Christian culture 基督教文化学刊

The Task of Theology: The Word of God or Nature? A Reflection on the Disputation over "Natural Theology" between Barth and Brunner

Author: ZHOU Xiaolong, PhD Candidate, Faculty of Philosophy, Tübingen University



The debate over “Natural Theology” between Barth and Brunner in 1934 was an important intellectual event in the theological history of the 20th century. This article attempts to briefly outline the intellectual conflicts between them before and after this event, and analyzes in detail the respective arguments in Brunner’s “Natur und Gnade” and Barth’s “Nein!” in order to grasp the whys and wherefores of the event in its historical context, and to focus attention on the differences in theological paradigm on each side. The final section of the article points out that the real reason for the debate between them lay in Barth treating the Word of God as the sole task of theology, while Brunner attempted to incorporate the human grasp of the Word of God into the basic task of theology.



Natural Theology, the Task of Theology, the Word of God, Nature, Theological Paradigm


Full Text (International Version):

ZHOU XiaolongSCN JSCC.pdf


Full Text (Simplified Chinese Version): 

ZHOU XiaolongSCN JSCC.pdf