Welcome to The Karl Barth Society of Amherst, Massachusetts - a local chapter of the The Karl Barth Society of North America. This site is maintained by Chris TerryNelson. Please let me know how I can make this page a better resource for you. Email me, view my profile. You can also visit my new personal website, Disruptive Grace.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Edward Thurneysen

Hi folks,
I'm starting to settle into my new home here at Princeton Seminary where I'll be doing an M.Div. I've already made some great contact with neighbors (who have fed us more than we can , and can't wait to get started on intensive Hebrew this Monday (which apparently includes Friday afternoon ultimate frisbee matches with the Intensive Greek students!).

One thing that's been on my mind is Barth's life-long friendship with Edward Thurneysen, a pastor who ministered to a congregration in a village adjacent to Barth's in Safenwil. It was through meeting him that Barth found support in the midst of a serious shaking of foundations (e.g. the collapse of theological liberalism). Who was this man? Was he simply a "yes-man" to Barth? Or was he Barth's critic? How did the dynamics of their relationship change over time as Barth become more influential?

Whatever the details of the relationship, one cannot stress enough how important it is to have at least one (if not more) theological comrade on call. Even for the most introverted and self-disciplined theologian, it is essential to have someone like Thurneysen around. Not only must we seek him/her as a guide and critic of our own theology, but we must also be that very person to others.

Do you have a Thurneysen in your theological meanderings? And how much beer does this relationship consume? (always a helpful measuring stick, don't you agree?)

My thanks to those of you who answer here on this forum for your openness to discuss Barth's theology in depth.

Please keep me and my wife in prayer during this time of drastic change. And may the Lord bless you and keep you in steadfast love.

~Chris TerryNelson


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