‘Much Ado about Nothing: Karl Barth’s Being Unable to Do Nothing about Nothingness‘
Often a source of concern to commentators about the adequacy of Barth’s theology is his treatment of evil, in particular Church Dogmatics III/3 §50 with its depiction of evil as das Nichtige (the nothingness). Against the impression that Barth has little time in his systematic theology for doing justice to evil it is worth attempting a reading that indicates the importance of this section and what it seems that Barth is doing with it. Das Nichtige belongs to a conflictual and dramatic account, and talk of its, for Barth, ‘absurd’ ‘existence’ belongs there. The dramatic flavour of this discussion further impresses that there is more to be said about ‘Barth on evil’ than any focus on the paradoxical and negative language used to depict it could express – this ‘more’ should come specifically through ethics.
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