Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Arts




Gary Badcock


This thesis examines Karl Barth’s understanding of what it means for Christian individuals to be witnesses of Jesus Christ. By analyzing the structure of Barth’s doctrine of reconciliation, with attention to his view of Jesus Christ as mediator, the thesis establishes the christological context of Barth’s concept of witness. The thesis demonstrates how Barth arrives at the conclusion that witness is central to the definition of Christian existence and identifies key features of Barth’s view of witness, namely, its theocentrism, its basis in ontology, and its enactment in human history. The thesis engages secondary scholarship in a critical appraisal of Barth’s concept of witness. The main points of criticism surround Barth’s account of human reality, action, and self-understanding. The thesis concludes with some provisional indications of how the theme of hope might orient interpretation of Barth’s concept of Christian witness, with a view to addressing the criticisms identified.