Translation of Karl Barth’s Lectures and Essays (1905 - 1921) - Princeton Theological Seminary

Translation of Karl Barth’s Lectures and Essays (1905 - 1921)

January 1, 2019


Professor Emeritus Darrell Guder is directing a project funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities. The result will be a translation providing an authoritative English edition of the first three volumes of Karl Barth’s Lectures and Essays (1905 – 1921).

The translation project would provide a key resource for scholarly enquiries that probe this view and locate Barth in the larger cultural context of his times. The Karl-Barth-Gesamtausgabe (Collected Works of Karl Barth), published in German by Theologischer Verlag Zürich, are now the irreplaceable foundation of any scholarly engagement with the work of Karl Barth. From 1971 to 2016, 51 volumes have appeared in the five sections of the Collected Works of Karl Barth. The sections are: I. Sermons, II. Academic Works, III. Lectures and Essays, IV. Conversations, V. Letters. The volumes in Section III: Lectures and Essays, reveal how Barth communicated his theology to a larger and even non-academic public, while also applying and defending this theology to numerous controversies. At the same time, the Lectures and Essays display a broad and thematic spectrum, revealing Barth as a man who was interested in and engaged not only theology, but also church politics, the political context, and society as a whole.

This project proposes to provide the authoritative English translation of the first three volumes of Section III: Lectures and Essays (1905-1909, 1909-1914, 1914-1921). Published in German as part of Karl Barth Collected Works, the three volumes offer incisive commentary and critique of a number of theological, social, and political themes prior to and during World War I and in the early years of the Weimar Republic. Translation is being carried out over a period of three years by a team of fifteen experienced translators representing thirteen academic institutions, both domestic and international.

At the conclusion of the project, the three fully translated volumes will be published by Westminster John Knox Press and will significantly expand access to non-German reading scholars and students working in modern religious thought, continental philosophy, modern European history, German studies, and critical theory. The three volumes will provide, for the first time in English, significant primary sources from one of the most important theologians and public intellectuals of the twentieth century.

The project is managed from the Center for Barth Studies at Princeton Theological Seminary under direct administration by Dr. David Chao and PhD candidate Kaitlyn Dugan, both at Princeton Theological Seminary, and Dr. Matthias Gockel, University of Basel. The 18 translators and editors include: Clifford Anderson, Matthew Bruce, John Burgess, David Chao, Terry Cross, Sven Ensminger, David Gilland, Matthias Gockel, Darrell Guder, Judy Guder, Thomas Herwig, Cambria Kaltwasser, Oliver Keenan, David MacLachlan, Amy Marga, Arnold Neufeldt-Fast, Paul Nimmo, Travis Niles, Patty Rich, and Ross Wright.