Richard E. Burnett

Karl Barth's Theological Exegesis

The Hermeneutical Principles of the Römerbrief Period

[Karl Barths Theologische Exegese. Die hermeneutischen Prinzipien der Römerbrief-Phase. Von Richard E. Burnett.]

unrevised e-book edition 2019; Original edition 2001; 2001. XIV, 312 pages.

Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament 2. Reihe 145

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ISBN 978-3-16-157183-1
Published in English.
For many scholars of theology Karl Barth's break with liberalism is the most important event that has occurred in theology in over 200 years. Richard Burnett compares how Barth read the Bible before this break and after. He shows how Barth came to read the Bible differently than most of his contemporaries and why Barth's contribution is still so significant.
For many scholars of theology, Karl Barth's break with liberalism is the most important event that has occurred in theology in over 200 years. Richard Burnett shows that an important part of Barth's break was his attempt to overcome the hermeneutical tradition of Schleiermacher. This is reflected throughout Barth's Römerbrief period and especially in his attempt to engage in 'theological exegesis'.
The hermeneutical tradition of Schleiermacher begins with Herder and extends through Dilthey, Troeltsch, Wobbermin, Wernle and Barth himself prior to 1915. It exercised great influence throughout the twentieth century and is characterized by its attempt to integrate broad aspects of interpretation, to establish universally valid rules of interpretation on the basis of a general anthropology, and its reliance upon empathy ('Einfühlung').
Barth's discovery that »the being of God is the hermeneutical problem« (Jüngel) implied that the object to be known should determine the way taken in knowing. This caused the rise of a hermeneutical revolution which gave priority to content over method, to actual exegesis over hermeneutical theory.
Barth did have hermeneutical principles which he thought might apply generally, however. These are apparent in his Römerbrief period and specifically in his attempt to approach the Bible »more according to its subject matter, content, and substance, entering with more attention and love into the meaning of the Bible itself".
Richard Burnett focuses on these principles, which have never been discussed at length, nor specifically in relationship to Schleiermacher, and presents a study which challenges both 'neo-orthodox' and 'post-modern' readings of Karl Barth.

Richard E. Burnett Born 1963; Graduate of King College (A.B.), Yale University Divinity School (S.T.M.), Princeton Theological Seminary (M.Div., Ph.D.); Post-Graduate work at the University of Tübingen; presently pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Waynesville, North Carolina.


The following reviews are known:

In: Scottish Bulletin of Evangelical Theology — Vol.23 (2005), H.1, S.103f (Mark Gignilliat)
In: Zeitschr.f.Dialektische Theologie — Jg.18 (2002), H.1, S. 106f (David Lauber)
In: Review of Biblical Literature — (A. Katherine Grieb)
In: The Expository Times — Vol.114 (2003), H.11, S. 389f (John C. McDowell)
In: New Testament Abstracts — Vol.46 (2002), H.2, S. 356
In: Religious Studies Review — Vol.28 (2002), H.4, S. 378 (Mark Reasoner)
In: Revue Théologique de Louvain — Jg.33 (2002), H.4, S. 561ff (B. Bourgine)
In: Theologische Literaturzeitung — Jg.129 (2004), H.5, Sp.516ff (Mark D. Chapman)
In: Theology Digest — Vol.50 (2003), H.1, S. 65