By Paul T. Nimmo
This booklet investigates the best way the 'actualistic ontology' - i.e., the truth that God and human brokers are beings-in-act in a covenant dating - that underlies the Church Dogmatics of Karl Barth impacts his perception of moral organization. It analyses this impression alongside 3 paths of inquiry: figuring out what's correct (the noetic dimension), doing what's correct (the ontic dimension), and attaining what's correct (the telic dimension). the 1st component of the booklet explores the self-discipline of theological ethics as Barth construes it, either in its theoretical prestige and in its genuine perform. within the moment part, the ontological import of moral corporation for Barth is taken into account on the subject of the divine motion and the divine command. the ultimate portion of the booklet examines the teleological function envisaged during this theological ethics by way of participation, witness, and glorification. At each one degree of the ebook, the powerful interconnectedness of theological ethics and actualistic ontology within the Church Dogmatics is drawn out. the consequent appreciation of the actualistic size which underlies the theological ethics of Karl Barth feeds right into a fruitful engagement with quite a few reviews of Barth's belief of moral organisation. it's validated that assets are available inside this actualistic ontology to respond to a number of the different criticisms, and that makes an attempt to revise Barth's theological ethics on the margins could have catastrophic and irreversible outcomes for his entire theological undertaking.
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Additional resources for Being in action: the theological shape of Barth's ethical vision
31 Precisely as this personal encounter, however, the command of God takes place within a definite context: that of the covenant relationship between God and humanity. Barth notes that it always occurs 'in the context and order which are laid down by the fact that [God] is not a dark and formless numen but the almighty Lord who wills the best for the man who is responsible to 22 23 26 27 31 E/2, p. 7 1 2 . The goodness of the c o m m a n d of G o d will be explored further below. 24 I/I, p. 136.
141 Such a system would be an abstraction from the living relationship of God and the ethical agent. 688. TV/2, p . 5 3 3 . Biggar argues that for Barth, 'the normative "story" t o which h u m a n conduct should correspond does not comprise an extract from Jesus' life or a refrain in it, but a theological summary o f it', Hastening, p. 1 0 9 . However, Barth himself cautions that 'the N e w Testament certainly did n o t present Jesus Christ as a moral ideal', 1/2, p. 1 5 6 , and therefore Biggar is correct only in s o far as, for Barth, this normative 'story' continues t o be held subordinate t o the actual concrete and specific c o m m a n d of G o d received in the present life of the believer by the H o l y Spirit.
It is to be wondered, therefore, whether William Werpehowski is right in his optimism that although they can never be definitely anticipated before the fact, 'particular hearings of the divine command can be understood after the fact', in 'Command and History in the Ethics of Karl Barth', JRE 9 (1981), pp. 298-320 (310). IV/3,p. 849. II/l, p. 426. As Matheny later notes, 'If there is logical inconsistency in Barth's use of concepts, it has less to do with the way the categories are utilized than with the unfathomable character of the object of theological description to which no category or combination thereof is adequate', Dogmatics and Ethicsy p.
Being in action: the theological shape of Barth's ethical vision by Paul T. Nimmo