As the end of 2021 draws near, we highlight some of the most important theology books released this year…
Although some of these theology books will appear on our Advent calendar of 2021’s Best Books (and no, we won’t reveal here which ones will be on that list), we won’t say that these are the 12 BEST theology books — just that they are important ones that should be widely read and discussed…
We feature our theology book of the year first, and after that the remaining book are in alphabetical order by the author/editor’s last name….
*** What one book would you add to this list?
Karl Barth: A Life in Conflict
A new exploration of the interactions between Barth’s personal and political life and his theology
From the beginning of his career, Swiss theologian Karl Barth (1886-1968) was often in conflict with the spirit of his times. While during the First World War German poets and philosophers became intoxicated by the experience of community and transcendence, Barth fought against all attempts to locate the divine in culture or individual sentiment. This freed him for a deep worldly engagement: he was known as “the red pastor,” was the primary author of the founding document of the Confessing Church, the Barmen Theological Declaration, and after 1945 protested the rearmament of the Federal Republic of Germany. Christiane Tietz compellingly explores the interactions between Barth’s personal and political biography and his theology. Numerous newly-available documents offer insight into the lesser-known sides of Barth such as his long-term three-way relationship with his wife Nelly and his colleague Charlotte von Kirschbaum. This is an evocative portrait of a theologian who described himself as “God’s cheerful partisan,” who was honored as a prophet and a genial spirit, was feared as a critic, and shaped the theology of an entire century as no other thinker.
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