The Problem of Natural Theology in the Thought of Karl Barth

Footnote

Thomas F. Torrance, "The Problem of Natural Theology in the Thought of Karl Barth," Religious Studies 6 (1970): 121-135; #1970-286

Bibliography

Torrance, Thomas F. "The Problem of Natural Theology in the Thought of Karl Barth." Religious Studies 6, no. 2 (1970): 121-135; #1970-286

Publication life cycle / General notes

Printed in Religious Studies, Cambridge, 1970, vol. 6, #1970-286. Revised and reprinted in 1984, Transformation and Convergence in the Frame of Knowledge (#1984-433); and in 1990, Karl Barth: Biblical and Evangelical Theologian, #1990-517f.

Abstract

Theologies may be divided into two distinct types which, for the purpose of this essay, may be called ‘interactionist’ and ‘dualist’. By an interactionist theology I mean one in which God is thought of as interacting closely with the world of nature and history without being confused with it, and by a dualist theology I mean one in which God is thought of as separated from the world of nature and history by a measure of deistic distance. Obviously there are degrees of closeness and distance, while their extremes tend to pass over into each other. Thus a theology in which God is thought of as so transcendentally other that he cannot be the ‘object’ of our knowledge, as in the thought of Schleiermacher, can only acquire content through constructions out of our immanent religious consciousness. Nevertheless a working distinction between interactionist and dualist theologies may serve a useful purpose in helping us to get into the heart of the problem.

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