Barth and Dostoevsky
A Study of the Influence of the Russian Writer Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky on the Development of the Swiss Theologian Karl Barth, 1915-1922
Paternoster Theological Monographs
Imprint: Wipf and Stock
290 Pages, 6.00 x 9.00 x 0.58 in
- Published: April 2008
- Published: April 2008
A work of historic and systematic theology, Barth and Dostoevsky, examines the influence of the Russian writer and prophet Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky on the Swiss theologian Karl Barth. This is a study that demonstrates that the writings of Dostoevsky affected the development of the theology of Karl Barth. This was an influence mediated by his friend and colleague Eduard Thurneysen and was in the form of a key element of Barth's thought: his understanding of sin and grace. Therefore, this study explicates first, the reading of Dostoevsky by Barth, 1915-1916, and the influence on this understanding of sin and grace; second, a study of Eduard Thurneysen in so far as his life and work complements and influences Barth; third, Barth's illustrative use of Dostoevsky, around 1918-1921, the period of the rewriting of his seminal commentary on Romans--"the bombshell on the playground of the theologians," as Karl Adams put it.
"This is a fascinating and thoroughly informed study of a largely uncharted topic in the history of theology, which illuminates not only Barth and his development but also the intellectual context in which his thought took shape."
--John Webster, Professor of Systematic Theology, University of Aberdeen
"It is one thing to demonstrate coincidence of ideas, citations, illustrative use, and even appreciative acknowledgment, yet it is notoriously hard to establish influence or dependence. This is a painstaking and persuasive attempt in this direction which, at very least, establishes an influence in Barth's initial rejection of Liberalism, alongside other influences, that too often has been overlooked or dismissed too quickly."
--John E. Colwell, Tutor in Christian Doctrine and Ethics and Director of Post Graduate Research, Spurgeon's College, London
"References to Dostoevsky in Barth's work, while occasionally noted, have never been explored in depth. Paul Brazier corrects that oversight and provides us with a meticulous and fascinating account of Dostoevsky's impact upon Barth's early theology, especially his theology of sin and grace."
--Murray Rae, Department of Theology and Religious Studies, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand