Evangelical Theology in the 19th Century: Thinking after Karl Barth on the Story of Modern Protestant Thought

Posted on October 19, 2021 by PLT Staff

Lecture given by Charles Marsh at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, VA (September 22, 2021). Marsh uses theologian Karl Barth’s essay “Evangelical Theology of the 19th Century” from the book The Humanity of God as a narrative framework for Marsh’s “Theologies of Resistance and Reconciliation” seminar. Barth argues that Christian theology, contrary to 19th-century evangelical theology (or more precisely, the Protestant liberal tradition), must be based, first and foremost, on revelation and generating from within itself. Barth reads the Protestant liberal tradition’s emphasis on human experience and “ecstatic joy” as a theological mistake that had political and historical implications when Christianity then became an ingredient in the development of the Third Reich. To find a listing of all our Occasional Lectures, click here.

Excerpt: “[Barth] is giving voice to what’s called the German martial tradition, which is this kind of fusion of German greatness…and the Christian religion, and Barth says that the basic problem…is that the Protestant theologians of the 19thcentury began to speak of God by speaking of humanity in a loud voice.”

  • Video Information
  • Date Recorded:September 22, 2021
  • Location Recorded:Charlottesville, VA
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