Thursday 8 May 2008

Molnar, McCormack, and more: trinitarian theology after Barth

If you’re down in the Antipodes next year, you might like to come along to this conference: Trinitarian Theology after Barth: An International Symposium.

The symposium will take place 14-15 May 2009, at Carey Baptist College in Auckland, New Zealand. The keynote speakers will be Paul Molnar, Bruce McCormack, Ivor Davidson, and Murray Rae. Other speakers will include Martin Sutherland, Nicola Hoggard Creegan, Andrew Burgess, Myk Habets, Adam McIntosh, and Ben Myers.

Scholars are invited to contribute original essays which deliberately work in the wake of Barth in some area of constructive trinitarian theology. The goal is not to present critical essays on Barth but to work “after Barth” in the doctrine of the Trinity. This may involve drawing directly on aspects of his work or on that of his students such as Jüngel or Torrance.

Expressions of interest should be directed to Myk Habets.


Chris TerryNelson said...

My sentiments exactly. I'd be going not only for Barth, but for hobbits as well. :-)

Anonymous said...

yay... at last the world is coming to New Zealand. even if it is the other end of our long thin country. see y'all there. If you decide to see the country, don't miss Dunedin

Mark Stevens said...

Finally something nearby! Well done to Carey. Ben, have you (or have others) ever considered some sort of Barth conference in Australia?

Shane said...

"in the wake of"

I've never heard anyone but a theologian use this phrase. It sound so funereal and pretentious as in:

"The blood-thirsty robots descended upon the helpless village, leaving a trail of the dead in their wake . . ."

Jonathan Robinson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jonathan Robinson said...

shane -
i think you'll find 'in the wake' is a nautical term describing the effect of a vessel passing through water and changing the state of the water behind it. Perhaps you should spend less time reading Sci-Fi and more time at the beach?

If anyone needs a place to stay i live just round the corner, and its always fun meeting new people, first in best dressed: colonialguvna (at)

Anonymous said...

Wow, that looks like quite a conference. It's encouraging to see that the focus is 'theology after Barth', instead of the exegesis of Barth.

Sean said...

Carey is my home college where I did my undergrad work, and both Martin Sutherland and Nicola Hoggard Creegan were my lectures back in the day. This will be such a great conference!


Anonymous said...

Paroikos might have added a point about regional usage: in the UK (and, I suspect, Oz) we don't have wakes for the dead as you do in the US. But I'd be careful about taunting Shane: as vessels go, he is a battleship fully equipped to blow most of us right out of the water. ;)

Shane said...


I do know the nautical meaning. I have even been "wakeboarding". It just seems like an odd metaphor. If Barth is a boat, are these theologians wakeboarding? i.e. skiing behind him and just jumping his waves and trying to do as many fancy tricks as they can with the raw power he's supplied them?

At any rate, my point is just that it's an odd way of talking. Initially I had said that I've never heard anybody but a theologian use this locution, but that statement is now false.

Still, I think it's a silly saying, let's abandon it. Instead of saying "theology in the wake of Barth" let's say "theology, Barthian-style" or "Bartho-theology" or "In the light of Barth's proof that . . .".

I don't know why kim makes me out to be a battleship.

Anonymous said...

Interestingly, in the essay "Atheism, For and Against", in Fragments Grave and Gay (1971), Barth defines "Christian theological thinking" as "thinking rationally in the wake of the act and word of the living God, the Lord, the Creator, Redeemer and Father, which present themselves to man and ever again show him the way. In the Christian faith and in Christian theology thinking means in principle and practice thinking in the wake of" (p. 45 - italics in the text).

Regarding translation, I have no idea what the original German is. And if there is a new edition of this little collection of essays (my impression was published in 1976), I presume the title itself would have a different translation: none of the essays is about human sexuality.

Oh, and sorry, Shane: I meant, of course, man-of-war. ;)

Ben Myers said...

Although I'm always reluctant to agree with you, Shane... you seem to be right that "in the wake of" is generally used in connection with devastation, death, etc — at least that's how it looks on a quick Google Books search.

This made me wonder whether there might be some etymological relation between the funeral "wake" and the "wake" of a ship. The Shorter Oxford was no help here, so I had to crack open the full OED: and the two usages appear to be completely independent. In addition, the OED's earliest examples of "in the wake of" don't have the sinister funereal dimension that you've observed — so I wonder if the current, darker use of "in the wake of" involves some confusion between the funeral wake the nautical wake (so that people say "in the wake of the Holocaust", but not "in the wake of Kant's critique").

Incidentally, while reading the OED entries, I came across this humorous nautical definition, which hopefully doesn't describe our relation to Karl Barth: "immediately backward and along the track made..."

Anonymous said...

parikos: i think you'll find 'in the wake' is a nautical term describing the effect of a vessel passing through water and changing the state of the water behind it.

Every one of us leaves a wake behind us when we die. Some of these wakes are longer than others, some are more turbulent. But all of them dissolve into undifferentiated seawater in the due course of time, leaving not even living memory, only writtebn records or perhaps, if we were particularly influential like Caesar or Christ, an enduring oral tradition.

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