Dr. Caroline Simon of the Hope College philosophy faculty is among the scholars who will make presentations during an international conference held at Princeton Theological Seminary in New Jersey on Thursday-Saturday, June 17-19.
The conference is titled "For the Sake of the
World: Karl Barth and the Future of Ecclesial Theology,"
and is being organized by the Center for Barth Studies,
which was established in 1997 and is part of the seminary's
Barth was a Swiss theologian who died in 1968.
Accoding to Simon, his theology is biblical without being
fundamentalist. "His emphasis of the centrality of Christ
for divine revelation allows him to emphasize mystery and
paradox without lapsing into irrationality," she said. The
Center describes the conference as seeking to connect his
theology "to a responsible church in the 21st century."
Simon, who is an associate professor of philosophy
and chair of the department, will discuss "Barth, Christian
Love, and the Future of Christian Ethics." Her talk will
examine Barth's view that the church is a body of people
transformed into lovers by the creative love of God.
"According to Barth, actually loving is like coming out of
the dark cave in which we hoard and safeguard ourselves,"
she said. "When we emerge from that cave, we encounter the
reality of God and God's call for us to love our neighbor."
Other general themes during the three-day event
include "The Future of Doctrine," "The Future of Ecumenism"
and "The Future of Social Witness." In addition to Simon,
the presenters will include world-renowned scholars such as
Eberhard Busch, of the University of Goettingen, and others
from the University of Bonn, the University of Oxford,
Hartford Theological Seminary and Princeton Theological