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The goal of this book is to add one more voice to the growing chorus of opinion that the theologies of Friedrich Schleiermacher and Karl Barth may have far more in common than the many insistent assertions of the latter, or the partisans of either, would lead one to believe. While there can be no easy reconciliation of the differences which do in fact exist between these two figures, the book will argue that these differences do not always stem from irreconcilable starting points. This book will investigate one aspect of their theologies-the doctrine of Creation. The thesis of the book asserts that both Barth and Schleiermacher take a Christological orientation to the doctrine of Creation. Approaching their theologies in this fashion allows them to solve the problem of maintaining dogmatic coherence and continuity with the Church's historic confessions while also meeting certain modern, external intellectual demands confronting those systems.
To put it more sharply, this study claims that each uses Christ as the hermeneutical key for interpreting Creation, and that each does so in an effort to remain true to the faith handed down from the past while maintaining intellectual integrity in the present. This underlying connection perceptible in both Barth's and Schleiermacher's work forges one continuity between them and suggests that there may be certain fundamental similarities in their respective theologies in spite of other well-known differences.
Robert J. Sherman is Professor of Christian Theology at Bangor Theological Seminary in Maine. His work has appeared in such publications as the Scottish Journal of Theology, the International Journal of Systematic Theology, and The Journal of Religion.