BUMP! Why is Karl Barth's "bombshell of a book" The Epistle to the Romans still not in Logos?

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Rosie Perera | Forum Activity | Posted: Tue, Aug 18 2020 6:47 PM

This is one of the most important commentaries ever written. It's so important that there's a book called Reading Karl Barth: A Companion to Karl Barth’s Epistle to the Romans which Faithlife carries, and yet you don't carry the book that it's about.

We've been asking for this for years. There are at least four other threads requesting it.

Faithlife, please indicate that you're working on it!

And everyone else, please go vote for it here:

https://suggestbooks.uservoice.com/forums/308269-book-suggestions/suggestions/15955231-karl-barth-the-epistle-to-the-romans

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Beloved Amodeo | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Aug 18 2020 7:06 PM

Rosie Perera:
This is one of the most important commentaries ever written. It's so important that there's a book called Reading Karl Barth: A Companion to Karl Barth’s Epistle to the Romans which Faithlife carries, and yet you don't carry the book that it's about.
YesThanks for reminding me to vote!

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Brad | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Aug 18 2020 7:54 PM

YesYes

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David Wanat | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Aug 18 2020 8:30 PM

They’re sometimes strange like that. For example, having Thomas Merton but not his most famous work, “The Seven Storey Mountain.”

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Sean | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Aug 18 2020 11:30 PM

This is one I definitely want. I've never read it in full and no longer have access to a hard copy. I do remember, however, FL saying in one of the threads that there were rights issues or confusion that they weren't able to straighten out.

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Rosie Perera | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Aug 18 2020 11:58 PM

David Wanat:

They’re sometimes strange like that. For example, having Thomas Merton but not his most famous work, “The Seven Storey Mountain.”

Sometimes it has to do with difficulties getting rights. But this was published back in 1918 so it's surely out of copyright by now. The PDF of it is available on Scribd (https://www.scribd.com/document/75027604/Karl-Barth-The-Epistle-to-the-Romans), but it's too much work to convert that into a PB.

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NB.Mick | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Aug 19 2020 12:21 AM

Rosie Perera:
Sometimes it has to do with difficulties getting rights. But this was published back in 1918 so it's surely out of copyright by now.

Unfortunately not. In most jurisdictions, copyright is protected for 70 years after the death of the author. Since Barth died 1968, this would mean that all of his writings become Public Domain on January 1, 2039 (maybe some fans set up a site in Canada with its 50 years-rule...). There may be some exceptions, e.g. in the US if a book was published early in the 20th century and copyright not renewed and then not revived through the "Uruguay Round" procedure - but given the massive interest in this book, I'm nearly certain that Faithlife would have it on offer if it was free of copyright    

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Mark | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Aug 19 2020 6:06 AM

Rosie Perera:

Thanks Rosie.  Added my voice...

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Rosie Perera | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, May 21 2021 4:48 PM

Yay! It's in pre-pub now! Thank you, Faithlife, for being persistent and getting the rights to produce this.

https://www.logos.com/product/208238/the-epistle-to-the-romans

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Brad | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, May 21 2021 9:35 PM

Rosie Perera:

Yay! It's in pre-pub now! Thank you, Faithlife, for being persistent and getting the rights to produce this.

https://www.logos.com/product/208238/the-epistle-to-the-romans

Yes

Posts 468
Paul | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, May 22 2021 3:03 AM

Absolutely fantastic that this will become available in Logos!  Ipre-ordered this important commentary straightaway when I read Faithlife was going to produce it. Thanks Faithlife and also those who were busy advocating it. Keep well Paul  

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Carmen Gauvin-O'Donnell | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, May 22 2021 5:59 AM

Sorry, can I ask a (perhaps rude?) question here? The reason I'd want to order this is to better undertand Romans.

But the pre-pub says this is crucial to understanding "Barthianism"... umm... why would that be something that I'd want to do?

And even if I have no interest in THAT, would this commentary serve me well in my aim of learning more about Romans, or would I spend a lot of time mumbling to myself because of this 'Barthianism"?

Anyhoo, just looking for some clarification... Smile

 

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Sean | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, May 22 2021 6:33 AM

Carmen Gauvin-O'Donnell:
Sorry, can I ask a (perhaps rude?) question here? The reason I'd want to order this is to better undertand Romans.

Barth's Der Romerbrief was a "bombshell on the playground of the theologians," beginning the neorthodox revolt against the classical liberal theology then prevailing on the continent--and in many ways sounding its death knell (till it reemerged later, of course, though somewhat chastened).This is emphatically not an exegetical commentary. Rather, Barth used Romans as the basis of a (very long) sermon against human attempts to tame God (those trying "to speak about God by speaking about man in a loud voice"), calling us instead to remember that God is totally other from us and that the only reason we can know him at all is because he has reached down to us in grace through Jesus Christ.

If you're looking to lead Bible study or sermon series on Romans or just broaden your knowledge of the book, this work is not for you. If, on the other hand, you're interested in the movement of modern theology, you definitely need this seminal work by the twentieth century's greatest theologian.

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Rosie Perera | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, May 22 2021 10:26 PM

Sean:

Carmen Gauvin-O'Donnell:
Sorry, can I ask a (perhaps rude?) question here? The reason I'd want to order this is to better undertand Romans.

Barth's Der Romerbrief was a "bombshell on the playground of the theologians," beginning the neorthodox revolt against the classical liberal theology then prevailing on the continent--and in many ways sounding its death knell (till it reemerged later, of course, though somewhat chastened).This is emphatically not an exegetical commentary. Rather, Barth used Romans as the basis of a (very long) sermon against human attempts to tame God (those trying "to speak about God by speaking about man in a loud voice"), calling us instead to remember that God is totally other from us and that the only reason we can know him at all is because he has reached down to us in grace through Jesus Christ.

If you're looking to lead Bible study or sermon series on Romans or just broaden your knowledge of the book, this work is not for you. If, on the other hand, you're interested in the movement of modern theology, you definitely need this seminal work by the twentieth century's greatest theologian.

Thanks for that, Sean. Excellent answer! Who would you say are some theologians influenced by this seminal work? I've always known it was an important work of 20th century theology, but I seem to recall it was very influential on someone in particular who is more familiar to me than Barth, but now I can't remember who that was.

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Ken McGuire | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 23 2021 4:08 AM

Carmen Gauvin-O'Donnell:

But the pre-pub says this is crucial to understanding "Barthianism"... umm... why would that be something that I'd want to do?

And even if I have no interest in THAT, would this commentary serve me well in my aim of learning more about Romans, or would I spend a lot of time mumbling to myself because of this 'Barthianism"?

There are lots of commentaries that will dig into exegetical details. But that is not Barth's primary interest - and because of this, it was criticized as being "unscientific." But while the exegetical process is designed to let us avoid our surface preconceptions and to actually engage the text, it can also turn into a never ending distraction from the text. And Romans is concerned about Theology - a lot more than many Romans Commentaries are.

And Barth tries to read Romans as a theological text - and let that theological text speak to "today" - actually a hundred years ago now - through the Swiss Reformed Preacher, Karl Barth. This commentary is almost the urtext of the Neo Orthodox movement, or at least of the "Barthian" wing of it. And while having never been a Barthian, I will say that engaging Karl Barth forced me to rethink things, forcing me to try to consider the God of the Bible - a God that transcends all our human concepts, and attacks when we try to force our human concepts on God as Idolatry.

Is this a commentary I would consult while teaching a Sunday School class on Romans? No way. But having engaged Karl Barth informs everything I say there. This commentary is one of the most important theological texts of the 20th century - and it is well past time for it to enter our digital age.

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David Wanat | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 23 2021 10:52 AM

My only real encounter with Barth was through von Balthasar's (widely recognized as out of date) book on the subject, so my question may come across as ignorant. Apologies if it is.

I understand that that Barth's various editions underwent changes based on his developing understanding through the years. If my understanding is not false, which edition is presented here?

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Mathew Voth | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 23 2021 3:13 PM

Rosie, you are probably referring to someone else, but a contemporary of ours is Douglas Campbell. As a Pauline scholar he is heavily influenced by Barth, and uses his approach extensively in his work on Paul's letters. See especially this recent book of his: Pauline Dogmatics: The Triumph of God’s Love | Logos Bible Software

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Rosie Perera | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 23 2021 4:01 PM

Mathew Voth:

Rosie, you are probably referring to someone else, but a contemporary of ours is Douglas Campbell. As a Pauline scholar he is heavily influenced by Barth, and uses his approach extensively in his work on Paul's letters. See especially this recent book of his: Pauline Dogmatics: The Triumph of God’s Love | Logos Bible Software

No, it was someone from the 20th century, but I'm sure there were many who were influenced by him, so it might not have been just one famous author I'm thinking of. I know my pastor of many years, from University Presbyterian Church in Seattle, Earl Palmer, was deeply influenced by Barth and got to hear him speak at Princeton Seminary when he was on his U.S. speaking tour.

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Sean | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 23 2021 9:42 PM

David Wanat:
I understand that that Barth's various editions underwent changes based on his developing understanding through the years. If my understanding is not false, which edition is presented here?

The blurp here is basically a copy of what is shown on Amazon, except that indicates that it is the English translation of the 6th German edition. If I recall correctly (I don't have access to a print copy, which is why I really need this in Logos!) most of the revisions took place in the German editions and then the final one was the one that eventually was translated into English. I would very much doubt that Logos would get any other edition.

Rosie, it'd be difficult to say who was most influenced by Barth--the story of twentieth century theology basically takes place in his shadow. Everyone had to grapple with his thought as they tried to either refine or refute it. For one, though, T.F. Torrance, who was involved in the translation of Church Dogmatics, was definitely a major theologian influenced by him. Emil Brunner was the other major figure of neo-orthodoxy; his thought was quite similar to Barth's, but he often found himself his opponent.

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Rosie Perera | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 23 2021 11:07 PM

Sean:
Rosie, it'd be difficult to say who was most influenced by Barth--the story of twentieth century theology basically takes place in his shadow. Everyone had to grapple with his thought as they tried to either refine or refute it. For one, though, T.F. Torrance, who was involved in the translation of Church Dogmatics, was definitely a major theologian influenced by him. Emil Brunner was the other major figure of neo-orthodoxy; his thought was quite similar to Barth's, but he often found himself his opponent.

Yes, I'm pretty sure it's Brunner I was thinking of. My pastor used to talk about the two of them, and their debate over Natural Theology, the Ja! and Nein!

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