The Mature Theologian

The first retrospective work of its kind bringing us into direct and personal contact with one of the 20th century’s most discussed and influential thinkers. This work sheds new light on the later years of Karl Barth, the Reformed theologian, his focal Church teachings and his celebrated life as the “Lion of European theology”.


“A ‘fascinating’ account that brings a personal perspective found nowhere else…I enjoyed the breezy very readable style and occasional colloquial language.”
-Rev. Dr. I. John Hesselink,
President Emeritus of Western Theological Seminary

“A wonderful work, a happy read about the happy science! Barth called theology a “happy science”.
-Rev. Dr. Donald W. Shriver,
President Emeritus of Union Theological Seminary, NY

Book Review Appears: Interpretation: A Journal of Bible and Theology
2014, Vol. 68(2) Book Notes pp. 233
© The Author(s) 2013 Reprints and permissions:
DOI: 10.1177/0020964313517858

"... Anderson's interesting and eminently readable new book. Anderson enjoyably weaves together several different genres in his reflections on his experience with Barth, smoothly transitioning back and forth between personal memoir, constructive theological argument, and thoughtful interpretation of Barth's life and writing." -The Westminster Handbook to Karl Barth

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Pilgrimage to Basel :
An American Scholar’s Memoir

First Impressions
“Herr Professor Doktos”-

A Field Marshal’s Role
An Existential Search for Meaning
Barth’s Maturity as Teacher -
Doktor Ecclesia
- A Lighthearted Intelligence
The Teacher as Writer
Barth’s Counterpart and Adjunct
The Basel University Context:
Contrasts and Tensions
Chapter 2 The Mind of Faith: Barth’s Quest for Rational Intelligibility

The German Tragedy – Natural Mind
The Anselmic Perspective:
Fides quaerens intellectum

Faith Seeking Its Own Mind -
Greater Than We Can Think,
Faith Has Its Reason:
The Humanity of God in Christ
Faith’s Intelligence: Rational Unity in Diversity
Chapter 3 The Beautiful Craft of Theology:
Showing Faith’s Inner Coherence

Barth’s Stance: Incarnational Theology
In Pneumatic Response
Analogia fidei
and Relational Coherence
Christocentric Reflection – a Noetic necessity
The Grace-Grounded, Faith-bounded Way
Theology’s Way in Action -
Complex Unity and Coherent Diversity
Chapter 4 Theology as Attentive Dialogue in the Vertical

Dogma in “Obedience”? – Spirit-led Hearing>br> A “Word-Study for Americans”
Attentive Openness and Spontaneous Interaction
Openness to the Canon as a Whole:
Biblical Coherence
Attentive to prophetic Witness:
and the Warrant of Saga
Attentive to Apostolic Witness:
The Early Christian Sagas
Barth’s Pauline Perspective
The Time of our Lives
Attentive to the Church’s Voices in History
Chapter 5 Interactive Dialogue: Horizontal Openness Today

Barth’s Way with Others’ Voices
Basel Dialogues
Saying Yes to Life and No to Nothingness
Freedom to Disagree in the Sphere of Grace
A Medieval View of Disputation?”
Openness to Nature?
Openness to the Future?
Hearing Others – Barth’s Last Word
Chapter 6 Listening In: The Tone of Karl Barth’s
Anglo-American Colloquies [Transcriptions]

How Barth Epitomized His Views in English
On Natural Theology
On Old Testament Promise
Off-the-Cuff Reflections on Tillich:
Gnosis vs. Theology?
And as to Existentialism. . .
Chapter 7 Barth’s Resonance for an American