Thursday, 20 August 2009

Barth's most horrible sentence


I have recently acquired an (almost) complete set of Barth's dogmatics. I ordered a copy of the latest edition for the University Library, and in the process managed to inherit the ex-libris set... If anyone out there has a spare copy of IV.1, let me know please!

Anyway, one of the joys of ex-libris copies is all the scribblings in the margins, representing the accumulated wisdom (?) of 50 years worth of university students.

Scribbled in the front cover of I.1 is the phrase: 'Barth's most horrible sentence', and a reference to p. 385. Thinking this is a bold claim (Barth has some particularly horrible sentences) I turned to the page, to find the offending paragraph marked with an exclamation mark. So here it is. Is it his most horrible? I'm not sure, but it's in the running:

'And then the last question could hardly be omitted, whether the vestigia in question, upon which in that case the doctrine of the Trinity would really be grounded, were really to be regarded at all as the vestigia of a Creator-God transcending the world and not rather as a determinations of the cosmos now to be regarded as strictly immanent; and, because the cosmos is man’s cosmos, as determinations of human existence; whether therefore the concept of natural as well as that of Biblical revelation might not have to be struck out and the doctrine of the Trinity adjudged to be the bold attempt of man’s understanding of the world and, in the last resort, of self, i.e. adjudged to be myth.'

1 comment:

pchurcher87 said...

Seems in the tradition on Ephesians 1 to me. Fitting for Barth I'd say!