The Great Number of Strange Doctrines: On Speculative Theology

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The paper examines the epistemology of speculative theology. It presents
an account of how to recognize the legitimate theoretical constructs of
speculative theology in the aftermath of the dialectical theology of Karl Barth.
Using the conceptual tools developed by Barth, the paper focuses on his account
of the Miracle of Christmas in Kirchliche Dogmatik vol. I/2 in order to uncover
three criteria for determining the truth-value of the various theoretical
constructs of speculative theology: 1) the particularity of its meta-vocabulary,
2) the dialectics of judgment and affirmation, and 3) its distinctive pneumatology.
Concretely, the paper draws on Barth’s theoretical and practical insights
from the second Romans commentary from 1922 up to the Kirchliche Dogmatik I/1, and shows how his development results in a determinate form of conceptual
mediation that could profitably be called speculative reading. The paper then
traces how the immanent rationality of revelation structures Barth’s reading of
the Miracle of Christmas and brings to expression a series of distinctive conceptual characteristics that allow us to measure the truth value of his interpretation.
Finally, the paper ends with a critical engagement of Robert Jenson’s influential
account of Barth’s pneumatological deficit in the Kirchliche Dogmatik.
Original languageEnglish
JournalNeue Zeitschrift fuer Systematische Theologie und Religionsphilosophie
Volume56
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)108-124
Number of pages16
ISSN0028-3517
Publication statusPublished - 2014

ID: 202191407