top_2_1.jpg top_2_2.jpg
Re-Figuring Theology
The Rhetoric of Karl Barth
Re-Figuring Theology
Click on image to enlarge

Stephen H. Webb - Author
SUNY series in Rhetoric and Theology
Hardcover - 214 pages
Release Date: July 1991
ISBN10: 0-7914-0570-2
ISBN13: 978-0-7914-0570-3

Out of Print
Price: $31.95 
Paperback - 214 pages
Release Date: July 1991
ISBN10: 0-7914-0571-0
ISBN13: 978-0-7914-0571-0

Available as a Google eBook
for other eReaders and tablet devices.
Click icon below...

Summary Read First Chapter image missing

"The status of rhetoric in relation to conceptual thought has been an important issue since the 13th century. With the advent of deconstructionism, it has become more urgent to sort out the implications of the different positions taken on this issue.

"The theology of Karl Barth is a strategic test case for exploring this issue, both because he is a central figure in twentieth century theology and because of the radicality of his challenge. The author has illuminated Barth's theology by his astute rhetorical analysis and, reciprocally, the status of rhetoric by a thorough investigation of Barth's texts." -- Mary Gerhart, Hobart & William Smith Colleges

"The approach developed in this book is deeply appropriate both to the early Barth and to the present conversation among theologians. It promises to vitalize academic theology, a field that without such recurrent infusions can become repetitive and pompous." -- David B. Greene, North Carolina State University

Here is a rhetorical treatment of Karl Barth's early theology. Although scholars have long noted the rhetorical power of Barth's work, calling it volcanic and explosive, this book uses rhetoric to illuminate the peculiar nature of his prose. It displays a Barth whose prose is radically unstable and inseparable from his theological arguments.The author connects Barth's early theology to the Expressionism of the Weimar Republic. He develops an original theory of figures of speech, relying on the philosophies of Paul Ricoeur and Hayden White, to delve more deeply into the particular configurations of Barth's writings. Nietzsche's hyperbole and Kierkegaard's irony are examined as rhetorical precedents of Barth's style. The closing chapter surveys Barth's later, realistic theology and then suggests ways in which his earlier tropes, especially the figures of excess and self-negation, can serve to enable theology to speak today.

Stephen H. Webb is Byron K. Trippet Assistant Professor of Religion and Philosophy at Wabash College.

Bookmark and Share

Table of Contents



1. Reading Karl Barth

Rhetoric and Theology
Readings of Karl Barth
Barth and Expressionism
A Closer Look at the Expressionist Analogy

2. Toward a Tropology

Three Theories of Tropes
Max Black on Mataphor
Paul Ricoeur and Language
Ricoeur and Metaphor
The Tropics of Hayden White

3. Metaphor of Crisis/Crisis of Metaphor

Metaphors and Models
The Origin of Crisis
The Supporting Cast
The Indirection of Theology
The Crisis Defined?
The Crisis of History and the History of Crisis
The Crisis of Crisis

4. Magic of the Extreme

A Lesser Trope?
Nietzsche as Exaggerator
A Necessary Excess
An Other Otherness
A Church Destroyed
The Limits of Extremity

5. Web of Irony

The Varieties of Irony
The Ironology of Kierkegaard
The Irony of Theology
An Ironic God
An Unstable Corrective

6. Retreat and Reconstruction: Re-Reading Barth Today

Retreat from Rhetoric
Another Other
Toward a Reconstruction



Related Subjects

Related Titles

History as Apocalypse
History as Apocalypse
Religious Resurgence and Politics in the Contemporary World
Religious Resurgence and Politics in the Contemporary World
Gurus in America
Gurus in America
Green Man, Earth Angel
Green Man, Earth Angel
The Golden Fleece and Alchemy
The Golden Fleece and Alchemy
Religion and Aging in the Indian Tradition
Religion and Aging in the Indian Tradition
Recreating Utopia in the Desert
Recreating Utopia in the Desert
Fidelity with Plausibility
Fidelity with Plausibility
Eternal Garden
Eternal Garden
A Theology Primer
A Theology Primer