seminari alta scuola – faith and theological method: the cases of karl barth and the young dietrich bonhoeffer

Calendario Seminari Alta Scuola 2020-2021

Piattaforma Zoom, 19 Ottobre 14:30-18:30 – 20 Ottobre 09:00-13:00

Edward Van ‘t Slot
(Protestantse Theologische Universiteit, Amsterdam/Groeningen)

Faith and Theological Method: The Cases of Karl Barth and the Young Dietrich Bonhoeffer



The start will consist of a short introduction in the theme of Theology between transcendentalism and immanentism according to Barth and Bonhoeffer. With this introduction in mind, we will try to get grip on, and discuss, some relevant passages from Karl Barth’s essay “Faith and Idea in Theology” (“Schicksal und Idee in der Theologie”, a splendid text from 1929); and from the young Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Act and Being (Akt und Sein, also ± 1929). Those two texts will give us a clearer view of the epistemic problems (among others) the young movement of the dialectical theology had to cope with in the 1920s. After that, we will dive into Karl Barth’s Fides Quaerens Intellectum (1931), on St. Anselm and theological method, a book in which Karl Barth seems to have found an answer to those epistemic challenges. A point which we will have to discuss, will be whether (and to what extent) his proposal is in accord with the tradition – for instance, with his main inspirational source, St Anselm. We also hope to discuss the problems which Dietrich Bonhoeffer, though he sincerely sympathized with Barth, still found in Barth’s account.

Born in The Netherlands, 1973. Minister in the Dutch Reformed Church, 2001. Dissertation (cum laude) on Negativism of Revelation? Barth and Bonhoeffer on Faith and Actualism (2010, published by Mohr Siebeck, Series Dogmatik in der Moderne, 2015). Special chair at University of Groningen, in “Systematic Theology and Church in the 21st Century”, from 2014 onward. Lecturer and Researcher at the Protestant Theological University (Amsterdam/Groningen) in the same field, from 2015 onward. Board of the International Barth Conferences in the Netherlands, President of the Dutch Language Section of the International Bonhoeffer Society. Books on especially Bonhoeffer’s Ecclesiology in Dutch (2018, 2019).

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