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Abstract

Many of Barth's most faithful and devoted interpreters have taken issue with his unapologetically non-sacramental account of baptism in CD IV/4 and his attendant rejection of infant baptism. While many questions have been raised concerning the veracity of the exegesis that Barth produces in support of his position, little attention has been paid to the way in which Matthew 28.18-20, when systematically considered, relates to his account of baptism. Taking the themes of authority, mission and institution as analytic tools, this paper examines the role played by the Matthean passage throughout the Church Dogmatics period, and considers how these themes relate to Barth's rejection of infant baptism. It is suggested in conclusion that understanding baptism as the 'sign of the gospel' allows us to move beyond Barth's rejection of infant baptism without abrogating his concern for mission.

In: Ecclesiology

Abstract

Some important thinkers have treated Liberation Theology and “Barthian” Theology as incompatible, understanding the latter as an impediment to self-consciously contextual theological approaches. But some proponents of Barth’s theology argue that it is contextual in important ways, and therefore a helpful resource for doing public theology. One way to redescribe the common complaint at the core of all these criticisms, and a way that relates those criticisms to liberation theology more generally, is by saying that they all pertain to the relationship between theory and praxis. The purpose of this article then is to address the relation between theory and praxis in the theologies of two significant practitioners of theology ‘after’ Karl Barth—Helmut Gollwitzer and Eberhard Jüngel—in part by examining their understanding of the relationship between Christianity and socialism.

In: International Journal of Public Theology