“Openness to the World”: Karl Barth’s Evangelical Theology of Christ as the Pray-er


What is at stake in accounts of “prayer” is reflection on a practice that cannot be readily spoken of free from the most important considerations of God, world, human identity and the shape of its performance. Instead, if prayer “inot to become a harmless game and an endlessly babbling chatter” (Karl Rahner), attention needs to be paid to the god or gods that practices of so-called “prayer” encounter, and it may be that much of what moves in the name of the God of Jesus Christ is, in Barth’s terms, no-god.  For Barth not only has the knowledge of the practice of prayer, in a sense, been taken out of our hands in its Christ-grounding, but its Christ-shaped performance involves the determination of Christian life and its self-reflective thought in the pattern of the new life that might be characterised as the properly orderefreedom of self-dispossessing obedience. 

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