In this work Michael O’Neil investigates Karl Barth’s theology in the turbulent and dynamic years of his nascent career, between 1915 and 1922. He focuses on the manner in which this theologian construed Christian and ecclesial existence. The author argues that Karl Barth developed his theology with an explicit ecclesial and ethical motive in a deliberate attempt to shape the ethical life of the church in the troublesome context within which he lived and worked. O’Neil adopts a chronological and exegetical reading of Barth’s work from the initial dispute with his liberal heritage (c.1915) until the publication of the second edition of his commentary on Romans. This work strives to contribute to a broader understanding of Barth’s theology both in its early development, and with regard to his ecclesiology and ethics.
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Dr. Michael D. O’Neil is director of research and head of the departments of Christian thought, systematic theology, and church history at Vose Seminary in Perth, Australia. He earned his PhD from Murdoch University, focusing on the early theology of Karl Barth. His current research interests are Baptist heritage and theology, and the theology of justification.