Barth on Philosophy


Barth recognizes quite readily that “[e]veryone has some sort of philosophy, i.e., a personal view of the fundamental nature and relationship of things” (CD I/2, 728). This shouldn’t be surprising as our particular cultural and language certain limit and influence our perspective on the world. Everybody imposes some sort of conceptual framework when they approach a text. There’s simply no way to shed off all of these ‘biases’ and encounter the text ‘objectively’. This should be obvious. Barth goes on to criticize “the school of A. Ritschl, which was supposed to be so averse to every type of speculation and metaphysics. It is all very well to renounce the Platonism of the Greek fathers, but if that means that we throw ourselves all the more unconditionally into the arms of the positivists and agnostics of the 19th century, we have no right to look for the mote in eye of the ancient fathers” (CD I/2, 728).


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