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God as Person: Karl Barth and Karl Rahner on Divine and Human Personhood

Issue: Vol 25 No. 2 (2006) Vol 25, No 2 (2006)

Journal: Religious Studies and Theology

Subject Areas: Religious Studies Buddhist Studies Islamic Studies Biblical Studies

DOI: 10.1558/rsth.2006.25.2.161


This article explores the concept of divine personhood in modern theology, particularly in the theology of Karl Barth (1886-1968) and Karl Rahner (1904-1984). It systematically explicates what it means to call God a ‘Person’. After contextualizing the contemporary debate on divine personhood
by reference to the work of John Zizioulas, it interfaces Karl Barth and Karl Rahner’s conception of divine subjectivity and its anthropological implications. It argues that the dynamics of divine personhood entails relationality, both internal (the Trinity) and external (creation). Moreover, it argues that divine subjectivity provides the model for human subjectivity.

Author: Mark S.M. Scott

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