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Book Watch: The Westminster Handbook to Karl Barth

April 8, 2013

This week we’re introducing a new, semi-regular segment: Book Watch.  Here we’ll keep tabs on forthcoming releases in the general field of theology, hopefully with some inevitable attention to big releases in biblical studies, church history, and ethics, as well.  There’s no attempt at finding everything or even the most important upcoming releases. Instead we’ll feature something that just strikes us as interesting, and noteworthy to point out to you!


The Westminster Handbook to Karl BarthThe Westminster Handbook
to Karl Barth

Richard Burnett (ed.)

Scheduled Release: August 16, 2013
Publisher: Westminster John Knox Press
SRP: $35.99

Publisher’s Description: “Featuring essays from renowned scholars, this volume in the Westminster Handbooks to Christian Theology series provides an insightful and comprehensive overview of the theology of Karl Barth (1886-1968). This volume offers concise descriptions of Barth’s key terms and concepts, while also identifying the intricate connections within Barth’s theological vocabulary. Masterfully compiled and edited, this volume features the largest team of Barth scholars ever gathered to interpret Barth’s theology. The result is a splendid introduction to the most influential theologian of the modern era.

“Contributors include Clifford B. Anderson, Eberhard Busch, Timothy Gorringe, Garrett Green, Kevin Hector, I. John Hesselink, George Hunsinger, J. Christine Janowski, Paul Dafydd Jones, Joseph L. Mangina, Bruce L. McCormack, Daniel L. Migliore, Paul D. Molnar, Adam Neder, Amy Plantinga Pauw, Katherine Sonderegger, John Webster, and many others.”

The Editor: Richard Burnett is Professor of Systematic Theology at Erskine Seminary, and author of the fine study Karl Barth’s Theological Exegesis (Eerdmans, 2004).

Why We’re Excited: What can I say … it’s a new book on Barth, with contributions from all the big names in Barth studies today. The Westminster Handbook isn’t just (another) collection of a dozen independent essays, akin to The Cambridge Companion to Karl Barth (Cambridge University Press, 2000). It’s more of a topical guide, with short essays on a range of doctrinal topics (justification, revelation, the church, et al) as well as key concepts in Barth studies (including “actualism”) and figures with whom he interacted. That means a lot more contributors and more discrete entries.

While I haven’t found a Table of Contents yet, a Google search reveals several individual chapters and their authors, including:

    “Actualism” (Paul T. Nimmo)
    “The Attributes of God” (Christopher Holmes)
    “Christian Life” (Joseph L. Mangina)
    “Christology” (Paul Dafydd Jones)
    “The Church” (Kimlyn J. Bender)
    “Eduard Thurneysen” (E.V. Tolstoj)
    “Hope” (John McDowell)
    “Justification” (George Hunsinger)
    “Religion” (Bryan Burton)
    “Revelation” (Bruce L. McCormack)
    “Sanctification” (George Hunsinger)
    “State” (Mar Smith)
    “Universalism” (Bryan Burton)

    (This is a partial list and subject to change)

As an editor, I’m also really interested in what makes a book worthy of the description “masterfully edited!”

Pre-Order: ($23.10 at the time of publication)

4 Comments leave one →
  1. April 9, 2013 9:47 pm

    What I’m wondering, Dr. Sumner :-), is why you aren’t one of its contributors?!

  2. April 9, 2013 9:53 pm

    Alas, I think when they started this book several years ago I was a big fat nobody. (Now I am a big fat Dr. Nobody!)

  3. April 10, 2013 1:40 am

    Ha … well, you’re a (I won’t say big fat since that’s not PC 😉 ) Dr. Somebody to me, bro. I have high respect for you and your work! Keep it up. Plus, in the heavenly session of Christ you are a big time somebody (sorry, I had to get mr. spiritual on you 😉 ). Whenever you comment on my blog (I know it doesn’t take much for me! 🙂 ), I feel honored … serious.

  4. April 10, 2013 1:41 am

    Thanks, Bobby — you honor me. Keep on keepin’ on.

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