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.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Visiting the Barth Center

This afternoon, as I went to bother David Congdon, I had the chance to meet the Curator of Special Collections, Clifford Blake Anderson. When I had emailed Anderson a few months ago about this Barth site, I had accidently mispelled the URL as http://barthamherst.blogpsot.com.
Anderson replied that he was a little concerned about my theology at first, and when I visited the wrong link, I found out why.
As a side note, if you can read Anderson's latest essay in Cultural Encounters on Kuyper and Barth on Worldviews, you'll get a very fresh understanding of why they can't see eye to eye (most assume the difference is their Doctrine of Scripture). As someone who has attended L'Abri lectures many times (founded by Francis Schaeffer), I can attest to the evangelical/reformed popularity of "cultivating a Christian worldview." Barth has pretty much knocked that philosophy out of me now, although many fragments of truth are embedded in its system.

David was kind enough to introduce me. When he said "Amherst," they already knew who I was (does that count as being a Barthian celebrity?). I was asked if the Barth Society of Amherst was large, and had to admit that five people was a "good day" for us, which received a good chuckle. Kenneth Henke offered to take me on a tour of the Barth Center on his lunch break, which was a real treat. It was amazing to see Markus Barth's own chicken-scratch from when he took his father's class in the '40s (which ended up being published as CD I/2). There were canes, pipes, pictures, ash-pots, and of course a whole collection of first editions (again, largely provided by Markus). On top of that, they have collected all of the secondary literature available on Barth, including recently completed doctoral dissertations (send yours in, Scott!).

Perhaps I should consider this a culminating experience into the world of Barth (yes, there is a culture of it). What would be even more grand would be to work in special collections with David. I'll let you know how that goes.


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