Christian culture 基督教文化学刊

Union in Christ: Rethinking Barth’s Christology

Author: ZHANG Shaobo, Lecturer, School of Marxism, Northwest University



In the past fifty years, there has been a saying current among English-speaking academia that the exaltation of the divinity of Christ in Barth’s Christology made the humanity of Christ passive, which puts Barth in opposition to Eastern Orthodox Christology. Through a careful study of Church Dogmatics, this article argues that Barth’s arguments on unio hypostatica and communicatio idiomatum share a similar understanding with those of Eastern Orthodox Christianity. Though there are undeniable differences between Barth and Orthodox theology, both grant appropriate status to the humanity of Christ in Christ’s Person without eliminating the active effect of human nature in Christ’s works. This set a good foundation for Barth, who later developed a soteriology different to the traditional Western view of Christ’s nature. In short, Barth’s soteriology is ecumenically significant and shares affinities on the issue of theosis with Eastern Orthodox theology



Barth; Eastern Orthodox; Christology; Unio hypostatica; Communicatio idiomatum


Full Text (International Version):

Zhang ShaoboSCN JSCC.pdf


Full Text (Simplified Chinese Version): 

Zhang ShaoboSCN JSCC.pdf