Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A Commentary on Karl Barth's Romans commentary

Awhile back when I interviewed Frank Matera on his Romans commentary in the Paideia series, he mentioned that Karl Barth's Romans commentary made a huge impact on him, calling it "the most powerful book he ever read." Recently, I got my hands on a copy of Barth's masterpiece, and although I have only lightly perused it, it seems like a formidable commentary to work through.

Well, now there appears to be a guide to help the novice of Barth and his work on Romans, entitled,  Reading Karl Barth: A Companion to Karl Barth's Epistle to the Romans authored by Kenneth Oakes. Here is the description:
Karl Barth's 1922 The Epistle to the Romans is one of the most famous, notorious, and influential works in twentieth-century theology and biblical studies. It is also a famously and notoriously difficult and enigmatic work, especially as its historical context becomes more and more foreign. In this book, Kenneth Oakes provides historical background to the writing of The Epistle to the Romans, an introduction and analysis of its main themes and terms, a running commentary on the text itself, and suggestions for further readings from Barth on some of the issues it raises. The volume not only offers orientation and assistance for those reading The Epistle to the Romans for the first time, it also deals with contemporary problems in current Barth scholarship regarding liberalism, dialectics, and analogy.
And the endorsements:

"Barth's Epistle to the Romans is notoriously opaque and challenging; Oakes' guide is lively, perceptive, and nimble, and will enable readers to approach Barth with confidence and discover for themselves the riches of this classic of twentieth-century theology."
-John Webster
University of Aberdeen

"Cleary written and accessible, Reading Karl Barth offers a fascinating and much-needed commentary on Karl Barth's The Epistle to the Romans. Oakes' book is a helpful companion for those reading Barth for the first time, and there is also much here for those who have been thinking about Barth's revolutionary commentary for some time."
-Tom Greggs
University of Aberdeen
The book is discounted ($16.80)  through the Wipf and Stock website as one of its featured titles. Check it out!

1 comment:

Kevin Davis said...

Thanks for pointing this out. I met Ken while doing my MTh at Aberdeen. He's a great guy and super brilliant. I'm excited to read this.