethics, the theological integrity of Christian social ethics, the political witness of the Church, and Christian views of peace and war now owes Mark Thiessen Nation a debt of thanks for bringing this material (back) within reach."

-Nigel Biggar, Professor of Theology at the University of Leeds, England and Professor-elect at Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland is the author of 'The Hastening that Waits: Karl Barth's Ethics' (Oxford, 1993, 1995) and the editor of 'Reckoning with Barth' (Mowbray, 1988).

"John Howard Yoder was a theologically rigorous and passionate advocate of Christian pacifism and a perceptive reader of Karl Barth. These attributes were fully displayed in his early book on Barth's ethic of war, now happily reprinted in this new edition edited by Mark Thiessen Nation."

-Gary Dorrien, Parfet Distinguished Professor, Kalamazoo College, and author of 'The Barthian Revolt in Modern Theology' (Westminster John Knox Press,1999).

"In engaging with a world which relies on violence to settle disputes, for which profit is the bottom line, and which idolizes success, no-one is more helpful for Christian life than Karl Barth. And in helping us to understand Barth's true radicalism, in assessing its strength and weakness, in bringing us closer to the true astringency of the gospel, no-one is more helpful than John Howard Yoder. These essays are an addition to that small collection of books which genuinely further Christian discipleship and which address us, and help us address our world, with the claim of Jesus Christ."

-Tim Gorringe, Professor of theology, University of Exeter, and author of 'Karl Barth: Against Hegemony' (Clarendon 1999).

"One of the best ways to enter into Barth's ethics is through a specific topic. No better example of this approach can be found than John Howard Yoder's classic study of Barth's stance toward the problem of war. The original edition of this work is now reissued with a number of supporting essays. In one of them, I have found Yoder's reference to the little-known work of Walter Bense on Barth's early pacifism to be especially useful in charting Barth's complexity and ambivalence toward 'practical pacifism' (and sometimes 'chastened non-pacifism') over the course of his career."

-George Hunsinger, Hazel Thompson McCord Chair of Systematic Theology, Princeton Seminary, and author of 'Disruptive Grace: Studies in the Theology of Karl Barth' (Eerdmans, 2001) and 'How to Read Karl Barth: The Shape of His Theology' (Oxford, 1993).


"John Howard Yoder was reading Barth as a political theologian many years before it became fashionable to do so. His vigorous and challenging interpretations - and criticisms - take us straight into the heart of Barth's moral project. These splendid essays are for all who care about a biblical and ecclesial Christian theology."

-Joseph Mangina, Assistant Professor of Systematic Theology, WycliffeCollege and author of the forthcoming title 'Karl Barth: Theologian of Christian Witness' (Ashgate, 2004).

Contributors-

John Howard Yoder
Mark T. Nation

Bio(s)-

John Howard Yoder (1927-1997) earned his Ph.D. from the University of Basel and taught theology at the University of Notre Dame. For 19 years he served the Mennonite Fellowship in church relations and education. Dr. Yoder was Professor of Theology and President of Mennonite Bible Seminary. His published books include The Politics of Jesus, The Priestly Kingdom, To Hear the Word, When War Is Unjust, What Would You Do?, and He Came Preaching Peace.

Mark Thiessen Nation is Associate Professor of Theology at Eastern Mennonite Seminary, Harrisonburg, Virginia. He is the author of more than twenty articles and the editor or co-editor of five books, including The Wisdom of the Cross: Essays in Honor of John Howard Yoder (Eerdmans, 1999) and Faithfulness & Fortitude: In Conversation with the Theological Ethics of Stanley Hauerwas (T & T Clark, 2000). His doctoral thesis on John Howard Yoder will be published within the next year by Eerdmans. Mark has been a director of an ecumenical peace and justice organization, a pastor, and the director of the London Mennonite Centre, London, England.

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