Barth Booth, Pt. 3 / Stanley Hauerwas / Karl Barth and the Nature of Theological Language

The Barth Booth is a virtual exhibit devoted to the life and work of Karl Barth. The exhibit is hosted on the Wipf and Stock Blog and includes a set of interviews with Barth scholars, as well as a selection of Wipf and Stock’s books by and about Barth.

Dr. Stanley Hauerwas is the Gilbert T. Rowe Professor Emeritus of Divinity and Law at Duke Divinity School. In 2001, Time Magazine named him “America’s Best Theologian.” He is the author of a great many books, including his most recent, Fully Alive: The Apocalyptic Humanism of Karl Barth. 

In our interview here, Dr. Hauerwas speaks about the relationship between Barth and postliberalism, Barth’s engagements with thinkers like Anselm and the German dialectical theologians, the nature of theological language in Barth’s corpus, and what it means to read Barth in the American context today.

Don’t forget to stop by our Barth Booth, where you can find a broad selection of our books by and about Barth for 50% off with coupon code “BARTHBOOTH” (good through 4/14/2023).

Stanley Hauerwas has sought to recover the significance of the virtues for understanding the nature of the Christian life. This search has led him to emphasize the importance of the church, as well as narrative for understanding Christian existence. His work cuts across disciplinary lines as he is in conversation with systematic theology, philosophical theology and ethics, political theory, as well as the philosophy of social science and medical ethics. He was named “America’s Best Theologian” by Time magazine in 2001. Dr. Hauerwas, who holds a joint appointment in Duke Law School, delivered the prestigious Gifford Lectureship at the University of St. Andrews, Scotland, in 2001.

Show Notes


The Barth Booth:

Crackers and Grape Juice:

“Jesus is Lord” t-shirt:

Water Avenue Coffee (Portland, OR):


Barth, Karl. Anselm: Fides Quarens Intellectum.

———. Church Dogmatics. 14 vols.

———. Protestant Theology in the Nineteenth Century.

Hauerwas, Stanley. Fully Alive: The Apocalyptic Humanism of Karl Barth.

———. With the Grain of the Universe: The Church’s Witness and Natural Theology.

Hunsicker, David B. The Making of Stanley Hauerwas: Bridging Barth and Postliberalism.

Niebuhr, Reinhold. The Nature and Destiny of Man: A Christian Interpretation.

Scheeben, Matthias Joseph. Nature and Grace.


(02:06) – Colombian coffee and water

(02:56) – Discovering Barth at Yale Divinity

(05:00) – “Barth is always new”

(07:06) – Saying what needs to be said without apology

(08:16) – “Jesus is Lord, and everything else is bullsh*t”

(10:32) – Barth and the dialectical theologians

(12:16) – Barth’s ecclesiology

(15:57) – Barth’s reading

(17:21) – Barth and Anselm

(21:01) – Barth and Wittgenstein

(23:42) – Barth and postliberalism

(25:08) – Theological language that “does work”

(28:32) – Barth’s apocalypticism

(33:26) – Barthian humanism and “high humanism”

(35:33) – Barth and America

(37:51) – Barth’s “complex simplicity”

(40:25) – Dogmatics in Outline and CD 4/2

(42:19) – The future of Barth


Privacy Policy and Cookies

We have recently updated our Privacy Policy. This outlines how and why we collect, store and use your personal data when you use our website. Like most websites, we use cookies to improve our service and make your user experience better. See our updated Privacy Policy to find out more about cookies and how we use your data.

Okay, thanks