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Bonhoeffer's major theologiis here made available for the


time to the American public.




pastor and theolo-



one of the commanding figures

the age,





constant companions to Christians mighout the land. In ACT AND BEING

theological unthe basic of Bonstructure, *girding,

reader will find the




ologicai alternatives of
(CantiwMtd on back

major con-

25 O BTlac Bonhoeffer Act; and "being




PUBLISHERS New York .Dietrich BpnhoefFer ACT AND BEING Translated by Bernard Noble Introduction by Ernst Wolf HARPER 8c BROTHERS.

This book under the title of AKT UND was first published SEIN in Christian Kaiser Verlag.. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews. 62-7951 . N. FIRST EDITION Library of Cong) ess catalog card number. 1956 by Munich ACT AND BEING Copyright Copyright if 1956 by Christian Kaiser rerlag 1961 by William Collins Sons ^r New Co. Printed in the United States of America All rights reserved. For information address Harper <& Brothers. Ltd. London. New York 16. 49 East ttrd Street. and Harper York Brothers.Y.

is taken with its problems on to the level of the church as " the occurrence of truth " confrontation a problem within the reality of revela" " versus " tion. continuity. and ing between cardinal. discontinuity. mutually exclusive Transcendentalism (Kant) and philosophical positions: Ontology (Heidegger). The solution of the problem of* act being is reached in terms of revelation and the church. and decision) with a theology of " " being (givenness. to the correspondtion." genuine attempting traces these fronts back to the encounter of a theology " ** Bonhoeffer is act (contingency. f> oil (jrfb. The vain struggle for truth in the sphere of an autonomous self-understanding of man. in the concept of revelation itself. Bonhoeffer's inaugural dissertation of 1931. presented in the first part of this book. transcendentalism. is understood within the " " act community of persons.." At the same time and in face of the real or apparent theological fronts just prior to the beginning of the of church struggle. and.INTRODUCTION Act and Being. metaphyous objectifica" doctrine ") and. as with Bultmann) or the equally one" " sided interpretation with its doctrine of the selfbeing binding of the freedom of God.) o ^ r* o Q . as with Barth. develops the questions raised in Sanctorum Communio in the " direction of the problem of being in the truth. cc a He mediation. reference to existence. or anthropocentric. over against the one-sided set forth and anew as (whether theocentric. by analogy. Bonhoefier attempts to interpretation A f.

Introduction comprehend the continuity of the new being in faith with the human-personal ego as a whole in the reality of the community. the dogmatic examination such that the church." reality of the church. the place where being is comprehended." and : ** " self-understanding against its of Christian being in the world over dissolution in religiosity. BonhoefFer's work may be set alongside questions which to-day have become so pressing concerning the nature of theology as such the tension between theological " existentialism and neo-orthodox pure doctrine. With his considerations and attempts at a solution of this " problem." i. so here dogmatics is grounded in the " Christ existing as community. " in truth.e." is presented as the unity of act and being. The met with 9 as the dialectic of untruth/ and " being in Christ/' dialectic of simul Justus et peccator is here " in " being in Adam." Just as Sanctorum Communio dealt with the dogmatic com- prehension of the church by uniting sociological and theological categories. i. Gottingm 9 June 1956 ERNST WOLF . in The notion that theology is a function of the church is taken up with great care not wholly clear in the philosophical introduction but illuminating in the second part.e.

II IJ 19 2. The being of revelation B. c. TREATED AS THE EPISTEMOLOGIGAL PROBLEM IN PHILOSOPHY'S UNDERSTANDING OF DASEIN 1. . Revelation in terms of being " " A.CONTENTS THE PROBLEM page PART ONE: THE PROBLEM OF ACT AND BEING. AND THE CHURCH AS ITS SOLUTION 1 . 97 108 108 113 1 The knowledge of revelation " in . The Church as a unity of act and being A. THE ACT-BEING PROBLEM IN REVELATION. The transcendental endeavour The ontological endeavour NOTE: Theological anthropology 49 73 PART TWO*. 14 3. B. 79 The contingency of revelation 79 91 Knowledge Man and decision of revelation 2. Man as " being . 77 Revelation in terms of the act A. c. 117 The Church as is the place where Dasein understood 118 .

Definition of** being B. 153 155 Being in B. Definition of" being in Adam ** Adam as I and as humanity 155 162 c 2* Every daynes$> temptation and the knowledge of conscience 166 170 Being in Christ A. The future as determinant of being Christ: the Child TNDEX . Revelations mode of being within the Church c. " in Christ in 170 The past as determinant of being Christ: Conscience in 177 180 185 c. Man's mode of being within the Church the idea 119 126 D. The problem of knowledge and of the Church 135 PART THREE: THE ACT-BEING PROBLEM IN THE CONCRETE DOCTRINE OF MAN "IN ADAM" OR "IN CHRIST" i.Contents B. c* Adam " A.

The Problem .


Peterson has discovered in pure dialectical theology phenomenology an arm against sees in theological concepts and pure essential and ontological philosophical viewpoints. and to establish human existence on that ground. qua Christian's being new will. Brunstad unites man and God in the <c unconditional personality ". Karl Earth. Miiller pins decision. Schumann. in the line of R. Finally. Przywara. his critical philo- sophy of the contingent present. " " H.It seems to me that the latest developments in theology can be interpreted as an attempt to come to grips with the " critical problem of act and being. Friedrich Gogarten and Rudolf Bultmann seek to remove man from his own disposal in the cc concrete situation ". Paul Althaus is anxious to salvage a theology of faith from the wreck of F. Seeberg's and Karl HolPs Lutheran studies. seeks the " " in consciousness qua conscience. M. while Emmanuel Hirsch. to the "proffer Christum . with his reservation ". 33 of contingency temptation. Heidegger's onto-phenomenological analysis of existence qua existentia " abstractions* Two and Grisebach's " virtual counter-thesis. ii . E. K. blaming idealist epistemology for the ruin of theology up to and including Earth. the Catholic and Thomist E. wishes to maintain the freedom of God's grace. has gone in quest of an objective idea of God. have found a hearing in theology. On the other side. in the historically . that of consciousness.

puts forward his ontology of the analogia with the in opposition to dialectical theology's pre-occupation All these viewpoints illustrate at bottom a act. but to demonstrate in systematic outline the significance of the act-being problem for dogmatics as a whole. being of God In other words. of defining the relation between the " " and the mental act which conceives it. The problem one of forming genuine theological concepts and of choosing whether one is to use ontological categories in explaining them or those of transcendental philosophy. The juxtaposition of act and being is not identical with that of consciousness is and being. Even consciousness 12 . its for the latter pair of concepts not mutually exclusive in terms.Act and Being who entis assesses the theological position of both camps with marvellous clarity. of what may be the interrelation of belief as and revelation as being. though our inquiry can scarcely avoid touching upon matters of present concern. not even the most recent. Is " " to man in the perrevelation merely what is given it is formance of a certain in revelation as a act. and " what other form if in terms of a being "? Here it is not our intention to apply the dichotomy of concept of revelation we act and being as a critical principle to the history of theology. or is there " being "? if What form such a thing for him is taken by the explain it in terms of the act. and correspondingly of where act man stands when seen from the standpoint of revelation. It is a question " " of the concept God. one which theology's legacy from Kant and idealism. there has to be a theological interpretation " means and how of what "the being of God in revelation known. of an adequate of the objectivity concept of knowledge. is is widespread wrestling with the same problem.

therefore. a temporal psychic phenomenon. Even as conscious/zm. as underbut only explained Dilthey said. is only that the intentionaiity of automatically displaced by reflexion in relation to which. that the act no material to reflexion. 13 . the act is "entity" (or even. infinite extensity. Bewusst~Seiende$. say. through definition as being consciousness. conscious entity 1 ). but it is not " " as an event in really understood by being explained " " understood is no more time. The " act.Act and Being has predicates of being. All hopes for a genuine ities transcending can never be " " ontology or transcendental philosophy must come to grief if this is not understood. a few quite general and preliminary definitions about the nature of act and being. for as conscious-raw it embodies the ontological category of the conscious. 1 restriction to the conscious. must be considered wholly alien That it is consciously executed necessitates the distinction reflexus) between direct (actus directus) and reflexive (actus is consciousness: in the first. being is not contained within As something taking place in consciousness. it cannot stand as a datum that " " there for the finding. can become objectively itself in reflexion. then. If outward At this point let us lay down reference. " " but only stood ". was Later this distinction will the direct act prove to have decisive importance in theology. just as being can never be proved ** " It follows that we are here concerned with realshown " the entity ". pure intentionality. It is not. from which we can proceed in our inquiry. it consciousness simply "directed at". inasmuch as it is to being. conscious of offers in the second. The act.

since Descartes. ". of sin and grace. concrete understanding of both is and theology remains to be seen. and continuity. or vice versa. For the question of knowledge is the self questioning the self. : Though one is there in the nature of things: the does not follow from the other. It is intended to examine the problem systematically.Act and Being * existentiality and discontinuity are comprised in the act. or wanting to find itself in a world it is the question of man. of man. But reached in philosophy it must already be obvious that the whole of theology. How a transcendence of the conscious. is comprised in the Here " " existentiality is does not designate the sphere ol " there but the person's central. the connection meaning of epistemology It is is anthropology. because man himself. is at stake that the passion for philosophising has flared into life whenever. 14 . the I's reflexive self-placing into a world. the self-testing of understanding of existence. in its theory of the knowledge of God. as follows: The problem of knowledge offers the first context in which light is shed on the problem of act and being. if we resolve that concept wholly in terms of the act-subject. crucially depends on whether it elects to stress concepts of act or of being at the outset. to 1 But inasmuch as the necessity for the knowing transcend the known. being comprises a strict self-confinement. When we come to the concept of the object it becomes an acute stage necessity to explain in terms of the act or of being. by stage. infinite m-tensity. potential involvement. no less. man's capacity to know has been in dispute. this must produce intolerable consequences for any science insisting on the indispensability of objective ontological concepts and vice versa.

epistemology is allotted quite another place in the It is totality of philosophy than transcendentalism allows. or the ontological attempt to ec explain in purely objective terms of being ". ideas of is suggested solutions of the act-being the possibility of applying problem to the Christian on which all further theory is of this possibility will be provided by the underlying self-understanding of men asserted in any given case. below. But inasmuch . the possibility of constructing a genuine theology on one or other concept of knowledge founders on the attendant human self-understanding. or when. the understanding of existence in relation to transcendence is part and parcel of the problem all its forms. the idea of a contingent in Christ denies the possibility of the Ps self-comprehension outside the reference to revelation (Christian transcendentalism). which we discover to its be that of an autonomous own power. The the purely transcendental or ontological theses to other fields of inquiry. This is even true (as we mean to show) when one tries to exclude completely the question of God.Act and Being very concept of knowledge. true because the question of man lies hidden in epistemology. as in Heidegger's of knowledge in ontology. whether the transcendental attempt is being made to explain in terms of the act-subject. in some way. which implies that the problem of God. test God and conditional. therefore yield an epistemology of The idea of revelation must its own. For even if we can envisage the applicability of revelation. also conies into question. revelation of God I understanding itself and in In principle.) It follows that the critical idea which must govern the argument of Part One. (For these two represent the most sharply antithetic formulations of any given position in epistemology.

inasmuch as deriving from revelation. is suspended knowledge and object are shown selves accordingly. . Our investigation " ends with an analysis of being in Christ " as determined by past and future. neither " is to be imagined without the other. In theology there are 110 pre-existing categories of pure creaturehood which are divorced from these concepts.e. 1 * Part Two. is Out man of conscience formed the child. are always determined by the concepts of sin and grace. Part Two. The past is in grace is in Part " " suspended of the in the future. Chapters 16 i and 2. but each " in the other. Concepts of being. is thawed into motion by the sociological category. of grace and man being Three developed within the wider concretion of the idea of the Church. Chapter 3. reflexion in intentionality. in a sociological category where both kinds of analysis encounter each other and are drawn together in one. The idea " " of this of sin and man in sin. " Adam " and Christ. The theological concepts of to be determined by the sociological category of the person and must reshape themThe sphere of the entity. represents an attempt to unify the aims of true transcendentalism and true ontology within an " ecclesiastical The whole thought ". reflexion and intentionality." of frozen ontological concepts. the idea of revelation must be reas analysis of revelation In terms envisaged within the concretion of the idea of the Church.Act and Being whether of a cort being l produces concepts of knowledge unsuited to bear the whole weight of revelation. 2 The dialectic of act and being is here recognisable in theological terms as the dialectic of faith and the communion of Christ. i. of" there is .


The problem

of act and being, treated

as the epistemological

problem in

philosophy's understanding

of Dasein






attempt to understand





myself, that is the basic attitude



and my-self separate, then they


of the transcendental

philosopher, and


comprised in

or other the I's self-understanding attitude of reflexion. In regarding


the intention of the I

see the




self-understanding. Here we of transcendental philosophy



In what follows, two considerations must be kept in view. Firstly, we must distinguish between genuine transcendental


philosophy, the concept which Kant endeavoured to amplify its long evolution reaching back farther than scholastic

and the concept of transcendentalist philosophy 2 by post-Kantian idealism. Secondly, we must bear in mind the question whether Kant's transcenas understood


H. Knitter meyer,


Die Transzendentalphilosophie und die


Welt, 1924, especially p. 222.

All that follows below

by way of representing Kantian or

Kant stylised (and therefore dispenses with quotations). is represented as a pure transcendental philosopher, which he never was

though we believe he intended to be one.

It is

the system


debate, not matters of historical fact.


Act and Being
dental critique of reason is altogether identical with the criticism of reason in Luther and orthodox Protestant

dogmatics; we must ask whether Kant was not, rather, bent on using delimitation to establish reason in its rights: if this were so it would be impermissible to claim him as the
1 representative epistemologist of Protestantism. To the concept of genuine transcendentalism belongs the


reference of thought to something transcendental, but not having that something at its disposal. All thinking has

a double reference to the transcendental:



inasmuch as it claims, qua thought, a meaning which it cannot give to itself, and inasmuch as meaning is connected
with the logos of the transcendental, and also a prospective reference to objects within which, supposing they are truly " object" how you will with Kant, objective (conceive

with Rickert or no matter who), something transcending thought stands over against it. So long as the resistance of transcendence to thought is asserted, i.e. so long as the

and transcendental apperception are under-

stood as irreducible definitive concepts, neither of which is involved in the other, we may speak of genuine transcen-


In knowing, human existence is aware of itself as in ten" sion between two poles which transcend it, and this being " 2 amid transcendence is Dasein. But this acquires another,

meaning through thought.




All entity has reference
Die Religion

among which " human to
des Idealismus,



Liitgert's interpretation in

PP- 8ff2

The concept

of Dasein as the



from other forms of being

of being peculiar to man as here taken over from Heidegger's


e. that same thought which Dasein to be understood as being between poles of permits transcendence. man original rights. by In this way human apart from sets it all Dasein acquires a mode of being which other entity. In human Dasein the is world of other entity in transcended. which proceed at the expense of the hiatus. that the radical critique of itself Yet inasmuch as reason it is becomes the of reason. for transcendentalism.. is human existence. "Being" being between transcendent poles. must be taken more seriously than hastily ensuing attempts to restore inner unity. for that reason. another question and the ontological category which has these remarkable characteristics.Act and Being Dasein virtue of thought. it exists only reference to thought is though whether. but that is only on account of the will to self-understanding which is reference to transcendence. that. is That is the astounding. in understands himself in the last resort not reinstated in its from the transcendental but from himself. consequence. but to be also. It is from this delimitation i. indeed. The knowing oneself to refer to the transcendental. other words. only by thought is of human Dasein. reason springs. 21 . but necessary. critic of reason. or corresponding interpretation of existence epistemology must peter out in this internal contradiction. for genuine transcendentalism the act pure and simple. transcendental premises themselves. or which understands itself to be so placed. and restriction of self-under- standing man. and this which has its roots deep in the nature of the case. the world's point of reference. be Every transcendental they ethical or rational in kind. from reason or from the bounds which reason has prescribed to itself. also.

since its very sense question. i. what is the meaning of this given relationship? Thereby his question differs from the phenomenalistic as a question about a given relation differs from an ontological For questions of being are unknown to genuine transcendentalism. understanding itself from out self-imposed bounds. is 22 . But this synthesis must be internally necessary and regular. not phenomenalism. only in the pure act. which must be regarded as having logical precedence over the empirical.Act and Being The immediate is point which we have i.e. is from itself. is Being only " " " " with reference to This with-reference-to knowing. Kant accepts the given relation of I to object and goes on to ask: How is knowledge possible at all. over experience in other words. as a priori.e. therein it gives proof of its truth and validity. valid. it is clear and resolved the question by the pure phenomenality of objects in the consciousness. Thus the concept of being is " " resolved into the concept of the act. It is not through some kind of coincidence with the object of knowledge that knowledge is Truth but through the necessity of the a priori synthesis. and there taking place. Even if we encounter certain ideas in Kant that have a strongly phenomenalistic cendentalism from the question which divides him from phenomenalism that they are foreign to his design. there would be no criteria of truth). but is possible only by virtue of a synthesis originally founded in the cognitive subject in the unity of transcendental apperception. and it must be so. and purpose is to transcend the " " dogmatism of ontology. to note and examine Trans- this: man its is existence as pure act. Phenomenalism asked: how does the I come upon the object? ring. Knowing cannot possibly be a simple reflection or copy of reality (if that were so.

because it is the nature of existence to be not self" with reference to ". "I ". " for Kant. 4. at " " there all times it is already as the a priori synthesis before the object. " " I is something which cannot be thought. the contained but simply very attainment is a logical impossibility. because it is the precondition at the back of thinking.. regarded as the attaining has act. to be unable to rest in oneself without surrendering oneself. Now act or " here stands revealed a profound contradiction: As 1 a " what is Kmttermeyer. The endeavour understand oneself purely from oneself is bound to misact carry. no longer the to and nothing but the act. whose role it can never assume. to know oneself in being as having reference ". but that ever since Fichte fresh attempts have had to be made to understand Kant better than he understood himself. knowing 1 self. in %wiscken dm %eiten> 1929.Act and Being characterising the original form of transcendentalism still leaves room for thought's essential reference back to the " transcendental. yet to become the thing completed and attained. pp. to understand existence is. 23 . that is to say. No. without any possibility of attaining itself. myself" would represent a thing completed and attained. But as such the understanding of existence must always be transcendent of itself. 2 It is aimed at itself in a permanent reference. However. to feel the radical challenge which knowledge throws down to the transcendence. but it would no longer be " I " or the attaining with reference to ". whereas any substituted by virtue of" or " " would imply the omnipotence of reason over through Consequently. for if it were " to attain itself it would no longer be with reference to ". 352ff. Concerning what follows it is necessary to reiterate that this only one side of the historical Kant. for supposing " I knew myself. to be purely and simply the act.

on the without which. Now thought can bow the manner of genuine transcendentalism. but has always "just slipped past whenever human existence is bent. But inasmuch imbued with the character of noesis. thought reasserts itself as the only thing which makes such a severance to this self-limitation. itself in its When two one is in this way brought up it is concepts of the I and thought. Thought is the frontier of the existence out of which man lives. the I logically precedes thought. in but restricting itself by this self- and in its consequently contrasting with the role of thought's precondition). as the very act of thinking and as everything deterrninable about the I is its intrinsic precondition. against the barrier in possible to adopt one of By exercising itself. for the very reason that its essence is the spontaneous performance of acts. since there is it is understanding of existence.Act and Being is always already there ". nothing objective. attitudes. thought suspends suspension (and objective the I in testing itself against the I. in this attitude possible. and seems to me to accord with Kant it is Kant's original design. in the sense that general the unconditional (the background of existence) is always " " there for man already ". From the outset we are thus confronted with the impossibility that human existence should understand capacity as performance of acts. thought precedes the L This " " means that thought lies on the brink of the non-objective the condition of the conditional. Alternatively and this is philosophy's great itself to thought can promote 24 . though in the historical admittedly inextricable (in a way which invites misunderstanding) from phenomenalistic and temptation be lord and master of the idealistic elements. in thought.

though of course in quite a different way. Yet it is no less an act of free thought in order to remain free. as preeminently in that from Kant to idealism. Kierkegaard said. or one by the other. one materially the same. it if. : the immensity of thought's claim is transformed into the opposite.e.Act and Being non-objective. contents itself with reference 25 . that is no Whether thought demeans longer a question of theoretical philosophy (which simply provides. not to annex the unconditional or empower itself of its I. without losing two things reality and transcendence. i. itself modestly. Philosophy. a choice of two possibilities) but a decision of practical reason. the end-product justly forgets that enough. thought. for where there is freedom from the transcendental. there is Hence imprisonment in the self. From the original transcendental thesis has evolved a system characterised self-transcendentalisation or (which conies to the a monism unadulterated with is reality. are forfeit to themselves instead of to the transcendental. in that it takes the doing and thinking I Into and makes the self-thinking I no longer the ne plus itself of philosophy but its point of departure. as free thinking. that philosophising of this kind patently exists. as shown. or misappropriates the genuine unconditional and becomes idealistic thinking. by thought's sheer same thing) whether it is styled a system of pure transcendence or pure immanence. This second possibility was grasped in the transition and elaborated as much from Socrates to Plato. It cannot do however. There is nothing to oblige thought. ultra this. It alone holds the key and permit of the system: therein lies its mysterious power. from reality. remains transcendental thinking. thought languishes in itself. the I.

A being which was not the potential object of understanding. though not merely to justify stinting of hard cogitation. 26 . the sole to itself returns.Act and Being to transcendence and for the same reason. As this idealism are contiguous. 1922. is On this 2 point more I. Brunstsid's Idee der Religion. To be is to be comprehended by the I in the a priori synthesis. turning or for homecoming of the eternal I to understood as the eternal self. in his exposition of idealism he traces with exemplary clarity the development in idealistic this 8 In connection writer sees it. referential refrains from taking over L Here any at the apogee of thought. 3 Without I goes I there is efficient. Existence. Werke. out from no being.e. rethis. cf. is self-understanding The v issue can be decided in a third way. it is this that Fichte expresses in his dictum that the kind of philosophy a man has depends on the sort of man he is. by pure ontology. it Inasmuch of seems to have resolved the concept of being. 2 as idealism deprives self-understanding existence transcendental its reference. delivers it from the clamping embrace of being between transcendent poles. there comes to the fore that decision-character which thought assumes once it is no longer subject to a compulsion of internal logic *. itself. 434. then. entirely into the concept of the act. that its it is only relative. said below. p. and I is creative. would lead directly to materialism. 1 from the whence could come any self-understanding from act. i. the in-turning. which in pure transcendentalism still appeared to adhere to the transcendental in some possible way. Kant and interpretation of the basic theme the a priori synthesis. itself. is Hegel Marx. to Idealism is neighbour to materialism. It has drawn out Kant's findings to the radical extreme. but was absolutely thought-projected.

Act and Being
is the creator of its world? Mind is understood from mind; thus I can understand myself from " from God ": insofar as God is myself, or one might add

outside the self if the I


which I am. 1 In this process all ontological concepts appear to have fallen by the wayside, and a refined concept of the act rules both epistemology and anthropology. Yet with this apparent

me, God

the unconditional personality

position something surprising has come to pass. If in original transcendentalism the mind of man was in tension between transcendent poles


of the


and was thus irrevocably their co-ordinate, henceforth the movement of the mind is purely self-illumined, 2 which is to say that in principle it has come to rest. The mind's forthproceeding from itself ensues only under the conditions of its being by itself; hence in this movement the mind remains
always in
full possession


itself, it

can never get into the
being in reference to

embarrassing position of merely
the transcendental.




residing in



" a (dialectically unreal) movement, is substance ", absolute being, so that Hegel could well say that the
if in

one thing he

obliged to hold against Spinoza was his

3 failing to define substance itself as subjectivity.

In fact

idealism, especially in Hegel, appears to of act and being which would be capable of satisfying the

achieve a synopsis

demands of the problem if only the philosopher's reasoning did not founder on the resistance of his own reality. Hegel
wrote a philosophy of angels, but not of





Brunstad's idea of the unconditional personality, in which and I are one.
II, 136, 28, ed. Ficker:

Luther, RSm. Komm,


ratio in se ipsam incurva. Die idedistische in Hirsch, Philosophic und das Werke, 15, 409, quoted

Christmtum, 1926, p. 61, n. 4.


Act and Being

man (Including even the Whoever in full philosopher) possession of the mind. countenances the idea that he need only arrive at himself



not true that concrete


be in

God is doomed to hideous disillusion in
loneliest solitude,


the utter introversion,

the treadmill confinement to the

of the very








sees himself placed in

tormenting desolaa

contingent here-or-there as one who has to find his whereabouts by asking, thinking and doing, one who has to relate
to himself the position pre-given to

him and

at the

same time

with reference to it. And the imposition, " " " with the outrage, which man feels at being already " some other thing which transcends him is reference to something essentially different from a certainty of bearing
define himself



within himself the possibility of mastering the world. In sum, even the character of the act, what it means to be an

more purely expressed in the genuine transcendental

understanding of existence than in idealism's conflation of

and being. Only when existence, supposed in permanent orientation to transcendence, is said not to be able

to understand itself (or only to understand that

does not

the true sense of the act expressed : act " with reference to ", as utter intenever-shifting as tionality, something which gives proof of itself in the


itself) is


psychic process but is only to be understood on the far side " ?> direct Here consciousness actus directus. of it, act as

has an essential connection with existit



can be so because

places itself within the

responsibility of human existence and frames questions only from out that context; accordingly the question itself is proper to existence and does not involve the answer before-


Act and Being

Thus philosophising partakes of the act-character of existence and does not make statements from the standpoint of an existing stock of property such as might inhere in
a "
being ".
Idealism, of course, also seems to perpetuate the transcendental thesis in allowing the reality of the external world

be understood only from the starting-point of the I. Kant's a priori synthesis and Fichte's intellectual intuition

the (Anschauung) seem identical in respect of founding external world's reality in the I; yet even here genuine

transcendentalism must


to a

more modest conclusion

the former judges there is no knowledge of passing beyond the proposition that phenomena capable " " the I and are therefore refer to (the external world) knowable only via the I. It does not lie within the com-

than idealism:

to proceed therepetence of purely transcendental thought to the being of as from to a negative or positive judgment

phenomenal world. Idealism, however, feels impelled to add the finishing touch by replacing the transcendental reference with an ontological judgment entailing the creative of power of the I, and so it comes to distort the meaning mere no is it Now radicalisation. transcendentalism by chance that idealism, which begins with an ontological


finishes, as

shown, with something very



new concept of substance, so that the pure concept of the act is left to transcendentalism. The world, i.e. the objects
" that is the trans" has reference to me of my knowledge, cendental judgment; but idealism pronounces: the world " which is in being through me ". This is a distinction should not be disregarded in the study of systems merely because it remains blurred in the history of philosophy.

Act and Being


the contrary,

it Is

not hard to see


importance even

for theology, as well as for the philosophical theory of


The reason why Fichte was unable to at a given time. make use of Kant in the conflict over atheism derives from
the fact that, at bottom, Kant understood himself even better than Fichte thought himself able to understand him.
If the world owes

between the


being to the I, there is an exchange of and the creator-god; God can no longer

the object of knowledge, but, since he cannot imaginably be the creature of the I, is somehow integrated " " is with the I itself. Thereupon God only in so far as


myself in thought. Transcendentalism proper is dissociated from this attitude by its refusal to turn the I into the Creator, regarding it only as something to which the world must be thought to
I think, i.e. enter

have reference.






at least in principle

so far as this


of the

at all possible in philosophy 1 ) no all-important frontier of creatorhood.

Admittedly, here too it is impossible for God to become the object of cognition, otherwise he would have to be thought
of as referring to the
I (in



of mundane phenomena)

consequently essentially existing-for-the-I. By transcendental premises the objectivity of God is an impossibility, since of course all being is understood as entity, " " as there is in a priori synthesis, i.e. is translated into act,



and absolute being becomes an idea which is unattainable because it is, as such, wholly non-objective. Thus the concept of God never forsakes the realm of the non-objective, where
he abides as the foundation

for the possibility of existence

Doubtless an oblique reference to the hubris of philosophy, which

for Bonhoeffer

per se systematic: see pp. 58

and 70 below



seeking to understand " is " God as at his back. with its reference to transcendence. dogma" " is tising ". in existence condition. God is always itself. is no denying the closeness of God and I in this But both remain marginal concepts to which " thought and existence simply have permanent reference ".Act and Being and thought. Only in the action of the act. how can reason determine its own : limits against this unknown? Even if it is to exercise a free decision of practical reason. is finitising ". Reason can only be taken into obedience. whether the obedience of speculation. potentiality but always in the doing. the outcome is nevertheless reason's self-chosen self-limitation. authority its despite the strenuous attempt to surpass itself or prescribe own limitations. whereby it reinstates its own limitation. Transcendental thought can never say " God " " " that would be objectivising. as the reason which performed this very This inmost obscurity in the Kantian concept of the transcendental leads to the discovery that even here. never in the result. for in principle the very bound can be thought away until it is no more a genuine boundary. The carriage of this endeavour to ascertain the bounds of reason is due to the fact that essentially reason has no bounds. one can scarcely refrain from asking it one further question what in fact is this " transcendental " to which everything is supposed to refer? If it can never be objectively knowable. Truth only in the act itself. the 3* . reason is left alone with itself and so understands transcends it itself not " with reference to " that which mis- but with back-reference to itself. Yet since transcendentalism is here growing noticeably unsure in its theory. Thus in whatever direction man may turn. There system.

but nevertheless example. e. it is existential and Christian. in his doctrine of radical evil. is overlord of all yet is itself its only vassal: * is what Protestant dogmatists mean by the corruption It is ontic narcissism. understanding can take place only between an I-subject and an I-object. that.g. of the incompossibility of reflexion and actus directus) . stands itself from be and that is captive. at bottom. in itself. Ficker. that in both Kantian transcendentis entangled in itself. It only remains to state alism and idealism reason else. At point it is evident that the does not advance via itself to any position itself beyond It itself. seeing only it even when sees something even when to means to see God. since there is only reason alone with I itself. the cor curvum se 2 : of reason. but this really means itself. In these circumstances. or however only to concrete man as a whole. In this way the ground seems to crumble under any proposition that is. There are bounds and their name is Christ. and that these cannot be entirely identical (because. Luther. there is no possibility of of genuine belief in God . Rdm* Komm. i. In principle. under- sure. 137. (Translator). "God is" means "the mind comes to itself. if Kant had some for 1 inkling of how this would be manuest even.Act and Being obedience of Christ. "I am" means "I think" (cogitosum). II. ed. knows in the unity of consciousness ". 32 . asserting the being of God outside the this I. Bonhoeffer's words could be construed to mean that. This indeed is the epis- temological aspect of the book's is more 8 radical theme. for it cannot be said to do so until this I feels the overwhelming 1 It believes itself free impact of another I on its existence. But the author's thought than epistemology. it does not understand itself at all. "to understand oneself" can only mean "to understand oneself from oneself". it It is caught up else.

e. an idea or To understand implies being an artistic composition. 33 . idealism. irrespective of the presence or absence of actual technical ability. It follows that self-understanding existence must be able to think of entire creator of itself (including its self-understanding). existence so constructed that the very will to self-under- standing belongs to its essence. the problem arises of how the unity of existence can be attained by self-understanding from out the itself as self. be understood is is existence as an integral whole.Act and Being wrestled In vain to overcome the problem by means of the original transcendental thesis. The eye does not see itself. into which the I it has been thrust as a self-understander or -nonthis is understander. somehow to creative. " " self-contradictory exist l must already from the fact that in order to create. sciousness of self-evidence. taking over from Kant. Faced with nevertheless persists in I this position the idealistic 1 reason-I And in final analysis Kant's transcendental as well. and it comprises the direct con(as distinct mental objection? To " understand " This latter is only possible in the of in the direction of the productivity potential presence a be be it to understood. In the present case the object itself. allowed the I to celebrate on this very ground the triumph of its liberation. If for there is no understanding save in a context of unity. thing piece of conduct. i. and even as creator of its own existence. Everything now which must be put converges on the all-important question to transcendentalism and idealism alike : can the I understand itself from itself? Or is there a funda- from " explain ") is a term whose field of application is represented by states of affairs with a basis of intention.

in " " in reference to between ". its of God) own grasps that this his exis" a being psychophysical ambiguity. creator. concept say. later. thought the foundation of being. Proktlsche Philosophic. Natorp's latest work. Yet merely by beginning with the thing-in~ itself it expresses an ontological instead of a relational of Fichte. This line by human thought and self-possesof thought can do no more than unfold a new problem of act and being. is tentiality. In order to solve the problem of thought and being. 1-27. neoKantianism has tried to develop the transcendental thesis on fresh lines. to master the problem panies Cohen. pp. no real understanding of existence is signified." of being.Act and Being declaring Itself the ultimate entity " I am what I am" to the concept (ontologically meaningful only in application in making itself. " " and being is the other. H. in a fresh attempt " 2 The universal logic. 1902. I. as noeto-being ". a being something to which In this case. by an irreducible paradox. 1925. Cohen. from transcendentderived of Cohen's method. connects with Fichte's quasi-substantial concept 1 While at the outset Natorp here accomcreative mind. 34 . in making judgment. he forms the idea of a of thought and being as that whereby logos lies on the far side is reducible to or suspensible in Neither both are possible. for the self-understanding involved merely characterises the final position attainable sion. and enters upon the path It is a moot point how. of alism. *Cf. existence is a still uncomprehended pointer. Logik der reinen Erkenntnis. especially System der Philosophie. yet thought is onto-thinking " Quite obviously this speculation. 1 Cf. Alternatively man all its of course.

the " existence of the person is reached through meaning '*. itself known to me as being. this proposition its is by no thesis means unequivocal. tions Its positive and negative interpreta- lead in utterly different directions. What. There is no person save in consciousness.Act and Being evidenced by the amalgamation of act and being. by philosophical thinking. results for the problem of act and being from the transcendental and idealist endeavours? Common to " both is the attempt to raise substance to the subject "/ as most thoroughly executed in Hegel's logic: the understand- ing of the object as an apriori synthesis In transcendental apperception. accordingly the person is only grasped when logical material is under consideration. it must be apprehensible by the thinking mind. But. p. in the negative. 35 . that difference we have noted here comes to the fore: in the positive interpretation the inter-reference of consciousness and transcendent being receives expression. the resolution of the latter into the former. that is to say. as it stands. In his phenomenology Hegel represented the Fs gradual development towards becoming truly a person a goal attainable only. in the last If anything is to make resort. The being is given in the cognitive consciousness is certainly not identical with the converse. has taken us into the Hegel country. in sum. " " word must be allotted an exceptional It follows that the position. 1 as the only sensible means of communicating Geschichte der neueren Philosophic. Windelband. Thereby being becomes the knowing consciousness. that in the absence The of the cognitive consciousness there is no being. But of course the pressing interest of both interpretations is centred on the attention drawn to the mental act of the person. 337.

individual things are only objects of cognition through applica- tion of the universal thought-forms and concepts. this that neither in the We may from Kantian orientation with to transcendence. of course. as distinct from transcendental. but since referring merely this transcendent cannot. 36 . with all the consesee quences that follow for anthropology. nor in idealism's permeation concepts of being be dispensed with. if (as especially in Roscellin de Compiegne) the isolated reality of individual things is excluded from this. an interpretation quite alien to idealistic philosophy. that idealism draws the transcendent into itself. can Yet such an outcome theology seeks to espouse this transcendentalism idealist epistemology. in Kant. autonomy. shall 1 In the history of philosophy one could discover a parallel to nominalism in this attempt to resolve concepts of being. and unites act and being within itself. meaning and freedom itself. transcendence. Thus the essence of the person is freedom. is the denote that transcendental philosophy which develops the transcendental thesis into a system. prove itself genuinely transcendent. being-by-itself.. For idealism. Now. transcendentalism and idealism part company when they come to express the character of the act. only in freedom can man's existence grasp and interpret belong together. The person abides in freedom. 1 is at variance with the original intention of both. There is no " " absolute being. admittedly. not even of concepts: these are only in the act of term with which we But.. it needs must forfeit a certain right.Act and Being logical material. The act. we have abstraction. Knowing takes place in freedom. if (Transcendentalist. coming-to-itself or If at this point they are at one. Transcendentalism succeeds in pre- serving the purity of the act by regarding existence as " " to something transcendent. hence it is his version the original comes to grief.

it claim to understanding to of existence. A judgment is object. as already shown. In the unity of the mind. as in unity of apperception.. cit. hence finally of world and God. p. Brunstad. God. such a theology can envisage no objective concept of God. overriding the subject-object bifurcation. op.. * effected in God. p. no longer true as a judgment about a reality transcending " unconditional unity-ofconsciousness. And so the identity of my activity non-objective I with God is expressed in what is called the this unity. hension in God as this unconditional personality. 217: the revdatio spedalis is the disclosure of the unconditional-synthetic personality as such. claim. is The a priori synthesis. reality. would have to accommodate own a consideration which severely restricts its of Furthermore. Theology is confronted with the dilemma of either making the objective God the content of consciousness and object of the I-subject. of the oneness of God's consciousness with self-con- sciousness ". the theology concept knowledge. but true in the now an l This must apply also to experience of the personality ". would abandon title Epistemology is the mind turning to the mind. about statements Correspondingly. 154. or of 1 Brunstad. it is the self's compre" the foundation. cit. " " is since of course the object only in the transcendental " is ". its Unmindful of consideration.) The is raison its d'etre of transcendentalist-idealist involve epistemology that claim.Act and Being of reason. 37 . world and God. op. was discovered the fulcrum of the understanding of existence. " unconditional 2 personality ". If a theology wished to it style itself transthis cendentalist-idealist. therefore God himself never imaginable but only operating in the of the conscious mind. is This would have to translate all being into consciousness.

Philosophu des Idealismus. taken seriously.).. the philosophising of idealism already implies the system God himself as I is within it. then. 38 . But while the process of genuine is God transcendental thought has perpetual reference to transcendence and is therefore (in principle) open and inconclusive. coming " is to itself. I find God. i. true reality * is that which attested in our self-activity. 89-92) to reduce the interrelation of consciousness Bewusstheit to that of the part and the whole. p. does nothing to alter the position. " not." Once non-objectivity. direction of intention is I find myself. I become aware of myself. in idealism the act is able to find Sein}* God in the reflexion of consciousn&sr (Bewusst- The 1 2 gospel of mind finding itself in God and God in itself Hirsch. outside the conscious mind coming is to " The ultimate. Even as a component of philosophising.e. Whereas transcendentalism God's non-objectivity behind the activity of consciousness is such that the existentially God-intending act takes place in the actus directus but is inaccessible to the reflexion of consciousnesness on itself. and is arbitrary and leads straight back to realistic concepts. God is never but in the act of the self-knowing mind. an illusion of In this way idealist thought is movement within a self-contained find God present in my coming to myself. cit. 54. BrunstacPs distinction between the Individual consciousness and universal conscious-ness (Bewusstheit). exposed repose. pp. p. His attempt (op. our I-hood. God itself. both coming together in the I. so as to ensure for Bewusstheit a being independent of individual consciousness (cf. is not an objective entity. The in genuine introspective. of which the former is a symbol. i xaf.Act and Being permitting the I to locate in its God in its non-objective I-hood. but is only in the execution of the philosophising act.

is " " the God of consciousness. God. To radicalise the older thesis. If the philosophical mind coming an analogous theology would have to be the But this explicit form of reborn man's self-consciousness. self-consciousness combines in the I the absol(which pure and the it is bound up individual absolutely general) utely with experiences of a particular content. yet this means that God " " in the consciousness. Where else could God be found but in my consciousness? Even if I can never pass beyond it. has idealism. God. This course. it must be what constitutes being in general. essentially different from complex quantity. once again becomes objective system of idealism itself.Act and Being resist its was preached too seductively by idealism for theology to blandishments. and all too readily it reasoned thus : if God must be in and the I must find God in reborn religious experiences. consequently he is retracted into the unity of transcendental apperception. He being is " " essentially consciousness. to be sure. from the standpoint of way that the experience of God becomes the very self-experience of the transcendental I which is the basis of all other experiences. who was to be regarded a correlate of the mental act. But to this was jumping is to conclusions. the explicit form of pure . has become as functional solely the objective object. then. where he becomes the prisoner of the consciousness. There are two ways of recovery from this setback: i. Imperceptibly. a as is latter. in such a only once been whole-heartedly adopted and developed on 39 . my is only in my religious consciousness. and if God himself is to be found in this reborn consciousness he must be extracted from these experiences. reflexion on itself.

op. is Religion.. Religious experience has a " certainty wholly in and through itself ". just as the transcendental unity all truth. 1 presented in the idea of The experience of God must be the experience of myself. of the unconditional value-reality of personal life. 154: science arrives at results coincident with the utterances of faith. because it comprises the basis of all possible truth in the experience of the unconditional-synthetic unity of the I ".Act and Being a large scale to the best of F. p. It is just " I ". I can manently subjective. the truth of religion in its with God is something which cannot be explored. lies unconditional personality in It follows that certainty of the experience of God in experience of the unity of nowhere but my own I. 40 . Religion as experience. 2 How the I can thereupon enter into communion all truth. p. not non-objectifiable. of the religious experience. This was by Here the point of between God and man this the unconditional personality. as the beingunconditional awareness of the seized by personality. of the I is the basis of is confirmed only by the fact as character that. cit. not persaying the same with the I itself: " God ".. is truth. 15 if. I have none with God. experience of the unconditional it itself becomes the basis for the possibility of personality. as a necessary prerequisite of all truth. i. " a The truth of religion does not lie in the fact that Op. 1 The : I keeps itself company. Religion has truth.. its " Brunstad. for plainly here again God stands at any given time behind the I as if he could stand over against the basis of its possibility : the I he would have become an object. but truth and validity is in the significance of religious experiences. is the condition on which all possible". and. But just could also say when I in fact say as I can have no commerce with my transcendental I. The I can never " God is " (as an object) without at the same time say " God is not ". at.e. Brunstad in his Idee der identity my knowledge.

If theology it is to grasp the relationship of God and man. the of likeness God and man. indeed that is all revelaitself (thus Hegel) is incarcerated in consciousness. unity of can only do so by postulating the profound one to the other and finding there. The limitation of our knowledge 1 on the contrary. One is like the very God one conceives. Here. but is mind.Act and Being looking into tion is. It directly relates itself to itself. and then only then man can indeed read: 214). such propositions are It is gically intolerable. revelation in action. its very inwardness. in reflexion. but on p. 67). 1 itself. that man may conceive him. know God revelation ". the inmost identity of I and God. he would not but because he is utterly unlike God Brunstad would contest this (op. into its also revelation of the divine inmost depths. That is why God gives himself to man. 216 we revelation. 2. here equivalent to there are repugnant to per verbum (A. as in the whole of idealism. this very subjectivity. for they reason. God is Through from living reflexion on the I understands itself itself. Yet Deus non potest apprehendi nisi is divine. revelation.C. It follows that religion is hence to God. If God is to come to man. and on p. "It (the unity of experience) is We m ' of God lies in the limited nature of our content of consciousness ". exactly. itself. man must already be in essence no room for faith and Word. is religion. What and reason can learn from so revelation. exposed as theolonot because man is by nature God God comes to him then need to come and never shapes his concept of God according to his own image. (!) 41 . is simply an expression of the proposition: Like is conceivable only by like. is pervaded by and constitutes " so tar as we are I '. 9 p. 218: in so far as we continue in experience. Thus that intensified. dt. underlying everything.

and one. that being ". this operation leaves no other location to God but the I to be found in the execution of the its mental act (or the I is basis of possibility) made the creator of the world. in the transcendental " framework. " in reference " as actus directus. He he to " " is " in the pure execution of the mental act. 2. but he stays withdrawn from every attempt is him in reflexion. moreover. whereas in idealism being and I merge one into the other.Act and Being conceive him. assumpto find tions of the foregoing collapse. The second way of escape from the impasse is to fall back on the purely transcendental thesis. and this produced a false position from the outset. The only finds himself" already there tially at stake in thing which enabled idealism to achieve its resolution of ontological concepts was an unexpressed ontological judgment. and who invariably " in his given world. This is an idea which has Against it. the But. The act always " transcendence. a place the however. Everything clearly hinges on the transformation of ontological concepts into concepts of the act. independent of the I. God is not In this case that implies that he is no longer objective. Unless the transcendental thesis is once 42 . The negative judgment of " this is not " or " this is " remains in all circumstances an ontoloonly through me gical judgment. which means. . which does not lie e ' c ' within the confines of transcendentalism but represents a frontier violation with the most fateful consequences. accessible even to the reflexion of consciousness on to seize is itself. the in the end. secondly. in Christian epistemology. philosopher has lost sight of the business of understanding the man who is essenthe concrete psychophysical man Christian theology. In the first place. is possible even if not given.

the concept of version of the " " this in reference to being and the concept of the act being. Riehl (Der philosophische Kritizismus. 1890. reality. If.UT unseres Glaubens an die Reditdt der Aussmwelt Losung der Frage vom Ursprung und seinem Recht. Halfte. Dilthey's inquiry into reality from our first sight impresses as biassed in favour of tradition. for the question of the external world's will receive attention in the positive section of this The conceptual world of Karl Earth leans toward the 1 A. if. book. which at W. V. and 134. and it has of late acquired influence over theology as well. In context the meaning of the idea of transcendence. since logical it significance. viz. x. God. it clearly requires a " " bounds of reason. the logico-epistemoremain unaffected even idealism does not logical problems of idealism doubt the existence of an empirical external world but the argument lacks force as a contribution to epistemology. " world from social emotions ". Our own problem of being is not the problem of the exist" real external world ". to give an example. 2.Act and Being again to finish in the system of reason. new For here is the reef on which the first attempt foundered. pp. we are conence or proof of a cerned to ascertain the mode of being of divine revelation. 9off. Thus interpreted. however much both problems may coincide The implications of the Christian idea of for idealism.) 43 . and 172) wishes to make sensation the proof of the external world's reality. for example. Gesammelte Schriften. proceeds to it. disqualify the inference of the external external the of the world. receives far clearer this of the expression than in connection with the problem external world. and makes a thorough-going experience of the will and resistance idealistic epistemology in favour of of the whole demolish to attempt and epistemological The same confuses psychoconsiderations a philosophy of life determined by history. Dilthey's work is of crucial importance for the most recent philosophy of history. the dependence of the consciousness on pp.1 No. (Beitrage Z. the " " meaning of the outside or of being.

. evidently possible only in the act of awareness. Likewise the epistemology of R. If the contact is to be a mental one. it cannot p. Underlying all is is an idea of God conceived as actus purus. Dogmatik.e. as a being whose nature is conscious This encounter of God and man epistemtranscendental terms. only actuality. Now. In God there potentiality. if God and man can meet full is awareness. an 44 . 1 idealist (vide But. last for p. 8 R. In the entire nexus of his ideas there are signs of the wrestling of theology with transcendental epistemology. 70110.Act and Being transcendental theory. that leads Seeberg to pure voluntarism. God. 257-284. in one way and another. The contact of man and God happens in such a way that man especially pp. Seeberg 2 in unmistakable contrast to that of Brunstad may be far more correctly denoted as Kantian-transcendental than as idealist. It is the idea of the act. therefore the essence of man lies in the mental however noteworthy that the term potentiality is to provide for the concrete man. whom intended plainly Seeberg believes himself unable to cover with the unmodified act. the same is true of his idea of religious transcendentalism. now tries to comprehend in Though man is potentiality and act. in his will. the encroachments on negative ontological judgments supra)) and their incompatibility with the idea of God. " Revelation in terms of the act ". and frequently laid bare in full. 91. 103: instant without entering consciousness or becoming ideal ". the meaning of the process. the primal will. him. this point cf. encounter is while God is pure act. i. no and thus ology their affects mind. 3 this 1 * in total freedom and only in mental clarity as to the point from which On Op. works as actus on man. have nearly always been sensed. " cit. our chapter. I. Seeberg.

105: And so. This his consciously and willingly himself performs. What what of 2 necessity thought by the subject. " cit. yet admit of no doubt as to an " objective being 3 manifestly transcends consciousness. Being appears to be into act in the manner of Brunstad's submerging (somewhat theory). the supramundane has no other existence than that it enjoys in the religious movements of Op. vision. cit. " is so him not. p.e. 1 As the conif it is "has" God. i. the movement performed in him by the mind of God ". This is the way in which the danger of identifying God with the I is averted. the ideas we here express do not cast doubt on the objective the human will. cit.. a being of the supramundane which transcending consciousness. " 2 The necessity of an item of subjective knowledge Op. just as transcendentalism does not cast doubt on the objective being of the world. and transcendental a of matter But. On in the human mind alone. p. cit. 45 . 87: * is for transcendentalism the proof of the concepts per se are not in the objective world but exist only in the mind of man. feeling too. p. this should be said: the superwhich is to say..Act and Being Seeberg can evolve sciousness his transcendentalism. here it is world 4 being of the supramundane. Op.. But at this very point Seeberg refrains from taking the contrary. he " he (God) "is". counts as valid "have" is not. " known thing's objective reality".. 4 God is the supramundane reality ". we now find in his argument bluntly juxtaposed statements which place the existence of the supramundane and of concepts to boot the step to idealism. just as In this the religious intuition of the human mind. Only. in consciousness of freedom. p. 1 But inasmuch as this mental entity is shown to be real only in a particular disposition of man. 93. c< the lord and creator. we shall have to term the attendant sensation and knowledge transcendental '". sense. existent in is perceptible to the human mind no other form than that of one specific menial apprehension". 279: Op. and can be known by us as real only in the form prescribed by this disposition.

as it in the present case that restraint is exercised. union. enters here again into will 1 2 " direct " contact. Seeberg's self-dissociation Op. 1 According i. cit. the consciousness of man.Act and Being postulate Is an unconditional requirement of Christian and elaborated by Seeberg throughout his is theology dogmatics. religion. 81. Revelation is religion. the a priori is simply the intrinsic capacity. The positive content of faith is p. But this represents a trend from pure transcendentalism to tion may idealism. to this theory. justified transcendental so far as inference attribute a God only in a being-conceived corresponds it is But at the same time also genuinely trans- cendental to refrain from an absolute negative judgment as Be that to being. we are told of a direct becoming-aware. p. But on the other hand it can be said that God is it. a priori dictated from idealism. he says. and on these premises immediate contact it is a thorto oughly being to to him. within becoming aware of the being and activity of the supramundane God. op.. my is is subjected to the " primal will and now God's will Cf. to use Seeberg's terms. to experience his in feeling and intuition.. and accordingly for receiving the content of this context. for his revelation.e. is charged with the " " of pure conscious for becoming directly capacity existent only in This is mind ". The zeligious a priori is said fundamentally open to the divine will. man. or only for where Seeberg's theory of the religious a priori " comes into play. in that the absolute. and that is its nature. with the I. into the soul *'.. . revelation must become pour. of God to be to directly touching man. 104: by revelation. man is able to receive God into himself. there is said be a mould in man wherein the divine content of revela- 2 In other words. cit. the religious has no content of its own. as divine. As a formal mental disposition. may.

Natural man has a cor curvum in se. 506 ff. According to Luther. But then the idea of the a priori can only the for be understood to imply that certain mental forms are preposited for the formal understanding of the Word. and the Word is the mediator of the contact between God and man. If revelation is to come to man. in implication. which the religious a priori noted by Seeberg certainly holds good. Even natural religion remains flesh. The difficulty lies in the idea of the religious a priori.Act and Being active in me. and refers to in Luther. revelation and faith are bound to the concrete message. and strives after the flesh. but is of appropriation owed to the contingent action of God on man. What loses Seeberg the calls feeling (Empfindung) and intuition come under understanding of the Word requires no other noetic forms than are supplied by the a priori of thought itself. Faith itself must be " " created in him. admitting no other " directness ". 1 But faith stands as before the " work of God. 2. the capacity of faith. in which case. 47 . In this case there is no ability to hear hearing ". pp. in a sense inapplicable to natural religiosity. in spite of the latitude Seeberg accords the concept. same criticism. that is already going too far. for the purely formal In Seeberg's account of epistemology we find the clearest juxtaposition of theology's two great concerns: firstly. he must be wholly transformed. a specifically religious a priori All that pertains to personal meaning. and make Dogmatik. it must be admitted. to affirm being transcendent 1 of consciousness. the fact of Christ is not a prioristic. Le. If we are to suppose that the urgent capacity to receive revelation is given with this a priori. These are thoughts which Seeberg himself expresses.

However. in reference of revelation to the consciousness. It is a corollary of these problems that not the transcendentalist-idealist system. possible the to expound the nature of the latter as act.Act and Being formation of proper ontological concepts. . but only genuine transcendentalism. the secondly. provides philosophical concepts for their solution. it will be later shown that even transcendentalism is inadequate without radical transformation and completion.

but it is not coincident with this is being centred in logos ".THE ONTOLOGIGAL ENDEAVOUR Hegel restored the ontology that Kant's thing-in-itself was transthe of substance which Hegel found formed into concept indispensable in defining mind. as presented in the preceding pages. 1925. 49 . is and 6v there is disputed by the ov which is in itself free. . How. is a science called ontology possible? Clearly here it is only possible if one member of the combination it must be 1 logos desists from its claim. Enzyklopadie. . 2 The proper problematic its sphere of ontology The underlying concept. claim of logos. outside the sphere " of logos and the limits of ratio ". Grundlagen einer Metaphysik der Erkenntnis. iSofF. Act pointed to being. . Kant had dethroned 1 the business of true ontology to prove the primacy of consciousness and to uncover this being. in these circumstances. 33. Hartmann. The over being aim of ontology is no more than to say that there immediate " a real is being outside consciousness. pp. or in the case of Of. *N. knowledge of objects It is refers to this being . In the combination of a clash of two equally mighty claims.

therefore. 50 creative . always be a critical being as given for which does not even assume being. finally ontology leaves " reference " being its full independence of thought. transcends " " the given. But the endeavour to regard thought itself as being is the logos may when i test-case where transcendentalism. of course. idealism and ontology must go their separate ways in decisions no longer imposed " " in be by intrinsic logic. noesis (Dasein und Denkseiri). Here the step from Husserl and Scheler to Heidegger is foreshadowed. surrender only to recover with greater strength. The first imagines thought to to transcendence. For.Act and Being a rapprochement between the two. (Sein als " an remains 's an "which gedachtes Sein). which here includes even existence science. it forms the content of intention Being. spontaneity must. by an ironic subterfuge. in self-understanding. over which it also Genuine ontology. If the logos does in fact surrender its its claim. But this can only arise in the movement of thought. the entity but thinks of itself as already existing only within the logos. must accords it priority. to be shown. se> is The question whether per possible for logos. in such a way that the very move- ment of thought somehow partakes in essence of being. idealism swallows up transcendental being into thought. at all correlation: already ever-mindful of the following " " times thought must be in suspended this fact of cc and it is being. object entity. is it abandons either. it is and quasi-hypostatic a science which forms ideas about " existing in context. system of immanence. Here the logos must voluntarily refrain from usurping power whether it does so in true kenosis or in krypsis remains.

eyes principle. Man understands himself from what he has beheld. though expanded by Malebranche. therefore critically involved in the process of cog- nition. This. in ing this operation of laying bare carries within him the to he man has see. and now eternally bears anamnesis within him. is a flagrant retreat thinking. for this insists that " " thought is at all times suspended in being. which throws being itself open to the inspection of intuition. insight or pure intuition (intueri=look upon. in his doctrine of the participation of all later knowledge in the idea of God. if being should happen to be hiding behind phenomenal " entities. 5 1 by the ontologism the following pages On the lines of the preceding chapter. until he attain pure vision once again. and of Vincenzo Gioberti. That is the un- varnished. there can be no genuine ontology. however. In other words.Act and Being in consideration of being's independence. possibility " In of penetration to the eternal essentials. Platonic terms. or sees the revelation of his own eternal nucleus. Systematic ontology supposes pure being to be intuitively beheld in its transcendence of consciousness. But. be transmuted into receptivity. he has beheld ideas. take note of) must evolve from creative but a step from this position to systematic ontology. unadulterated systematic ontology which has weathered modern philosophy unchanged. . Where thought or intuition have access to the object without need of mediation. And yet it is to behind the transcendental and idealist skepsis. There are different ways of regard- the essence ". thought will have the task of uncovering or clearing the way to " this being. Of course.

but whether " intentional object always " envisaged by consciousness is also a real object is irrelevant to the question of pure essentiality. the question of existence is put in inverted commas ". will From the outset. Ideen zu einer reinen Phanomenologie". is still within the pale of idealism. givenness is The is simple real marred by 2 all and anything already represents interpretation. is found at once through theory to the pre-theoretic givenness." pp. a "Idcen zu einer reinen Phanomenologie. 1922 (Vols. In some way. is sure. " " noeto-noematic parallel structure but the remains im- manent example) " " in is the consciousness. that Thereby arises a rift between To be is. The in empirical tree (for not yet " " given " " (in schlichter Ansckauung "). but cc simple perception before something can be given ".e.. To Husserl * phenomenology quences is the study of the phenomena in the pure consciousness.Act and Being are intended to present a systematic ontology with the aid of a few salient examples. i and 2 are particularly relevant). " putting in inverted commas phenomenological and eidetic reduction ". the method of " i. and existentia). consciousness this " awareness of x ". Thereby a way interpretation. for reality constituted by consciousness. though it has an intense pre-occupation with ontological problems. 87-107. essence " and reality (essentia. 52 . the phenomenology of Husserl and his school. every act intends an object. pp. must be brought into operation. It is only concerned with phenomena given to consciousness. The conse- be briefly shown. Noesis refers to noema. 1 ** and so everything real must be absolutely Logische Untersuchungm. lySff. Realities and phantasmagoria vie together on the one level of consideration. 1922.

so there rein is mental perception a purely " (eine geistige Aiischauung). . beholding in the most meaningful sense. essential vision (Wesensschau] . which is the specific cognitive action. Just as there method of phenomenology. 24. the beholding of essences really is perception thus it is. independent of him and self-contained. in the (What meaning could there be in reduction to the eidos. notably by R. Geyser's Neue und alte 2 Wege der Philosophie and his Max Schelers Phdnomenologie der and by W. n. more or ' less vague bringing selfhood. so that the transcendental no longer interpretative consciousness and the essence stand over against each other in simple givenness. 3 concept of essential vision implies that there stands over against the subject a being. it is a perception supplying the datum ' at first hand. Ehrlich in his Kant und Husserl. without interpretation or inventive production. 53 . In both kinds of reduction." 2 to mind . . And so . it too.Act and Being "ruled out of bounds " factual *. 53*! idem. comes is into a purely sensory. the essence. Winkler's Phdnomenologie und Religion.e.) y by J. The beholding of essences. not a mere. if end that too were understood to be a product of consciousness?) 1 We may say that this train of thought idem. 1921 (pp. seizing the essence in its corporeal Here two trains of thought seem to cross paths in Husserl. more- over. is perception. whose concept he forms from direct It is clear that the 4 vision. just as surely as the eidetic object is well and truly an object. 6^ff. i. 8 Attention has already been drawn to this. pp. 4 " 22 and Ideen zu einer reinen Phanomenologie/' Religion. p. reduction has the task of filtering thus phenomenological-eidetic away the empirical and from the eidos. 1923. 1 924.

a kind of footnote. is so as to order reality within transcendent of consciousness. Idem. 5 attains 1 no genuine : 2 Idem.e. the sciousness of all being. Idem. the fact remains that HusserPs " Idem. 2. way Husserl joins hands with pure idealism in a that seems to me quite at variance with his original As for the idea of God. commas. e. 42. as generating 3 In other words. Ideen zu einer reinen Phanomenologie". 54 . if one not unreasonably expects from systematic phenomenology something re4 sembling the Platonic idea. 1 But if this is the case. 168. p. 96 Nature Is only as constituting itself on lines laid down by consciousness ". this as creative.g. 3 185!!". emphasis on the immanence in conOnly the regularity which conitself. a priority belongs not on as spontaneity. the cognitive process can no longer be understood as " " " " ideation even Husserl. 51. 64. Husserl undeceives us by requiring that God's transcendence should be put in inverted Phenomenology poses no questions of being. possibility of some special " such as would require not a mundane " concept of God but a special form of transcendence. 6 Even if he here clarity. Against is this must be of set the contention that consciousness the constituent all entities. 23. g6n. Cf. to the " " intuitive intimation of God. In this manner thesis.Act and Being accords with a transcendental realism. p. 4 5 " Logische Untersuchungen. vision copying the eidos in of course. only of essence. pp. i. rejects the realistic epistemology whereby con2 is the mirror of being but must be represented " " or that object (Cohen). p. sciousness projects beyond it. sciousness the side of the object but on the side of the consciousness. Yet Husserl finds room in the question questions of God for a passing reference. 58. p. I.

* Op.. 2 1 Here else there would pp. Scheler reverses the position with his lucid A elaboration of being's priority over consciousness. The object of inquiry is now no longer the general possibility of a priori data but the actual quid-est of the given. of purging it thoroughly of idealistic notions and. second. 1 which is a proper development from the decisive step basic premises of phenomenology. Der Formalismus in der Ethik und die materials Wertethik^ 19*21. first. and there The is no more God. and the seal set on the transition to idealism. Now we see in logic strives to Scheler how what " embrace the Husserl confined to pure Evidently totality of life ". ov has been overcome by the human logos. cit. Scheler noticed the idealistic character of HusserPs phenomenology. 55 . 43-87. and simply resumed the genuinely phenomenological thesis with the object. 50. was taken when he transferred the a priori from the formal and noetic to the supraformal. Nevertheless this a belief which restores the I. though it is an inescapable consequence of his philosophical premises. of developing it consistently in the fields of ethics and philosophy of religion. p. Where Husserl failed to prevent the emergence of a priority of logos over ov. is arriving at truly grasped concepts of either being or Being as existentia is resolved in essentia. the consciousness. valuate and given.Act and Being phenomenology rests on belief in the possibility of intellec- tually mastering the absolute from out the pure consciousness whether by means of the first-hand data of essential vision. or in is some spontaneous manner. despite his intention to preserve being's independence. to the place of God which Husserl would deny. substantive.

Relevant pages are. cf. therefore wrongly framed because laden with unwarranted assumptions. Geyser. i). a problem to discover how Scheler regards the actual existence of God. in logical independence of any consciousness. cit. and of E. Stimmen der * 1928. Przywara.. they lie displayed to the consciousness. upon and avoids proceeding 1 to an affirmation of God's Drd Richtungen der 2 reality. But these values are predicates of being. in Vom Ewigen im Menschen. 35ff. is The question asked by Kan- dismissed as formalistic.Act and Being be no philosophising tianism and idealism is an obvious postulation of being transcending consciousness. of God. pp. in Der Formalismus in der Ethik und die material* Wertethik. original sin and grace. Przywara in Religionsbegriindung. On this point %eit. from the humblest to the highest values of the good and the 1 holy. and this is not only in his Wertethik but also. in Vom Ewigen im Menschen. i. The datum present in values is there for the beholding in the rich fulness of every living thing. displayed to the consciousness. 5410*. pp. just as consciousnm is This moreover. Turning being. the positing of God's reality. Phdnomenologie. op. as will be shown. and. Geyser. 411. but not the very existence. yet two difficulties In the place. 1924. has great significance for the doctrines of guilt. (especially n. we find that God's transis cendence of consciousness preserved with the priority of God and first I do not it is finally coalesce.e. See the opinions of J. and J. 56 . such as inhere in a being. Max Schelers Phdnomenologie der Religion. arise : to the idea of God. pp. It appears as if Scheler takes as the object of his investigation the essence. a question which remains unanswered Formalismus in der Ethik und die materiale inspection.

the good and the very deity. but we also see that the undertaking comes to grief in the same way as Cartesian methods of proof. i. Scheler has difficulties he cannot find his grip his way back to the existentia and finally loses on the essentia as well. 55 if.Act and Being Scheler Is unwilling to recognise as a proof of God's existence the fact that belief in the reality of God is given as part of the religious phenomenon. pp. No doubt a sphere transcending the logos not to say a primacy is reserved for being. though he does not hesitate to base his thought on the hypothesis of the essence's transcendence of consciousness. according to Scheler " " of values the envisioning I is sense in the himself. for the Nevertheless. the fulness of life. of world and I is once again delivered into the hands of the person remaining 1 Vom Ewigen im Menschen." x we indeed see clearly his will to posit reality. something which permits it to understand God and itself. or of sounds before they are heard. as a person.e. In this way the being of God. " essence ". When Scheler opines that the demand for a proof of God outside the basic religious " is tantamount to asking that the existence of experience colours should be rationally demonstrated before they are seen. endowed with the capacity to take into itself the whole world. The second difficulty stems from the question of how being and human logos under which latter concept we may include the " sense of values " are interrelated in the context of Scheler' s theory. Such shyness in making statements about existence is of a piece with Husserl's way of putting reality in inverted commas. it bears within itself. 57 . with the problem of reality because. Wherever he may stand in the matter. by virtue of its vision of the highest values.

phenomenology an immanent idea of God. Drei Richtungen der Phdnomenologie. it is here determined. only as if the 1 being were accessible to the I from out itself. I. as if man had the power to confer and confirm the Tightness.. 2 Husserl leaves room for a transcendence of God. I. 304. Formalismus . but is total exclusion of the idea of philosophy supposing that to which we would beg leave God from the context of were a practical possibility. without probing further. to be 1 Der Formalismus in der Ethik und die materiale Wertethik.. * The original text recht. or by made possible only by menology. with the will to build a system 3 which at first seems incompatible with the bases of pheno- demonstrable in Husserl no less than in The goal of philosophy is not a " picture-book Scheler. is but a system. is composed of 8 4 has a play on the word rechtfirtigen. which right or just. pulls him down to God himself. however. 58 . version of essential vision reaches out for Scheler's swings up to him in love.Act and Being in itself it is and understanding if itself from itself. p. 262. All is sealed in period of Scheler's literary activity. and fertig. " A system. deny. Logische Untersuchungen. and in this All there is also by the " " This well accords. by the power of essential vision. achieved or complete Translator. 7. But this time the person produced the being. Przywara. its own level this especially in the last The God. at the foot. the justness not as of himself and of the world. 4 If previously God's mode of being was in question. to justify. but hence also the " Fs claim to divinity the path to the usurpation of godly vision ". even. Chapter 1 1 . p. In the system there lies the mastery of being by the knowing I. p.

p. " Precisely where Husserl puts in brackets ". the of his man himself concretely putting the question of man who is withal an entity in the peculiar form own kind of Being: Dasein 2 An understanding of . the very being whose mode thought in intuitive vision that of a know themselves to be. existentia is made the essentia of esse. in is Heidegger Being essentially interpreted in terms of temporality. man himself. Here we have the point of departure for the most recent full-scale phenomenological investigation. on which Husserl and Scheler shed no light. 59 .Act and Being phenomenal entity over against which the I stands freedom of vision. Correspondingly. Halle. 42. being can only be gained by proceeding from a 1 * " hermen- Sein und gelt. Here the being which transcends the phenomenal entity. the existence on which inverted commas have been so arbitrarily imposed. undergoes a new and radical ontological treatment. which takes onto- logy itself as its object: Martin Heidegger's Sein und %eit. namely. Not until reality ". can we look for so much as a clarification of the act-being problem. and the upshot is the system of pure immanence. has been lost to sight. Heidegger discloses being itself. 1927. and that again is only possible because the " " is pure transcendental consciousness place of Husserl's taken by the being. where Husserl and of the entity Scheler talk of timeless essentialities and values as the Being (in so far as this distinction is made!). Ddsein means the entity which exists. Phenomenology since Husserl has mishandled a problem whose clarification ought to have been indispensable for its " very premises: the problem of being. In what appears to be the bluntest reversal of preceding 1 phenomenology.

Being " is in such a way that times Dasein already being is under- stood as something like Being ". 2 8 Idem. 17: Idem. and towards which it always does have some kind of attitude or existence is relation. 38. Understanding of Dasein is itself an ontological in the characteristic of Dasein".. 1 2 " in der Weise ist 3 mend so ist etwas wig Sein zu ver$teherf\ " : Seinswrstandnis sdbst dm Stsinsbatimmtheit des Daseins". not mere is handensein ") to a mode but This " Being-present-at-hand (" Vorof being not proper to Dasein but only shall call existence". cit. Dasein is what it can be. concern is. the ontological analytic of the existentiality of existence. silent. 3 Dasein Cfi is being manner of an understanding of being. p. p. 12.Act and Being eutics of Dasein 'V which is ec is analytic of the existentiality of existence understood from Dasein^ since at all ".. 2 But. 4 be distinguished from the about which philosophy is 1 " ontico-existentiell " possibilities. possibility to be. present-at-hand which has also the endowment of potentiality in this or that primarily potentiality. but it is and as it is its His primary the concept of possibility in a dual sense. " " " Dasein is my Dasein. in all given instances. But neither kind of possi- Op. as stated. 60 . we " the res the already encountered decision and Sein* realisation of Daseirfs " potentiality for c " Being (** "Dasein is not something konnen"}.. existence ".e. i." But great attention must here be paid to the fact that Heidegger understands direction. 4 Idem. p. the " dissection of what constitutes So what are here brought to light are the these must existential-ontological possibilities of existence . p. That being towards which Dasein can have such and such an attitude or relation.

. As temporal Dasein it must order itself its upon its own final end. It " being-in-the-world Dasein is as its " having been thrown understands " into the world. fallen into the its c ' they " ". 1 17. in the call of conscience it understands is guilty in its gravitation to the world. for the very reason the object that the existentiality of historical (geschichtlich) existence is " under review. pp. the being-in-the-world of Dasein. is and that its being. p. . 277. <ldem. ayoflf. And ness. 52ff. in being . and 1 enters into the possibility 2 most proper 3 to it commit- Idem. as potentiality.e. the is analytic of existence in the ontic". 8 Idem. 5 Idem.Act and Being bility can be termed absolute possibility. It is " being" " " 4 in-the-world it is in being with others ". and anxious about wishes to return to its true it feels that it " uneasiness escaping the in the world. existence c " is care ' " 5 this too epitomised in the proposition being understood in a purely ontological-existential way. ibid. i i4ff. iSoff. 6 Idem. But call they * rise " to its is own the caller Dasein very particular potentiality "." Dasein always finds itself already in a world. potentialities ". self.. " Dasein always finds itself in process of falling into the ' 7 Dasein to the of conscience summons ". within historicity (Geschichtlichkeit}. 13. For its part. this its proper condition of this death. i. is rooted " The substance of man . " itself. pp. however. 6 . 61 : Idem. pp. pp. 235ff. 1 in the last resort existentiell. 8 And yet finding its itself thrown into the For Dasein <c world. " Sorge". Idem. p. pp. its futility. end 3> " But instead of living in Dasein is being towards death " commitment to death ". existence. 7 Idem. p. * Idem. in everydayness. in is order to attain original whole- In the most proper sense.

however.} aooff. in a world. pp. Already Dasein is its possibility. and an. as Dasein. p.Act and Being ment In to death. it is In prove this The scandal of philosophy does not lie external world. 200. in authenticity or inauthenticity. 43. it The it decisive point. pp. Idem. does not produce its world for itself. It can choose itself in authenticity. 62 . to inasmuch appropriates own wholeness. in the world. " Idem. or lose is itself in inauthenticity. still Rightly understood. Yet this it its does not by withdrawing from fallenness its the world. is self-evident that Dasein. it is already in a world. but this its by taking upon as it itself as its guilt. *' its may refer to " " thought or existence 4 Idem. 2 All thought is but an Thus even thought ontological characteristic of Dasein. but finds itself. but it tries realism but " wrong when to in the fact that such proofs are . in fact in a real external world. 22fF. . " Translator.. just as it is 3 already itself. Dastin resists awaited and attempted. What is germane our inquiry here is the unconditional priority accorded to the question of being over the question It has been the fundamental mistake of of thought: and all his followers to have neglected putting the " 1 But this of cogito ergo sum "being to the sum in question " is something is not even possible unless there question Descartes such as understanding of being ". 42 (Grammatically. p. is right. such proofs because 1 a 8 ** Idem. which this. way Dasein lays hold of most authentic possibility its and proper existence. that " already is " whatever understands itself to be and is defines itself as. in the fact that this proof has hitherto been wanting. 4 Here It is is obviously a leaning toward philosophical realism.

op. too. yet being = being Heidegger's ontology finally takes shape for us. idealism gets its due. Nevertheless. " 8 If the Heidegger. .Act and Being in its being it already is what subsequent proofs consider it". l attempted proof presupposes an isolated subject on one side. 208: ciation of the fact that being name idealism implies appre- can never be explained in terms of entity. this Dasein itself must ask the question of its ontological structure. is " cit. cit. passing beyond idealism. 205. op. since only in this way can any light at all be shed on the meaning of being. the standpoint of the problem of act and being it that here the two members of the dichotomy are appears established in a genuinely consistent relation. the priority of being has finally From assumed the character of a priority of mind-being. But Dasein is man's Z>&r<?itt=understanding of mind. This solution. however. other than the being of consciousness". is * 63 . . p. ' but lies always the transcendental for every entity.. True. p. though reminiscent of Hegel. can never be elucidated via entities. still to require proving onto An So here. 3 And so we have the priority of being over thought. Being understands itself in Dasein^ in mind. and on the other an isolated entity. p. Cf. shows 1 itself mind The being of (human) the absolute essence of being. Przywara on Heidegger. 259 : . in the given temporal context of the decisions he has taken. is Being is essentially Dasein. However much he may talk of reduction from truth to being Heidegger's being remains nothing 2 Idem. but can only be understood within Dasein (in the I-reflexion of idealism!). Being. but Dasein mind 2 in its historicity. That is how understanding in historicity. but not in such a way that mind annihilates being: it merely "fe" and understands being.. then in idealism the one possibility of correct philosophical problem-formulation".

427. p. cit. but also the constant fait accompli. Firstly. n. 1 Thus Dasein " " is already. No absolute potentiality The ontological-existential strucis attributable to Dasein. according to Heidegger. so as to be able to decide itself. In non-decision. It is explained with reference understanding of being. thereby drawn into the flux of what Dilthey calls the " totality self-determining existence to of life". ture cannot be wholly divorced is from the ontic. nor in " being is Dasein. its most authentic See op. static conception of the entity. It is perpetual deciding in time. Secondly. be thought of as. is extricated from the Being decision. decision has already taken place. the actual decidings of its Dasein coincide with given decidedness. but this is " itself" already always directed upon " is itself ". Heidegger has succeeded in forcing act and being into partnership in the concept of Dasein that is to say.Act and Being essentially distinct from his theory in that being in the world ". Thus pure consciousness no longer dominates in Husserl's sense. Scheler's the supraformal a priori. . if it is to always be philosophically considered at all. drawn into time. 1 It is able to seize i. yet neither is it the continuity of a supratemporal being. it would always be having " " to constitute itself anew. And Dasein not a discontinuous succession of discrete acts. existing in temporality. in principle. Two factors enable Heidegger to break through to this solution : he interprets being so thoroughly in temporal terms that even the eternity of God must. whenever it determines itself by If on these occasions it were reaching down out of a sphere transcendent of time. temporal Dasein in self-decision.

Act and Being possibility. despite its It follows that concepts of being must Heidegger's concept of powerful expansion of philosophy through 65 . not as a general existential constant of sophical concept of finitude is meines Existential endlichen Daseins}.e. can no longer be separated from existential characteristics of Dasein. the basic thesis of this ontological metaphysics that Dasein in temporality already possesses. standing of being. that it is (so to speak) open and that Dasein in this way becomes insight into being. concept of being remains self-contained despite its involve- ment philosophy the finite. qua Dasein. is that of incapsulated finitude. It relates everything to the self-incapsulation. then. i. its Like is other potentiality revealed as determined by the incapsulation of the finite finite. is for by the existence it enjoys. Heidegger's a consciously atheistic philosophy of finitude. to see ready-formed in philosophy a metaphysical theology definition of the interrelation of act and being in which the man's having. has been left for the idea of revelation. but this means that Dasein is included in the world. of is in the internal reflexion of consciousness. in Dasein. being. finitude. It is cardinal for the existential analysis of Dasein Incapsulation all that finitude should be conceived as sealed-in. under" " to itself. is open to God. Thus the genuinely ontological development of the suspension oi thought in being is permeated by the systematic theme of an understanding of being at his Nevertheless it must be highly instructive for disposal. at all times. which it is offered it can arrive at the world It is itself. In Dasein (nicht als allgeits essence the philo- Here. no room and with the knowledge in revelation that finiteness crcatureliness. or rather that included in Dasein. It can understand itself. all be formed anew.

Will-be ". a * Aquinas : De mte et essentia. Religionsphilosophie katholischer Theologu. nor the reverse. 4 yet is also infinite beyond not that the esse of man is divine and the essentia " non-divine. God is the eternal for them. in man they are asunder. but the latter always differs from while is it in some way. 9238! Gf. Przywara. rent apart. considered together form neither of pure exclusivity if nor of only partial) (even pure identity (again. p. Catholic Thomism shatters the concept of basically closed being. 1 Beginning with the anti-idealistic hypothesis of being's priority over consciousness. op. has restored with methodical brilliance to the centre of the Thomist principle of which Przywara especially.Act and Being discovery of the Existential sphere. Przywara. in our time. i. so that one might his existence 3 wonder whether comprehended his thusness. " " Is that being ". n. is That Catholic philosophy of religion and dogmatics. also. Vol. or his thusness his existence should be according to his His essentia is related to his (for God always is what he essence). esse and essentia are While both coincide in God. By this treatment s Thomism thorough ontological Przywara' appears 1 Cf. esse. but the objective relationship of man and God lies in the former's essentia-esse difference and the latter's and as a whole. 24. Ringen der Gegenwart. pp. in order to let in the transcendence of God. cannot be adapted for the purposes of theology. in God is " in " all Was " and It is man is in process of " becoming ". cit. 61. essentia-esse identity. 1927. 66 . even if only partial). p. and the two sides of the relationship can rather " be considered in a relation of analogy ". the analogia entis. 2. 2 Within being. as being is It takes the analogous to becoming.

(Thence the inferences of all-efficacy. by analogia entis9 a continuity of that of God. The question remains of whether the transcendence cc Is ". so that his being. or whether.) This is the way in which Aquinas succeeds in interpreting existence in temporal terms without sealing it in itself. and the latter " " comes from the former (" von jenem her " ist). God is still 67 . inasmuch as his being is defined by St. nor that in God.Act and Being to have succeeded in opening the concept of being to God is not contained in existence. With the continuity ontological condition there is also guaranteed to the man. and the doctrine of grace. whether in the original state of Adam or in own can always be certain of its analogy to God's being. the theory of the natural and supernatural. man both of his statu corruptionis and statu gratiae. is really adequate of God's to express his transcendence as understood by Christianity. but allows is as much in him as he also arise him that relative reality of his own. so man is envisaged as enjoying a relative but authentic reality of his own in relation to God (causae transcendence. God is not : divorced from his creature. the analogy of divine being. but just as God is imagined to exist absolutely in his own right. as distinct from sole efficacy. but if that is to acquire any kind of concrete theological sense and not remain purely Christ. " " in-over man. secundae) the concept of analogy demands two substances over standing against each other in relative independence " " " " of each other. But. holds good for the being of immanence The Thomist theory ot being qua creature. a metaphysics of lurks behind the facade. on the contrary. as the Is stands in-over (" in" tlber Przywara's term) the becoming. Thomas as essentially creatureThis implies a continuity of the mode of being in liness.

the ground is guarantee of divine continuity of being. supposedly discoverable behind the specific conditions of divinity. the two like-unlike embodiments of being are fixed in their relational attitudes but from or God. to fall Any formalistic something of a more general attempt nature ". that is to say. theological ontology. must already be preformed in the concept of analogous being.Act and Being " in and metaphysical. is the holy one. in principle. But then. this Is each other. the eternal Is remains a speculative " " in-over idea which is continuously becoming. and could not be understood only as such. Only general attributes can be deduced from the concept of the analogy of being. the modes of being " Adam or in Christ must be understood and interpreted in their own right. changed into a general theory of being with and thus the path to a genuinely is theological concept of sin or of grace effaced. standpoint. whether of man vis-ti-vis everything. that the Is can in no way be detached from the concrete definition. we must ask whether there is in fact a being of man which is not already determined formalistic " " as his " " being-in-Adam or <c being-in-Christ ". But now we come up against the Thomist concept of unthinkable 68 . which even admits of expansion into an a prioristic system of possibility of a removed from under the natural rational insight. he is the just one. must serve to obliterate the Christian idea back on u of revelation. contingent action. he as of must have this precisely Theological concepts being is God " " their ontological premise. but which is inadequate for a not the sheer Is: Primarily " " " " is love. as his being-guilty or being-blessed-with-grace. The contingency of God's is revelation in law and message occasional modifications. a priori.

Act and Being
existence, as epitomised in Przywara.


existing in the


must bear within

himself, as a given




behold the



esse-essentia identity.

It follows



however, that in



concept of existence one regards as implicit and already " what remains only to be made explicit in those present

to man (and vice versa) which are possible within the limits of the analogia entis. But then human existence is once more comprehensible through itself, and it thereby also has access to God. That is the inevitable

ways of God

consequence of

systematic metaphysics. Thus even the attempt to open the concept of being to the transcendental terminates in an illusory transcendence. There loom into

view the basic features of the ontological proof of God; if there is a tension in the creature between essentia and esse, there must be beyond that, underlying that tension and making it possible, an identity of the pair: the divine being,
as essentia



Just as

Anselm arrived

at a


being ",


to arrive at God, remained in the closed Thomist world, ontology is unable to advance beyond an intramundane metaphysics in its concept of God, so



purports to discover possibilities in man of understanding himself, and God via himself in other words, self-" projection on the lines of his authentic potentiality"

long as


and so long as the world and its idea of God (Heidegger) are both contained within the I; but that means, so long as there is failure to make room for a revelation, i.e. to form
theological concepts of act and being. Does this indicate that every ontological thesis

useless for


Such outright



no more applicable

Cf. Seeberg, Dogmengeschichte, III, 3, pp.

n. 3.


Act and Being
here than in the case of the transcendental
far as

In so

the act as foundation of being, and being as foundation of act evolve into the I-enclosed system (in


that the I understands itself
truth), they offer



can place





no assistance in understanding the idea of on one side the genuinely transcendental

admitted a being transcendent of consciousness, a " " to which existence was envisaged, with reference being but a being which itself remained non-objective, and if on
the other side genuine ontology considers being the a priori of thought in such a way that thought is itself suspended in being, it is an inescapable conclusion that in the first case
the limits are prescribed
case being

by reason
into the


that in the second




consequently that in both cases within a closed system. Per

power of the thinking I, the I understands itself from

a philosophy cannot

* let it then recognise revelation spare room for revelation and confess itself Christian philosophy, knowing that the place it wished to usurp is already occupied by another


be that in the following pages we and ontology (as transcendentalism genuine distinct from idealism and phenomenology) certain contriNevertheless,


shall find in

butions to the solution of the act-being problem within the concept of revelation, if only because they have exhaustively

fathomed and argued the philosophical dilemma of act and being, or because we shall be able to adopt their polar " with reference to ", and standpoints of man as pure act



in being, in order to test against

revelation, in the sharpest possible antithesis, the merits of
See Note concluding Part One, pp. 73 fF*


Act and Being
explanation in terms of act or of being.
If that



may be sure that these theories will emerge from their encounter with the idea of revelation in a wholly new guise, " " but equally we shall know that the with reference to
" " and the are amenable suspension
pretation, hence, after idea of revelation.

to theological inter-

of service in understanding the




thought in

any autonomous

man capable of self-understanding truth on of himself, bestowing transporting himself into the truth by his own resources, since it is reasonable to suppose " " basis of existence must somehow be within that the " " truth (likeness to God). Here, however, truth comprises that reference to God Christian which only theology does


not hold possible save in the Word spoken, of man and to man, in the law and the gospel. It is in this sense that formal

may be conceded

to the proposition,



and idealism, that knowledge about " but disconnected possession oneself or about God is no


places the knower in a direct



relation to the


employing a terminology which must be further explained below, this means that knowledge in truth about
about God,
or in

oneself, or



being in









Christ ".
to give oneself truth

Never being able


represents the

unattainability of a systematic metaphysics; for such


edge as that would imply would signify a self-placing into the truth. But neither is such knowledge a possibility for

Cf. F.

K. Schumann,

Gottesgedanke und %erfall der Moderne>


closing chapter.


Act and Being " l a philosophy with such great philosophy of would be itself expectations highly uncritical. Thought is as little able as good works to deliver the cor curvum in se








merely by chance that the profoundest philosophy finishes in the I-confinement of the All?

No, the knowledge
into truth
for the



likewise a self-placing

world of the

confined to the

untouched by grace is not truth of God's word, the though

not in this truth; if it were, it would be unable to celebrate here the triumph of the I, but would have to recognise, in its eternal loneliness, the curse of lost






communion with God.
obedience of Christ, the truth. Thus our


Only thought which, bound

to the

from the truth

can place into


way is pointed onward to revelation we cannot understand this step merely as a final
one which must already have been taken,

possible step, but as

or us to be able to take

something which very recently a group of theoand logians philosophers, whose ideas join in circling round the central problem of existence, have understood and



have succeeded

remains to be seen, of course, whether they in adequately interpreting the idea of
on Grisebach

revelation from the standpoint of the act-being problem.
1 Gf.

the passage

in Part


of transforming even this (Bedrohtheit) is the human existence into of in other words an attempt to seize hold of becoming theological anthro- pology. No.NOTE Theological anthropology If P. This may be put to the test only in conjunction with the concept of contingency inherent in revelation. one need only indicate in reply the concept of revelation. 1929. pp. p. relevant passages below. Bultmann (" Die Geschichtlichkeit des Daseins und Der Glaube.d.. Gogarten. 5. Tillich is of the opinion that no distinction can be philosophical made between (Religiose theological anthropology Furche. If from the standpoint of revelation the existence of man is seen by Verwirklichung. from ontic) possibilities of believing and unbelieving 73 . of course. this does nothing to settle the question of truth. Admittedly. 1930. also F." ^eitschrift fur Theologie und Kirche. 300). unconditional sense philosophical able to avail itself of those concepts only at the cost of bursting its frame. Recently R. " Das Cf. 339-64) has formulated the interrelation of philosophy and theology in such a way that it becomes the business of philosophy to investigate phenomenologically those structures of existence (Daseiri) which represent the existential-ontological (as distinct. 6.. and a theological anthropology as guilt essentially or by grace in and not merely as " " determined by being at risk anthropology analysis of itself. " in ^wischen Problem einer theologischen Anthropologie den eiten y No. n.

: c Just is that revelation has descended upon him. " cases a concrete existence characterised it * Philosophy sees that existence is in all by a definite 'How' . in principle. notwithstanding their contingency. cit. then the believer does in fact know nothing ** more " about revelation. 352). ' speaks of the e actual fact cit. p. But this is the of existence irrespective of revelation (be it only the uniformity of existential-ontological possibilities) without making revelation superfluous. that he " with grace and forgiven endued life. any very point where further questions ought to be asked. 342). the lies reason is that the essence of revelation in its character as a contingent event. But the position of revelation revelation is otherwise when seen from the standpoint itself: the believer the whereas unbeliever knows everything about knows nothing.. in within the existential-ontological possibilities of existence. assert this uniformity one can If one can. but not of the How itself " is (op. The question is whether p.Act and Being existence alike. The event-character of revelation and the event-character of belief can. (op. The same line is followed by the following No believer can statements on the concept of revelation than an or unbeliever what more completely say exactly ' " What more does the believer know? revelation is.. For the purposes of existential- ontological analysis.. be imagined this. p. but then it does not 74 . 343). than the unbeliever. cit. said to be existentiality. assertion that existence in faith in " (op.. revelation may be envisaged among the standing possibilities of existence. that of theology concrete (believ- The theme of philosophy ing) existence. of this * How '. existence for all this cc is to be found in Bultmann's is still. for here lies the root of philosophy's infinite claims. The precondition unpursued case.

(Cfr especially logie Kurt Lowith. the doctrine of justification is would be tottering. the phenomenological definition of existence according to its existential structure " " " care ". an abstraction and hypothesis than a merely biological definition of man. and where that event does not take place. But if revelation about by the free act of God. for revelation. pp. 5. The abandonment of the ontic by retreat upon the ontological is considered In the existential event of inadmissible by revelation. 1930. and transmuted. philosophy sees the deepest root of its claims excised. as as being unto death ". and the ontological-existential structures Inasmuch as it consistently observes man without regard to the event of revelation. Then there no longer an essential identity of existence per se in all instances whether the event of revelation has taken place Then revelation claims to initiate the unity of exist- or not. not even the existential structure of existence. Only where forgiveness of sins is an event do I know of revelation as a believer. There is the ontic-existential coincide. the forgiveness of sins of which " I know " is not the forgiveness of sins attended by revelation: if this were not so. no less this interpretation of existence is also irrelevant to theology. revelation the existential structure of existence is attacked here no second mediator.Act and Being possess its essential character of an event one originating in God's freedom. " Phanomenologische Onto" in und protestantische Theologie the %eitschrift I find fur Theologie und Kirche. as historical ". is essentially an event brought it outbids and supersedes the existential-ontological possibilities of existence. ence and to have sole right to proclaim it. Bultmann with him against myself very largely agreeing 75 . finally. For revelation. No. is. That is why. 365-99.

) . in point of which the general idea of existential analysis is widely open to criticism: I have greatly profited from Lowith's article.Act and Being in what he has " to say about the preformed " ideal of existence underlying even existential analysis.

PART TWO The act-being problem in Revelation. as its and the Church solution .


the untruth of human self-undertruth. to which is in i. re-created from untruth into truth. once belief.REVELATION IN TERMS OF THE ACT A. But only i. say. whether judged or pardoned. p.e. For from within truth he can. as the final postulate of is human thought. would itself be ensnared in the falsehood of self-understanding. if fully intended as real. is alone able to do for him. revelation.e. only the person already placed in truth can understand himself as in truth. from the postulates of his own existence. truth. Consequently. in Christ. standing and its truth. 79 . would enter the position of adjudging himself right and placing himself into truth which nevertheless the revelation he postulates. within from revelation. The contingency of revelation The is proposition that man cannot place himself into truth not self-evident in the sense of entitling or obliging one to postulate thenceforth a revelation capable of supplying On the contrary. This is what yields the in truth. 32 above). in his " " by God being known potential reproduction of his or that he is situated understand recognise (cf. obvious only from the viewpoint of revelation it has taken place and been accepted in Were it not so. with the result that man.

potentiality. as his self-giving. psychophysical whole. an occurrence with its basis in the freedom of God. but is Christ himself.Act and Being existence is envisaged in theological concept of existence reference to revelation. which places the I into truth. It is in this frame of reference that one should envisage the agenda of all theology. as his elicited It is withholding of himself. its absolute freedom in relation to reason. which ever since Duns Scotus and William of Occam has laid special stress on the contingency of revelation. " of his " historical God's is free. received as a reality but not positivity from speculations about human existence as such. in either action he remains free. is a contingent occurrence which can only be welcomed or rejected in its that is to say. and attest its own validity in various connections. and this happens to it. This concept of existence will have to be made explicit in the following pages. The Word as truly and withdraw himself absolutely 80 " according to his pleasure. God can give Word. likewise to all possibilities deployable. i. but in the contingency of revelation is asserted its transcendence of reason. . i. as encountered or not encountered : by revelation. so to speak. or can be drawn by him. The proposition of God's freedom in revelation admits a double interpretation. gives understanding of God and self. not even by the manipulablc First.e. whether positively. There is no longer any inherent potentiality of being encountered: existence either is or is not actually encountered by revelation. by an existence understood as Revelation. inasmuch " entity as a formal one: God is free bound by nothing. on the no longer passes through man as such. or negatively. as a " " borderline which concrete.e.

it is his honour and glory l to remain utterly free and unconditional in relation to " Now it would follow everything given and conditional. must be not a static relationship. already obtaining. at the beginning. he passes into the flesh. that the relationship between God and man in which God's is revelation may truly be imparted to me.e. the suspicion therefrom arising. on the altar as on the Cross ". since It is God's pleasure. one i. majestically " free (Earth) which initiates the connection and remains its is master. in a transaction not only continuous but at every beginning. W. p. How " could it be otherwise. Barth. but within God's freedom to suspend the connection at any moment. God (unehrlicK) 2 handled. Inevitably. in the sense that its very constancy may never mean anything other than constancy a free. Dogmatik. 295.. our hearts. 2 Revelation is interpreted purely in terms of the act. moment It may never be conceived as already given. entrails. A. a man. that trans" It is the honour and glory of our Luther. 157: And however. 1927. nor even as analogous to a natural law or mathematical function. must always think of it as actwise (aktuell) the instability of a deed in course of execution ". I. God's freedom but with all that possibility implies comprehended in the concrete act.Act and Being He never at man's discretion. mouths. that. 23. 81 . God is the possibility understood as pure act. 1 But cf. exception must be taken from the first to the fact that the God-man relationship should be resolved in terms of pure act-subjects in the very context where revelation's transcendence of consciousness is unequivocally asserted. and suffers also for our sake that he be dishonourably (unseres Gottes Ehre). in all seriousness. the bread. giving himself for our sake in deepest condescension. It is with all something happening to receptive man. instead.

we must 1 " Earth. 284!!. in man.1 Word revelation to man and is has no being in independence of his selfits being heard and believed by man. and is Word indeed himself hearing and believing. the heavenly later. pp. 4 is consecall grace. 324! I. receives confirma- God " reveals himself only in acts freely initiated by himself. The freedom of God and the act of belief are essentially supratemporal. pp. if Earth nevertheless stresses the act which.) his concept of the act must not be regarded as temporal. recurrently " beginning at the beginning ". 325. where we Because God may recognise the transcendental himself creates the hearing and belief. and that in such a way that on the accomplished act has ipso facto lost any contact with the act itself. and not otherwise. so that there can be no inference from one act to the next. thesis. in %wischen den Idem. 239$*. No. here and now. etc. 35 yf. before.. and from the fact that. the Word of God conies to him. in %wischm den Zeiten. 82 . I. Earth. Dogmatik. 321. 4. This. Dogmatiky 3 4 pp. with the result that the act can never be grasped in conceptual form and cannot therefore quently in man reflexion be enlisted into systematic thought. never in that abstraction strictly from the which we occasional event. at God's sole discretion. 8 God's being is solely act. p. however. 1929. Also %wischm den %eiUn9 1925. 2 No. no sooner.Act and Being cendentalism tion. 3. after. is Man manna God's in the wilderness could not be put into storage ". is at all times free. Scbicksal und Idee pp. 2 "God's is only in the act of belief. touched with grace when." only as act. Earth. p. is lurking here somewhere. no So far as is known. in dcr Theologie". . It follows that although Earth has no hesitation in making use of temporal categories (moment. ^jsiten. 1929.

2 The freedom of God's Word cannot Admittedly. God recedes into the non-objective. presents itself afresh. God's Word is not bound. 2 Barth. subserve the freedom of the 1 Word of God ". in ^wischen den %eiten> 1929. 346. so man should think he has God as an object. that if that this formal understanding of God's contingent activity should lead Earth to develop his idea of " " the dialectical ". 1 remains always the master. Thus we the problem of transcendental philosophy.Act and Being understand that he is endeavouring to translate the transcendental concept of the act into terms of the geschichtlich. that Theological dialectic is is genuine dialectic in to the extent that it open to this idea. always the subject. in its historically. According to Earth. it is any no longer God whom he " has ". 83 . this attempt is bound to come fact that (according to Earth) capax infinity so that the no " to grief against the historical " moment " is becomes at most a pointer to God's activity and can never. with a rider of refer explosive possibilities for all historical forms. to the extent fact it will subserve this idea. In that way the positivity of ecclesiastical order could be preserved. the freedom of God persists within the positive order. God is always the " com" " ing ". p. which might be traced without difficulty to the combination of nominalism and the idea of contingency in the closing stages of medievalism. which discovered at the beginning. However. the late-scholastic concept of God's freedom appears to only to unreal possibilities. be faith and obedience themselves. and never will It God was inevitable be bound. That is a necessary consequence of the formal conception of his freedom. the non-available. " obedience " empirical action of man belief". however. not the existing deity (Earth).

because even his theology 8 . 2 The reservation made by dialectical theology suspended in the antithesis. and the only way to talk about this answer in histori- cality is " " dialectically ". and is fit not~I when I speak of God (because / speak of when I speak of the believing I. 3 for theology too. " no. " Man in the is ". p. that at bottom he has a catholicising influence. 3. and by God's answer. such as might be one real and recurrent in 3 . however. there a justification only by is faith '. snaps their in twain: It thus there are only pronouncement " All critical reservation ". that on this point there R. Bultmann derives his of existence. determined by the object as 2 Earth. as such no theological concept of dialectic from the historicality one to say. 348. and the concept " " of contingency would be excluded: the coming changed " " God. See question by Tfteologische Blatter.Act and Being be pinned down by unequivocal theological statements. or his free answer. ** " Dialectical ** " does not mean so much determined by the historical reality J> of the the concrete situation. in Jgwischen den %dten> 1929. p. Revelation would have sunk to to the existing rest in the theological system. This not as is But it is if the countered by the " " systematic last formula for a theology of revelation had at in been found is a dialectical theology. into fixed ontological abstractions. within the petrified. and I feel this entitles is no fundamental difference between him and Earth. critical reservation.. x theological statements under Earth's theological propositions are rooted in the necessity of saying not-God kirn). yth Year. No. The reproach cast up against Earth by Grisebach and his friends. while acknowledging the difference between their concepts of existence. system. 66. the question to which God gives historical situation proposes. thus due if it regard do not paid to the idea that genuinely theological concepts into an undialectical system concepts of an act-character would have were otherwise. but view of predestination 1 not a logical one.

1 Barth. there is a testified anew on every occasion. No. in Jgwischen den eiten y 1929. strictly speaking. 1929. . . i) think that Barth's critical reservation constitutes his systematic method. Kritische Bemerkungen zu Karl Barths and . squared the circle. . objective. 7) and Gerhard Kuhlmann der Existenz". One cannot determine to achieve the theology of the " Word. M. even without must be the critical reservation. incapable of radical self-disturbance. God if remains to non- he choose do so. " to rne (Barth. but because truth. Theological cognition can catch are God " himself known (Barth. Miiller (** Credo ut intelligam. 347). No. make That use of a theology in order to attest himself therein. one can only be determined in the direction of the theology of the Word. thus the negation does not purport to embody the secret way to the universal truth about God. traced the line of intersection of the two planes. 33. cit). again. I myself feel compelled to take a " never different line of interpretation. able instrument. Theologische (" Zum Blatter. If H. but because God wishes to make use of me and that questionof the reservation a reservation . Thought is a cohesive whole. p. p. which will be discussed subsequently in the text. p. pure act. 1 testimony from the Devil ". within the freedom of God. Problem eitschrift fur Theologu theologischen und Kirche. a free. n. Dogmatik". quite apart from an untenable philosophical and theological assumption which is mentioned in the text. of this Earth is lie does not conscious that even dialectical theology is no way to catch with the mere difference of including is a system seems to me. within the power of the theology but. further inference. It is only possible that God should make to it of his own free will. which As will be seen. Not because my dialectic might be supposed so superior in quality. 348. reality known it has pleased God to make himself .Act and Being idea can ever seize God: it " remains. in Jfyuischen den %eiten. to the effect that there must be obedient theological thinking. Both sides of the proposition meant in an existential (existentiell) sense. to do Barth an injustice. op. 1928. 85 . but the witness of obedient thought. but he can. 1929. thus not because I have found the philosopher's stone. i. the way to the system.

into himself. draw reality. and Gegenwart: eim 3 On Vom Gestern. has tried in various works to clarify the idea of or rather. and fails to arrive at reality. Theory is unable to form a concept of reality. I act ethically. his restriction 1 C especially Die Grenzen des Erziekers und seine Verantwortung. his existence. and for that reason he never arrives at the system. cf. finds its parallel in a new trend of philosophy. " " in the contingent fact of the Reality is experienced " " " " outside others claim of Only what comes from can show " man " the the way ce to his reality. kritische Ethik. In exist sustaining claim of that my is " neighbour I in reality. 86 . point the way to reality: every system.e. bear within him. the absolute. 1928. Gegmwart^ Chapter 12. is taken by his encounter with the Thou of his neighbour. conflates reality. truth and the I. his fellowman. Friedrich Gogarten this thesis for and H. E. How could it be otherwise. 1925. the sense of an ethics not of timeless truths but of the " 2 present 'Y Man can it never have the absolute at his disposal. " Grisebach's concept of time. with God.Act and Being God. but in this way he remains alone with himself in his system. corresponding to God's freedom as formally understood. purports to understand reality and have " In his satanity ". man is tempted to it at its disposal. since before all thought stands unfathomable predestination? This attempt at unsystematic thinking. in one way or another. Heute und Morgen ". i. Knittermeyer have developed theology in such a way that the place of man's encounter with the absolute. which interest itself takes part with lively in 1 Grisebach the development of modern theology.

as the drive " the impasse of one's limitations (die Qrenzsituatiori) and. the same may be said of his rejection of all "religious contents. p. If the Ps claim to be absolute who be transferred merely to the Thou. 1927). 6. 40. If I could transplant myself into truth without the aid of the message. its impotence. I could content " place myself in truth of justified in itself. Speaking in concrete terms. worse. we appear to be is to heading for a wholly ethicalised version of the gospel. as " the pronouncement of the Yes. Ich glaube an den dreieinigen Gott. thought. the Thou is is in effect made absolute. and lumen naturae would be The " Dogmatics " of both Gogarten and Knittermeyer this Du begin from viewpoint (respectively. 38). the objection to be raised against this thesis that in the attempt to avoid any postulation of an absolute. firstly. what else is man's Grenzsituation but sin. 8? . Gogarten in %uuischen den %eiten9 1929. For we are dealing with history: gospel is the meeting of I and Thou. 1926. all " humanconstituting history. as " istic-systematic must confess that is. which befalls man when he takes his " Grenzsituation with utter seriousness (Religiose Verwirklichung. even the concepts of history and theology are growing obscure. " and what else is the Protestant message to preach but the religious be preached of grace and forgiveness of sin? But the Grenzsituation must to man with the Word of judgment and mercy. No. secondly. 2 is Undeniably. 1 my own accord. The meaning of the that the claim of one's neighbour was met once and for all in Christ. even God and Christ" (p. and Philosophie und das Christentum. he does not advance beyond the speculative in his attempt to define the " is being lost to to live-through nature of the Protestant message. which means that revelation sight. tending to ontological concepts. his third definition is irrelevant here) .Act and Being by the other working itself out in history if not actually 1 Faced with this Thou. not to him above both and above the absolute. Cf. 1 But Tillich's theories also concentrate on the frustration of man.

it would still appear to trap reality. critical philosophy. if it is genuine for on bent thought is even able to completeness. of reciprocally placunderstanding " " each other into truth ". the possibility Thou " for as absolute. when he way to reality only from But the natural man's first intimation of this to be shown the " from outside is neighbour's claim. because " remains a system. with something that encounter no. as stated. and is it based on postulation of the therefore follows that such a is critical a theological hypothesis. to enter only possibility its own resources. supplied by " at the same time enables him to understand the from which it finally enables him is his outside faith. 1 " " ideal even while critical. this certainly If this is so. as a deliberate gesture of ethical modesty towards others. Even if it could be genuinely unsystematic ". without God and revelation. ing way Thou and the existence. Word of God. 88 . the claim of the Grisebach is right. even though not supplied by his contact with his it is his reaction to this to exercise moral conduct. comprehend reality from is and comes a long way says that outside. the I it is called into reality to its by the Thou. is no more a prerequisite will to refrain 1 The Man can be "in is " reality and ** in truth " True reality reality seen through the truth of the also in truth. man can " meet Christian thought. thought. " in a meaningful sense revelation accepted in from a system. so that whoever is in reality is and vice versa. the Thou shows appears to open to I a possibility of being and " in themselves reality.Act and Being Now if if. Thought. " other ". only through God. the one hypothesis of theology is that revelation is man's philosophy useless as " Thus Grisebach's of entering truth.

it is where it may become brings about to the possible. placed by God sees. Godthought however ethical remains self-enclosed. this It is the preaching of the faith. Even a critical philosophy is powerless to place the philosopher in truth. because is still less its criticism issues from itself. cannot is its disrupt itself. as will later be explained. knowledge of God and 89 self divinely implanted in . not from reality to God. that property by reason of its creation and needs self-disruption because in truth eternally. the Word. That thought its is bent on a system. leads existence out of itself into a state of self-criticism. this means that man must be a place If the have been placed in reality by God if there is to for reality in his thought. without preconditions. subservient to the (in this case reality claims of the cor curvum in se.Act and Being than good works for the understanding of revelation. is self-contained. Even when existence has been placed in truth. its thinking about itself and God remains within itself. but is repeatedly disturbed by the reality of revelation in a way which distinguishes it from profane thought. . But for that reason any of man which is not eternally in truth is an untrue system system and must be broken in pieces that the true system eschatological end. But revelation. its own donor. In sum all thought remains in itself so long as existence remains in itself. and alone has the power to place in From God to reality. Revelation is and the seeming undemanding) the path of theology. in sin as in grace. a system must fail in its Accordingly the will to refrain from purpose thought stays within itself. treated at greater length below. goes reality. because it no longer in reality. predication and : faith. Word that breakage through And so we come which is problem of theology.

conceived wholly in terms of the act. serves to distinguish his systematic thought from profane thought. his given his bond in which he has bound himself.Act and Being man is considered purely as act. God is not free 0/man but for man. his eternal and aseity. " (see above). as it is most strongly attested in 90 . the theory of revelation as pure act can only serve to deny the possibility of a distinction between profane and theological or ecclesiastical thought. God is there. is any such possibility at all on what basis?) Seen from the viewpoint of a formal- istic understanding of God's freedom. which is to say: not in eternal non-objectivity but (looking ahead for the moment) Word.e. Christ is the Word of his freedom. it remain stand "under the sign of God" can only. i. having placed himself at man's disposal. of his freedom his having freely bound himself to historical man. In revelation it is a question less isolation of God's freedom on the far side from us. always in " direct consciousness That to follows freedom. than of his forth-proceeding. placed in truth. following objection has to be made: what can it mean to say that theology requires a justification by faith (see p. any being is of course wholly excluded. But the (thus Earth). when it can only be a question of justifying the theologian who thinks the theology? Indeed it is open to doubt whether the existence of the theologian. 84 above). if we may anticipate The whole situation impels one to ask whether a formalistic understanding of God's freedom in contingent revelation. from the formal understanding of God's In this way theological thought seems condemned in principle profane. it fulfils itself The act is always inaccessible to reflexion. whether there (if so. in the event. is really the proper groundwork for theology.

after which the state of the case will demand But first of that we proceed to ontological theory.Act and Being " haveable ". with its reappraisal of revelation. signifies that one can speak Epistemologically of the object of knowledge only with reference to the cogni- counterpart in Essentially nothing is thereby said about the of the entity outside its being known. But we may be sure that from the new standpoint. in other words. Anything objective all that is cognition. different aspect It and would remain resolve itself in quite to be seen to what extent one would still be all justified in using concepts of the act to explain revelation. Here a substantial comes to supplant the formal under- standing of God's freedom. graspable in his Word within the Church. the basis for the possibility of all cognition. known as of the knower. B. we shall examine the epistemological from act-theory in this context. it evades the cognitive act because it is. being tive subject. unlike the remains free of the I involved in or formed by is the basis of the . and subseproblems deriving the observe concept of existence from the same quently viewpoint. Knowledge of revelation its The explanation of revelation in terms of the act has the genuine transcendental philosophical this thesis. precisely. If it should prove itself. The transcenbeing dental can never become the object of knowledge. it will suggest a redirection of our attention from revelation seen in terms of the act towards ontological ideas. the pure act in cognition. the problem of the theological system will assume quite a a different way. being.

Yet if is revelation that non-objective. since. as we have seen. in which case the being of the entity. and in fact God's revelation has. God himself. it we have the one choice of considering it it Epistemologically. So in revelation God is in the act of name understanding himself* That is his location. must somehow. we are really become manifest Christ. is But is this knowing of revelation called " believing *'. then it was not God that he knew. as we know. is impossible once the I recognises that it exists in time. for the objective is involved in the I. if man knew. Essentially. become knowable in speaking of revelation. knowable man. the representation of consciousness is not " " belief. The identification of being I. on the other hand. bound to its existence in history. and the If we now try to place revelation in this frame. the Holy accrediting 92 . the subject of the understanding is God as the Holy Spirit. it to How are we to understand that? God can never become the as object of consciousness. is not involved in the I but transcends it. the theological implication God always remains a subject and evades every human attempt to seize him cognitively. retains objective or non-objective. If. and he cannot be found in my consciousness for any reflexion on this act. by man. precipitately inferred by idealism. what revealed has the of Christ. in the non-objective. certainly appears that we must place its is freedom but cannot become objective. understood in such a way that God must Revelation can only be be borne in mind a subject.Act and Being entity. but this is possible only if God is also the subject of the knowing of revelation. God which I have in my God is only in the act of Spirit is In my belief. by definition.

faith tion. is God alone can say. whether this makes its appearance in the Catholic canonisation of history (the idea of the Church). God is not the God of our consciousness (Earth contra Schaeder). but it is no less certain that God himself is not thereby intercepted inasmuch as we cannot speak of him at all as something there for the finding: on the contrary. The transcendental thesis leaves I. he is himself in man within the act of faith . existentially with revelation. only God himself can speak of God. That this is so is no demonstrable matter of " i. And so this unadulterated development of the trans- cendental thesis makes a stand against any objectivisation of God. 4. There is therefore but is " in the encounter no prescriptive method for acquiring knowledge of God. in the act of belief itself. To make God the content of my consciousness means to understand him as an entity. fact merely true. which for the rest remains an act psychic like the others. Accordingly my knowledge of God depends in the event on whether God has known me in Christ (I Cor. for he is unable to place himself into truth. 9).Act and Being himself. it is quite certain that a specific idea of God enters our consciousness when we speak of God. he is understanding in the self-understanding of human existence within revela" " Whether he also is outside the act of faith. 13. 12. in the sense of an objecive entity.e. whether he is effecting faith in Christ within me. in Protestant verbal inspiration or in the nineteenth-century theology of consciousness. This has two consequences " " i. room for a being thus transcendent of the 93 without (of course) . man cannot transplant himself into the existential situation from where he could speak of God. Gal. : not.

but the Hence faith is subject of the believing is God himself. to understand the human I as subject of the knowledge of God (since otherwise the act of belief would have no contact with is way God human existence) and. alone. in other words. the original transcendental thesis marks a sharp " u is contrast between the two. The act of belief as acts of every kind may reflected on cannot be distinguished from the religious act. something essentially Barth) no light unless is shed on how we can them envisage the human religious act in conjunction with the divine act of belief. the existential impact of revelation. subsists between grace and reference to religion. on one side. subjectivity alternatively.Act and Being For that reason faith bringing it within reach of the I. Religious spheres. with the problem of knowledge. may though it is that too. on the other side. tion I If in the latter (as has been shown. revelation and history. God only in belief. different from But (even in religion. If in this apprehended as the subject of cognition. as not understood be essentially a psychic happening. only he indeed can hear. the what relation. to avoid identifying human with the divine I. Thus one asks what mediation there is between the divine and the human acts of belief. above) revela- was essentially religion through the identification of and being. as full readiness to hear the Word. but only God himself can bestow faith. 94 . we sever them to allot essentially different or suppress the of God if not. This is the point where the profound difference between genuine transcendentalism and idealism stands clearly exposed. it is equally pressing. " " be stimulated by man. but as the pure deed of God and of God 2.

and the believing I know nothing. 164. left for is only in the act. express.. If we were to discard this interpretation of revelation for another.Act and Being belief. However. what they are called on to sense in these terms: in this context. Whether I do or do not believe is therefore something I cannot learn from any reflexion on my religious acts. but only something acting in the act of belief. It was only within that epistemology that God's non-objectivity could be brought to clear philosophical expression and objectivity repudiated. such an exchange would only be possible if accom- panied by a critique of the transcendental concept of knowledge which played so large a part in the purely act-centred theory of God's freedom and revelation. 5. But from that it follows that supposedly mine and God's together. the position could not but alter completely. O. 1 is Belief never directed to extrinsic. Even Luther could speak W. but it may be that the concepts of objectivity and non-objectivity in the non- transcendental inadequate to 1 show themselves. A.. From the that here in reflexion on of I non-objectivity follows necessarily the non-objectivity of whatever knows God but that implies the non-objectivity of God faith. Cf. on is something in And so it only in the believing is Christ that know that I believe. never something the I of belief. I itself. because effected by God. which to say and now I do not know it. to centre my attention on my belief in such a way that I would have to believe in my belief. but it is equally impossible. Theologie und reine Lehre. 95 . 5. never be anything already present. 1926. can the finding. Here some may disagree. p. while I am in process of believing. but only on Christ. Piper.

134. revelation is inimical to for God is the master of the world. The world of my man. I In reflexive theological thought have no closer reference to my existence than to God. 133. 6. This seems to be the only way in which God's claim to sole mastery can here be attested. 1925. Qiia known. God can known having. as general knowledge it must sacrifice the cogency of the existential. 96 . 8 Idem. Otherwise he would is deliver himself into the system. It is speaking of God which first enables us to speak truly of ourselves. the I has become master of this system. p. The goal of cognition is to close Once it succeeds. No. existentially. it knowing the can be ranged within the system of general knowledge. it " " is only in this system. grasp of our existence signifies " grasp of God ". Though the latter has in principle its place within the former. true system For that reason alone. es. possibility. and the is an eschatological i. von Gott zu reden? " in TheoLogische Blatter.e. even over the extent of systematic knowledge remains in force my knowledge of God and fellow- Taking this standpoint. Bultmann is of the opinion " that there can be talk of God only as a kind of talk about " " " ourselves since the *. the world. the system. From be that it seems an inescapable conclusion that only in the act. 2 But here. at least in the formulation. For knowing Thus a chasm opens up between systematic and (existentiell) existential knowledge. " 1 Welchen Sinn hat p.Act and Being Knowing and having: known comes into the Through power of the act of the I. he expresses a view which comes near to ignoring the fact that it is impossible for faith to be directed elsewhere than to God.

it relapsing into untruth. the theology evolved from transcendental entangled in Its the peculiar reference of existence to transcendence. for the present an unanswered question. unless there were such a thing as a being of revelation outside my existential knowledge of it outside my faith on which the my faith. 135- . not its asking. thesis is Like transcendental philosophy. my knowledge could "rest". Only stands existence standing in truth. in the decision. which rests on God's having reference to the I ". 1 inasmuch as it is he discloses thoroughfare via " my existence to ourselves " to So there is no knowledge of God. It me. 97 A. my thought. W. would unless therefore be impossible to speak of God or know (wissen) about God in a science (Wissenschaft] of theology it were incorrect to think of revelation as pure act. to " " for only in God's decision which of course must also be understood as its decision " " " for God. or is we within truth only in the act of encounter may say that at a given time it has relapsed is place it. underitself. implicated in the problem of existence.Act and Being On who nearer to first the contrary. Man and decision If existence Is with God. (Wissenschaft}. 23. one might paradoxically say that God is me than my existence is. and that in such a way that it knows itself 1 G Luther. i. " " Being unable.e. the essence of which is its knowing knowledge is But a science (wisseri). it is in its having reference " to God ". itself into truth. G. In other words.. however. must be passionately interested in concepts what mode of being is apposite here must remain of being.

he does not have power over his own being. 2 3 Die Frage der dialektischen Theologie No. may truth ". continues On is clearly suggested to Bultmann by Heidegger's Existentialontological analysis of Dasein as the possibility of ontic existing. " " " or I am a sinner at this point is it true to say Outside the decision this Only I have been forgiven ". p. Bultmann 1928. And the recurrent lapse into untruth must be understood as decision against God. " den geiten. 1 Bultmann. seen from. the " " to be possible means anything in reference viewpoint of revelation. " " a Paul nature or substance. conduct. 72. for Paul. . But. if it means to be existentially or existentiell) one or the other. but as St. of interpreting " Whether we know revelation solely in terms of the act. p. a point which has been demonstrated with to sin and grace (whether " in '*. i. p. in judgment and mercy. by ceived " accomplishes hence in itself in its comportment towards God's claim. be a " known declining to decide is already decision. given that this is no process expending itself in its time (like the working of a machine) but decision 3 and responsible behaviour". 98 . but not truth for me. Here the concept of Bultmann " : in Theologische Blatter. 66. under the possibility. Thus This is the question put to God. to which only answer. No. it or not. 3. i." 1 man We 2 Man's being is not conaccomplishes of our lives". that very account. Here Bultmann differs very considerably from Barth. 43. But this question.e. as it stands in the centre of dialectical theology. the God can give " ourselves are the is not our destiny but our doing. is the consequence for the concept of existence. I. 1926. which we are. since it is at stake in every Now. his wrath against me. Consequently it includes the possibility of an ontological understanding of possibility Dasein unaffected or unencountered by revelation. " in %urischen Barth. of being determined by God or by sin". already really in. therefore as God's decision against me.Act and Being placed In truth by Christ. Dogmatik.

But even here we are still absolute clarity by G. to agere (Aktualitdt). or in grace. in the Kirsche^ 1929. for sin. The problem here is how Dasein qua decision can decision is be envisaged in continuity. to conduct exist oneself. it has instants of decision. One can interpret the historicity of being from the position of sin. i. means to stand under God's claim. just as the "with reference to transcend" ence has as its basis the reference of (transcendent) being to Dasein.e. It 99 . In the indissoluble and exclusive reference of existence to revelation the original transcendental thesis comes into its " own. The I is "with reference to transcendence.Act and Being For man. Kuhlinann. There are no a priori concepts of existence (keine Vorbegnffe fiber Existent). but it decides in such a way that its automatically a having-been-decided by the transcendental. in which case this possibility is already reality. No. Existence is in pure Consequently there is no self-understand- ing save in the act itself. Man's existence is either in sin. In Bultmann's endeavour to use the historicity of existence as a basis for interpreting its instability (its invariably " being already guilty ") lurks the danger of a concept of existence achieved outside revelation. Through (contingent) revelation there is only sinful existence or existence touched by grace: there is no potentiality. less J^eitschrift Jur Theologie ttnd need hardly be said that Bultmann is here no widely separated from any understanding of act. i. to make decisions. This might appear simple if Dasein could be thought to decide over and over again for " the possibility most its own ". but not the state of sin from historicity.

it out of the world. in itself whose favour 2 has decided. not the concrete Christian sense of the concept of guilt. 1 therefore not a being wherein existence finds is English has faith and belief where German has only Glaube. but this possibility only confirms its perpetual condition. Neither is sin a human potentiality. (Translator. whereas faith is not in itself a human 3 potentiality. nor even an absolute possibility: it too is a happening reality. in conscience. The question is: how and with what right are we to think of existence. adopt it as the starting-point of our interpretation of being may be helpful to remember that Schuldhas a basic sense of" owing ". existence of faith appear to resist interpretation as a con" " are we to imagine a being in being "* tinuity of How is faith 'V when the faith an occasional. debt "Translator. and to the empirical total I in general. as a unified whole? When we put the question of continuity.Act and Being without indication of the light under which the being of Still more does the new sin can be understood as a whole.) 3 Neither in the existential-ontological nor in the ontic sense: it is not any kind of possibility but a contingent advent of revelation in reality. divinely effected decision? to the The requirement new of continuity applies not only existence as such but to the whole I as a unity. Now it is impossible to consider this already being in guilt as ontologically analogous Always Dasein can summon itself back to to being in faith. but faith already the being of belief. expresses the existential-ontological. in particular the new existence. not even of fallen man. (It 100 . itself already guilty . because being as potentiality is confined within its own bounds. in Heidegger.) 2 Schuldig. it becomes evident that Heidegger's concept of existence is useless for Heidegger's Dasein is in conelucidating foz'jzg-in-faith. tinuity. since it is in the state of it having relapsed to the finds world. therefore we cannot " " in sin.

Gf. of the old is L In any case the new it is once It not intuitively evident. p.Act and Being itself as it attains itself. raison d'fae. not existing in order to conceive the Word of God coming the position is that the man to him. strictly the suspension of the old of the first " the non-being imperceptible.) Dogmatik. 287. (Srinsgrund may mean would modify the apparent tautology 8 Trans.. 2s6ff. Yet only a being could under- new existence in unity with the At this stage. just as and the second has its of the first ". . 2. 2 is basis-of-being (Setnsgrund) in the non-being God reveals himself "The man to whom man to whom God cannot become man(sick offenbarf) He would have to conceive himself as ifest (offenbar}. his 1 2 own 3 impossibility". It is Existen^ since unthinkable in the frame of Heidegger's confined within its existentialthis is onto-logical possibilities. It is world which is the being of the second. If understanding of being is regarded as an ontological characteristic ofDasein. 3rd edition. I. i. lie the continuity of the I. we must with some dubiety ask whether and how the being of self-understanding existence is conceivable in the circumstances of an extrinsic revelation. In Earth we find the further possible solutions are offered by to preserve the continuity of the new existence I (Earth) . to whom God in reality reveals himself must see the revelathe tion in this.. 101 . Properly understood.1 I. attempts: i. which Op. cit. 1258".. at the expense of that of the total existence (Bultmann). to assert the of the continuity of the total I at the expense of that new new I formally defined as the I is at " " non-being " not-I ". Romerbrief.. especially pp. 142. p.

hence the As absolutely supratemporal the of the Holy Spirit) must be regarded (=act as the horizontal. is on heavenly a question which puts Earth's concept of If the act of the new I has a supratemporal remain the " continuity. the new man can in fact be understood in continuity of the I. as well as the infinitude of the vertical. 82 with preceding quotations. this we maintain that the essence of the actus directus does not 1 lie in its timelessness but in above. pure negation. 102 . 6. he doubtless says everything that needs to be said. its intentionality towards " See p. Yet two considerations remain: (a) Are we to think of the it new I in unity with latter 's the empirical total I. existential act-character. averted danger of empirical theology is wholly but at the expense of man's historicity. because it is logically. total I because for that very reason conceived in is well aware that he has to define the as historical. Muller's " in %wischen den geitcn.Act and Being But the reason for Earth's statements lies in the fact that he can conceive revelation only as " non-revelation ". Consequently he can no longer render As against the I comprehensible as a historical total I. as the negation of the old man. 1 "precedes" free. Earth's Bemerkungen zu H. No. the eternal act always in fact. act of the new I whence we may more easily understand Earth's characteristic wavering between use and rejection of temporal definitions of the act of belief. However. but he has unfortunately said too many things beforehand. Lutherbuch and cf. yet his concepts have already been over-defined before he approaches that of the historical. When he comes to it. M. or does double "? the act This trial. 1929. "any" Earth historical act: In essence.

to insist that faith there is still an essential difference my identity with myself this which identity between my asking. identity with not-I. to cross and resurrection. 1 This is may be reproduced a valid application of actus directus the proposition (see p. Christ. even if it does fulfil itself in the concrete. 2 above) that the may offer material to reflexion. conscious. and knows itself. it is on this very point that the dialectical method of discussing God hinges. I. has a basis of unity. here founded in and reflexion at (b} all. because it is freely given by God. about and my asking about the grace of God in Of its nature. in faith. belief can must have its basis. In this way the problem 1 once more reduced to that of the actus directus 1 Naturally one cannot fail to see that Barth himself tries his utmost can only believe in God. since it 103 . Notwithstanding. This is as much as to say that its essence is expressed by its manner of touching upon existence by which we mean the totality of historical. to It is in this sense that be critically affected with it by those dogmatics has to grasp the problem of continuity. For " this reason alone it is not amenable to demonstrative heres and theres ". Belief knows only an outward direction. though no longer call itself in question. psychic event whose material and submitted to reflexion. one of the I and another of the is not-I. though in its pure intentionality directed on Christ it does not enter not-I are envisaged in the relation of interbelief of the I must be directed towards its the negation. could still believe in this iaot-I 3 or whether there are two distinct acts of belief. temporal Existenz. which as believing is already not-I. as an act of the If I and empirical total events. For Barth there would also be the question of how the believing I.Act and Being which is not repeatable at will. But this forces the act of belief into a " " crooked path.

1928. So far. for is neither an existentiell I nor existential possi- of my existence. No. so ce as a believer I would have clear to find myself already in Christ. and thus import reflexion into the act of But this distinction has decisive consequences for the concept of existence. 104 ." 2 The Word of forgive3 way into historicity. an account would still be lacking of what is meant by being in Christ ". 6$f. Zur Frage der No. how now in " 3 being already in guilt. It would appear to can be thought of as depend on the possibility of somehow bringing this being of the new I into conjunction with the concept of existence.Act and Being 2. since the historical fact of Jesus Christ. not at all As find myself already in guilt. 1928. Even supposing the possibility of an existential-ontological unity of " existence. 4 To us. 1 2 Cf. The God it becomes the new it is I in toto. unless we are to assume a discontinuous new I. " We are always on trial. Bultmann's concept of historicity enables imagine the continuity of the new I with the total whole I stands under God's claim: in decision for him to 1 I. " in ^wischen dm ^eiten } 1928. Bultmann. to see whether we want to belong to God or to the Devil. so good. Christilogie pp. Always entirely itself. unbelief can doubt Christ belief. in relapse to sin the old I. 67f. Theolcgische Blatter. 4 3. to see how we will seize the possibilities of our historical existence. But how can we now envisage the new I in continuity? Is ness points our being in Christ constituted only by every conscious act of decision for Christ? What is the the Devil? this decision bility And what in this case is decision? " " to belong to God or to of wanting meaning Clearly a decision by God is postulated. pp. I But it is Christ. 8 Theologische Blatter. " 3.

These arise in the first place justified man remains a sinner. Thereby the which God has turned into the direchim. we are left with a new I that 105 . In this he veers from the genuinely transcendental thesis towards idealism. that possibility realisation. One must first digest the manifest simplicity of the conception before proceeding to a few questions. The problem of everydayness the concept of direction. The interpretations of revelation in terms of act and of being are genuinely combined. and which. Seeberg who here provides a positive view. appears to require the idea of the Church It is for its in connection with his R. which might be claimed Is as the will of the justified man? the everyday direction of the will really direction to God? Unless this be so. does good of its own accord. the continuity of the total I with the new I. The new tion I is the new will. evolved Lutheran studies. from Seeberg's concept of sin. possession of the new seems to be satisfactorily solved by " " means the Being in Christ direction of will. what are we to think of the continuity of the total I? Secondly. which points to direction. From the stand- point of his logical voluntarism he introduces the concept of the new direction of will.Act and Being however. being now in the right histori- city of the I. and the continuity of the new I itself are preserved. The What can that mean in Seeberg's theory save that the constituent of the justified direction wrong direction is still a man? If accordingly the new must be regarded not as continuous but as interrupted by the old. is there a will not consciously aiming at God.

Act and Being


Once again we should recurrently perishes and revives. for continuous Because look elsewhere to being.



seems impossible

must be sought or given in each discrete to form any answer to our


Again, the concept of direction does not guarantee the unity of the concept of the person. As a factor of no more
into individual acts

than psychological standing, direction is subject to dissection and whatever interpretation may be

Here Seeberg gives occasion to revive the objections propounded by Luther in his momentous exposure of nominalism: man must be conceived as a unity before we can set him over against the oneness of God. This unity, however, is something which a psychological concept, as


unable to convey: even according to Luther,


Nobody knows his own sin; man is own motives, nobody wholly knows unable to understand himself from his own psychical
self-impenetrable in his psychology-

experiences ;

they are susceptible of every arbitrary interas

Be that


since, as

is human self-understanding only oneness of man, and since the understanding of man supposes a potential reproduction, the unity must be sought where


was shown above, if at all from the


created or re-created and this being-created is " executed on " him yet also with him where man must


himself, without interpretation, in utter clarity


reality. man, of human This existence, is founded solely in the Word of God. Word permits man to understand himself as " being in Adam " or " being in Christ ", " being in the communion 1 06




to say that the unity of

Act and Being
of Christ ", in such a
in the


that the fact of the unity's basis



identical with the fact of

basis in being

Now this is not an empirical datum given to faith as revelation. Only in faith is the unity, " the being ", of the person disclosed.
or Christ.









of revelation

Unmistakably, agere sequitur esse, the basic ontological thesis of Catholic and traditional Protestant dogmatics, expresses
the antithesis of transcendentalism.
It is the esse

which we

have to interpret; the business of ontological analysis is to understand the continuity of man and revelation. It has to " " in it, and of man that is establish of revelation that God " " " he is before he acts, and acts only out of that being ".

it as,

ontological account of the being of revelation defines " in principle, transcending consciousness and objec;

can somehow be brought to givenness, it exists, is accessible, in being; it is independent of Within the consciousness, does not fall into its power.


there, present,

ontology itself, this definition is open to divers readings. In complete contrast to the transcendental endeavour,



from the outset



explanation of revelation in terms of being. Revelation is understood: i. as doctrine 1 ; 2. as psychic experience;
3. as



If the essence of revelation

taken to be doctrine,


theory ",





Act and Being
explanation will follow in terms of ontological concepts, for doctrine is basically continuous and accessible hence can be freely accepted or rejected. If God binds


himself within a doctrine of his nature, he may be found in that doctrine, understood and allocated his place in human " existence ". But this leaves the existence of man unaffected, unencountered.

God, even one which

states that


together, there the

Even a doctrine of the merciful wherever man and God Gross must stand even such a




no stumbling-block




modern way of

thinking), but rather a wholly welcome " addition to our The stumbling-block, the system ". our arises when is really affected, existence scandal, only

when we

not only hear of the Cross and judgment but, hearing, needs must deliver ourselves to them, that grace may descend. If, then, it is only a divinely created faith

which can appropriate the doctrine, it is clear that to revelation qua doctrine is added some other constituent which in one way or another exceeds the ontological

of man.


this it follows that






only as doctrine, the Christian idea of

an attempt to seize God with an ontological apparatus which is adequate only to the human.
revelation eludes the grasp, because there has been

here revert to the attempt to understand revelation as an experience in consciousness, the justification is
2. If



we now

see another aspect of the fusing of act-


being-concepts which was demonstrated above in respect of " " of the entity is conferred on idealism. The objectivity
revelation once

understood as religious experience.



then present in


experience, understandable, 109

Correspondthe grace infused into him through the Church is ingly " being ". the reference is if religious. But in understanding revelation it is not a question of reproducing amenable to Thus this classification in the or that experience in principle.. including his quotations from Aquinas. That his substance should remain untouched by the accidental quality of grace opens a problem unsuitable for discussion here. human system of experiexistence here. The stress is laid on the being of man. therefore. disclosing it and transplanting it into a new manner of existing. unaffected. Lehrbuch der Dogmatik. as well as Protestant orthodoxy with its assertion of the Bible's verbal inspiration. too. this sense is to overlook the decisive is point of view it understand the being of the new this From likewise impossible to since existence is man. 3. is but of knowing that revelation something else which lies beyond revelation qua experience. II. the last possibility of grasping the being of revelation trans-subjectively appears the to consist in conceiving it as a divine institution a view to which the Catholic Church adheres. ioif.Act and Being ences. even reproducible has impinged upon my existence. " " is as one directly confined and In the institution God at the disposal of man. If former attempts ended by delivering revelation into power of the human subject. 110 . from which it follows that to underto stand revelation in factor. any experience. Catholicism takes is this to mean that whoever is in the institution in God. cf. Yet the being of man located wholly in the trans-subjective. Again. in the represented from the outset as a kind of is form of a habitus entirely (habitus entitativus/). Bartmann. goes unaffected. 1 but it goes to 1 On how far the substance is affected. pp.

directed into the path earlier forecast. His said to have its foundation in the trans-subjective. and so they revelation is whereas entities are are unable to be ob-jective in the full sense. hence are useless in . The reason why this: these three ways of explaining revelation in terms of being are inadequate to the Christian idea of they understand the revealed God as an transcended by act and being. for there therefore the outside. entity. that it must be ". Man assimilates them into his transcendental I. stand over against man. on the other hand it is correct to make hand the Church should here be conceived not in an instiThus we are retutional sense but in terms of persons. being of an institution is ontology of man qua sin. be ob-jective (gegen-standlich] in the That is only possible in the real meeting with another person. c< To from outside be added no less however. no genuine " outside ". This. the stipulation of the this other.Act and Being show that even here the being is existence of man is unaffected. though. full sense. can be impact on his existence only "from outside" . should indispensable. it cannot the existence incapable of affecting anew. from this we see that although on the one the transition from the ontology the to revelation of concept of the Church. new being must be founded and sustained from and the sacrament of ordination which is basic to the Catholic idea of Church stands warranty for that. for it is defined as such by the fact all of coming from the farther side of possibilities to intra-existential impinge on existence itself and create it is not guaranteed in the Catholic The of revelation. truly the whole existence of man which is transplanted into " " a new manner of being otherwise even the outside is .

to be conditioned by the act. but even this admits of differing courses (consider who from this position arrives at the idealistic system). of course. problem entity through happens " but everything depends on the interpretation of" through There is no hiding the fact that the identification of of my " neighbour entity and revelation failed to It arose make articulate ontology. hence ob-jective for demonstrative indication (Aufweis) or for intuitive percep- demonstrable in tion (fur das Schauen). ontology thinks it only through the entity that being can 112 . being in the manner of entities (seiendes Seiri). since it has a different reason from the Kantian for the transcending of the entity. crucial problem of is critical ontology is how the " " being to be thought of in distinction from the The critical suspension of thought in being is the only way of preserving the basic thesis at all. whereas transcendentalism holds the entity. on that frontier of thought any genuine where the compulsion of inner logic broke down and the paths of transcendentalism and ontology diverged. Here the indicated entity. the latter sus- pending entity thought itself in being. Indicated being is still. Yet in principle the being of the is the entity. or the creaturely. qua objective. but that raises no ^difficulty for ontoHeidegger for example. hence transcended by the non-objective. unless God (Gogarten. which therefore also transcended the entity. Grisebach) That this himself assail and turn man from his ways. logical thought.Act and Being for theological explanation of the revelation in Christ which bears The against entity. the " claim existence of man not even in the Adam's very manner of existence. cannot shake the " Thou ". that is to say. " " of is the revelation.

The knowledge of revelation an object of knowledge qua entity. But the phenomenological method is carried out within the already bear within him the potentialities of essential vision i. while at the same " " time within itself man's intention of it suspending faith. The system rises up on firm ground as the in-itself adequate knowledge If revelation is of revelation. B. however. final givenness. It must rather be thought of as enjoying a mode of being which embraces both entity and non-entity. this concept of revelation as an object there would correspond the phenomenological method. for " " which entitative revelation would represent the supra- To formal.Act and Being be brought for the to pure demonstration. the knowledge " *' the being behind the of revelation and can lay bare him within he because already knows what entity deep existence of man.e. whether they are interpreted transcendentally or onto-phenomenologically. for man must From that it follows. here. Human existence itself cannot be approached via such entities. And so a genuine ontology of revelation demands a concept of knowledge which involves the existence of man without . it follows that there must be a direct positive knowledge. here. that phenofail to understand Christian revelation.e. substantive a priori of cognition (i. of faith). must menology which it thus regards as an entity in the sense of something being is. Thus pure ontology of revelation it is as wrong to volatilise revelation into non-entity as to treat it wholly as entity. " " not contingent. but there for the finding.

114 we have seen. that he could to this entity. to transcendence by act or being. that submitting. . and constantly recur which it is there for It stands at his disposal. and a cognitive object " " stands over against (Gegenstand) which in the full sense This means that the object. .** The conception freely following result for the finding. without. Secondly. whether be religious experience. borne up by this entity though this assurance can only consist in since. in principle be independent of its being known . of revelation as an entity would have the man's stock of knowledge. one to which cognition cannot however have recourse something there for it must always of which presence at will. Church. it may be an entity only in the non-committal sense of being rather " " than not being. Man as " being in . would c. as if to its finding. but in the itself be suspended in cognition. firstly. must the I's manner of existence constrain and challenge (entgegenstehi) the I. The Gegenstand must at all times already entgegenstehen. . the three-in-one person self-bestowed be the object of our knowing. like the spuriously objective entity. on us. Then indeed the revelation preached to us of God in Christ. As such it must be an whose entity being and existence underlie or precede those of the I. it must is. as the fact that man remains by himself.Act and Being languishing in utter act-subjectivism. it must confront the I in such a way that man's very knowing is based on and suspended in a being-already-known. finally. the verbally inspired Bible or the Catholic He knows himself assured by this entity.

it must involve the existence of man. because therefore the entity is still subordinate to the I! this. But since this being must affect the very (the existence) of existence of stituted accompany by it.. etc.**. possible to think of the being in continuity. suspends defines the " . again. " " understood as being in Christ ". Indeed. . but that this being is the divine our picture is complete provided that this is person. this definition. . none of this can have impact on existence in the way we have defined.e. of religious " " in the institutional Catholic Church.. by itself. it must be man . and finds itself under the protection of this entity." in such a way that cognition. finding itself in the world of entity. And so the I allots the entity a place of precedence over itself. must two however. taking on the mode of entity (das seiende Seiri). It can never stray from the protective " area of jurisdiction " of the verbally inspired Bible.. satisfy all-important requirements: i. there must be existential acts which and constitute it as much as they are congenuine ontology where a as it comes into its own. experience.". . as entity. This being in . This is it man. If we add that the reality of revelation is that very being. which constitutes the being man. the factuality. i. it is Yet. freely subordinates itself to it with fides implicita though it can only do because it thus feels a final selfbecause it is thus enabled to remain assurance. 2. being in the " Church ". inasmuch being in .Act and Being the entity as such is finally given into his power. only one kind of knowledge is compatible with a kind which is also demanded by the true ontology of revelation: knowledge that the existence of " " is invariably a being in .

116 . God's knowledge of him. his knowledge From here opens the of God.Act and Being itself when confronted by it the being of the entity that and does not force It is under its control. it from this position becomes permissible to speak theologically about the nature of man. prospect of genuine theological concepts of being.

the concept of science (Wissenschaft). for man's cognition of God. . Accordingly we have the 117 . a survey of the important questions raised I acquire understanding of existence of It has myself? already been shown that the (Dasein). 2. How are we to think of man's mode of being? " decision or as being in .e. 1.THE CHURCH AS A UNITY OF ACT AND BEING First. 4."? How can the continuity of the I be affirmed? .. There is no true cc from outside " save in revelation. How are we to think of revelation's mode of being. from either analysis of revelation for the i. the system? In what follows an endeavour will be made to treat these questions in terms of the concept Church and to answer them from the position gained. actwise or ontologically? What is meant by the freedom of God? What theological account can we give of the " " of God in revelation? being As 3. What results concept of knowledge. : Whence do existence of man can only be radically affected from outside and understands itself only in being thus encountered. positive theological knowledge (Wisseri).

themselves are not possible from within Dasein (hence not doctrine. 3. 2. the mode of being. not an event of divine provenit humanity. this lies outside the possibilities of any autonomous philosophy of Dasein. of the revelation of God. 4. be fully understood until brought into the light shed by the idea of the Church. In any philosophy of merely existential possibilities there can be no place for the contingency of this event of revelation in the Christian Church. which has bound us to itself event.Act and Being i the Church as the centre following heads of discussion of the understanding of existence. truly and by placing us in truth has bestowed on us under- standing of Dasein. man's : . the problem of A. visible. would not be a contingency in the not revelation. the event called revelation. stands on these premises must condemn sinful ance for the atonement of Only one who as untruth the attempts of Dasein to understand itself out of its own possiBut if it is a deed of God which involves man in bilities. which implies that 118 . The Church as the place where Dasein all is understood to or deter- The foregoing discussion has focus. it is not really meaningful to assert that any fail attempt at an autonomous understanding of Dasein must a priori. in fact. unless we stand on premises which deny Dasein These premisesthe possibility of placing itself into truth. otherwise fullest sense. knowledge within the Church. mode of being within the Church. within the Church. institution). in Cross and resurrection. been directed mined by one fectly which up to now has remained imper- The discussion cannot. experience. but represent a contingent " from outside ".

where the Church is regarded as constituted by the present annunciation. the present. munion. raised B. for the com" Present ". because it is is revelation only in this annunciation that the event of realised in and for the communion and because. Man's being involved in the event called revelation must here be conceived as being in the Church. unless the annunciation happened. is the only way in which its contingent (i.) "9 . by nothing less than God or The time has come to define these premises more closely. " " the means here means the spiritual Christian community^ never the Eucharist. i. character makes itself known for contingency is extrinsic) only in presence. coming In the concept of contingency as happening which is " " coming to us from outside. this present 1 is determined by the past. sociological category. inasmuch as the (in principle) " " of the rational background obtains. within the communion. stresses At all events the present " to- Bonhoeffer ". may " Communion be remarked. (Translator. viz. of Christ's death and resurrection. Revelation's mode of being within the Church Revelation should be envisaged only with reference to the Church. the beforeness secondly. alike.e.e. the present is determined by the future. What is past. as "having" " background ". the literal sense of ^ukunft (" future ") it coming present German " " and " presence Gegenwart. in the system. as a theo- and from this viewpoint the questions must then be discussed and answered in connection with the problem of act and being.Act and Being the premises can be justified the event itself. is " " " 1 the future should raise it to to us in presence ".

ii. 12. for the very qualified as future. in the present. to something future. loses its meaning altoChrist is the corporate person of the Christian gether. the body 23. " It follows. iof. 14. 16. is 30. in its special qualifica- " occurrence tion of the is " yet to it come is unique event of Cross and resurrection.. 12.. i. 3. reason that the Christian revelation. therefore.. The communion Gal. yet having happened ". is 1. 6.Act and Being is But the decision it determined by one or the other or both. 2. 15. " the Christ existing as the Christ of the present.13. is as the communion 13. a corporate Col. 6. Eph. in Christ: I Cor. Rom. 12. may be said that the annunciation of Cross and resurrec- tion. person whose 1 name also Christ: 28. I Cor. The Church of Christ: 4. 2. together with the event effective within it. 1 I2ff. that we may not to come ". it must happen in the present: that is to for say. communion 3. is 8. Col. Christ in the i. The annunciation and the communion are so interdependent that each. is 12. 16. serves even to raise the past to the present and. 6. interpret the Christian revelation as that for man living in the Church. II Cor. determined by eschatology and predestination. Col. 3. Eph. Of the Christian revelation lies with man. 5. 1 2O . 3.. 4ff. This could be the starting-point for a philosophy of time peculiarly Christian in comparison with the concept of time as something reckoned by physical motion. the communion within In annunciation the ". must be considered within the Church. Christ is the subject annunciation (Word and sacrament) and communion alike. regarded for itself alone. it is never per se. paradoxically. 17. this unique 1 Conversely. Rom. 13 and 19. community for the Church common to communion. " " communion: see especially 1 Cor. I5f. i. is always ".

nor of a union among such as individually seek or think to have Christ and wish to cultivate this common " possession ". 1 Cf. pp.1 which sometimes takes the form. Jesus": This is 10. binding itself in duty to them. here given himself to his new he humanity. ordained for the rest of time until the end of the world and It is the return of Christ. in which Christ reveals or rather. put on the Lord 13. 3. See further Scheler's theory of corporate persons in Der Formalismus in In my Sanctorum communio: eine der Ethik und die materials Wertethik. itself. it is a communion created by Christ and founded upon him. also Kattenbusch. " to der Kirche. so that his person enfolds in itself all whom has won. 24. Note also the expression " " put on the new man 27. and Traugott Schmidt. 14. Der Leib Christi. 1930 dogmatische Untersuchung zur Soziologie I sought to apply this idea in the dogmatic field. 2 (new edition 1954). why the Protestant idea of the Church is con- ceived in personal terms. ". himself as the the the new man new humanity This is where the question of explaining revelation in terms of act or being assumes an entirely new aspect. " and the The tension between " Christ existing as persists. God reveals himself as a person in the Church. Eph. Col. 3. The meaning of a human community to which Christ is or is not self-superadded. Eph. 1436. community heavenly Christ whom we await 121 . i.Act and Being cf. The Christian communion is God's final revelation: God as "Christ existing as community". and them recipro" " Church therefore has not the cally in duty to him. 1921. sdl. 23. 4. God gives himself in Christ to his communion. Gal. in the Festgabe Harnack. 2 here that Christ has come the very nearest to humanity.. and to each Quellort der Kirchenidee **. Rom. one Setfrepo? SvQpviros. no.

It is such a in the personal that the gospel can truly be declared gospel. is communion. in preaching and sacrament furthermore. The distinction between thinking of revelation individualistically and thinking of it in relation to community is fundamental. and it is precisely that which proves it God's freedom that he should bind himself to men. The communion genuinely has at its disposal the Word of forgiveness. it Revelation. woven itself into the personal communion. have been forgiven ". When the sociological category 122 is . Both the transcendental essay at act-subjectivism and the ontological attempt to establish the continuity of the I envisaged consistently the individual man. that man in is never the not even the one "claimed reality only single unit. demands* primarily a Christian sociology of its own. every member of the Church may and should " become a Christ " to every other in so proclaiming the Christ. happens within the communion. God's freedom has bound itself. but also by the Christian Church as " thou art forgiven". whether in of God is given to mankind. the gospel to the communion thus intro- of Christ.Act and Being individual as member of that communion. All the problematics we have examined so far have had an individualistic orientation. in searching for reality ". such. existentially. This he does in way that the active subject in the communion. it follows. of both the annunciation and the believing of the Word. and believed. They " by the Thou". and only there. The Word munity. There. " I in the communion may not only be said. overlooked.. and he was the rock on which they both foundered. but invariably finds himself in some com" Adam " or in " Christ ". revelation is in some way secured or possessed. then.

ec Thus preaching is me that the gospel is proalways heard. The preached in the Church. If the individual as such were the hearer of the preaching. the yet it the Christ of can only be a question To-day. even if heedless on such and such an occasion. in an entity which in principle is at my disposal and has no direct connection with my old or my new existence. therefore. claimed and heard. 2.Act and Being duced. 3. the existence of man is critically involved. i. This ensures three considerations: i. his death and resurrection. but it is the Church " " I were itself which hears the Church's Word. pure and non-objective act which at certain times impinges on the existence of individuals. as objective. neither can the being of revelation be conceived solely as the ever-free. wherein the individual finds himself to be already in his new existence. the being of revelation can be envisaged in continuity. the problem of act and being and also the problem of knowledge Is presented in a wholly fresh light. as non-objective. No. " " is the being of the community of the being of revelation persons. The being of revelation does not lie in a unique occurrence of the past. or on the other hand as non-entity. continuity of revelation means that it is constantly " to come "). Instead of the institutional Catholic Church we have the so it is " not in man that the continuity lies: it is community as the trans-subjective pledge of revelation's 123 . It is outside " " is in his community. the continuity would still be endangered. it is impossible to regard the being of revelation as entity. constituted and embraced by the person of Christ. present (in the sense of the futurum. that Christ And suprapersonally guaranteed through a community of persons.

Act and Being continuity and extrlnslcality the " from outside " (cf. the communion guarantees the continuity of revelation only by the fact that I know and believe myself to be in this communion. all we have said about the being of revelation in the communion would be pointless. later. Here the problem of act and being receives its final clarification by taking the shape of the dialectic of faith and Church. At the same time they become. us in what they both demand and promise. as such. drawn into it. If the being of revelation fixed in entity. he finds himself already there and as one placed into the truth of his old and new existence. is vitally affected by this 3. hearing the Word on concrete occasions. is 3. the existence of man can only be It is only from the so affected through the communion. the person of Christ that other persons acquire for man the In this way they even become character of personhood. in that its subject is For only through persons. it remains 124 . But the existence of the individual man. This fact derives from the personal quality of the Christian Christ. 2. inasmuch as. the pledge of revelation's If the existence of man were unaffected by continuity. not present being. and transplanted into a new manner of Since moreover the person of Christ has revealed communion. and only through the person of Christ can the existence of placed into truth existing. In other words. itself in man be affected. revelation within the communion. in Christ for their existential impositions upon us from without. communion. below). point community. Continuity which does not also impinge on existence is not the continuity of the Christian revelation. but bygone entity. But of that.

Only thus. if it is volatilised into the non- objective.e. on the terms of things". can one observe and preserve the hovering between entity and non-entity. existentially Impotent. " there is ". in " Christ existing as community ". in the (i. is the Church which hears and believes the preaching of the Word. Qua extrinsicality the personal revelation presents itself in correlation with my category.e. It is as such a mode of being that we understand the person and the community. It belongs with individualistic. in a sociological essentially distinct from the category of is " There " is existentially indifferent. The community Christian in question is concretely visible. 1 is definable only with reference to persons. remarking that the German es gibt is more firmly " " the given ".Act and Being past. Here the possibility of existential impact is bound up with tion genuine objectivity in the sense of a concrete standing-overagainst: this lets itself be drawn into the power of the I because it is the it itself imposes a constraint on existence. its continuity is lost. i. its conduct is believing and loving. manipulable 125 . because extrinsicality. embodying both the continuity proper to being and the existential significance of the act. epistemological thought in " Revelation's mode of being.1 It is whole existence. the available. with notions of Translator. concretion of the mode of being of a true Christ- founded) community of persons. It may be worth " there linked than is hence dominable. The Word of this community is preaching and sacrament. other hand. And so the being of revela- must enjoy a mode of being which satisfies both claims. It is in this concretion that one must think of the being of revelation.

266. " " For the man in untruth revelation remains. authenoperari se sequuntur. as there is remains. Seeberg. Ficker. Ergo has fan. c. through the person " : become genuinely a person. the of Christ. that is to say. hence any concept of existence tically ". 26fF.. cf. It is only itself that revelation can be conceived real existential being. and the relevant literature mentioned in the Notice. the given. also the Notice and off. II. there is In the " there social context of the person the static ontology of " is is set in motion.Act and Being " There is " dictory to seek a It is self-contraonly the entity. esse. Existence is defined as pati. the passive position. Of course that is only comprehensible to the man who is placed in truth. i ed. Prius est enim esse autem pati quam In relation to God man one can speak of existence only as of existence which undergoes. 126 . is God " is " in the personal reference. E. And so we come to require an account of the being of man in revelation. 67. no.. I. There is no God that " there is ". I. (as by Christ) or the " " such impact is inauthentic (including " " authentic existence). his neighbour has man for whom. Man's mode of being within quam operari^ prius 2 the Church esse. an entity or thing which this one's relation and attitude are neutral in the sense that " person towards the existence of man is within the in its communion not critically involved.. ist sein and (?his) being his being a person (und das Sein Personsein). Luthers Theologie. p. " " on the farther side of entity. is a "sufferer": Luther is speaking " of the nova nativitas. Komm. Earlier we made this Heidegger's which ignores impact from without of absence 2 Rom. F.-Br.

doctrine. quoted in the Lutheran Cf. it To 1 believe as much as to say: to find was already there. its belief. 127 . 3. Faith has being in the Church as its condition. Seeberg. little given by God). p. 40. and E. God. or tiality and how the concept ofpati includes existencontinuity. since faith is that his or nothing of God. etc. save in connection with " " of revelation the I in existential acts. Existence in this sense is existence in social context with reference to Christ. 1. 3605 R. And faith man has much. only as sinful as forgiven. conversely. studies of * A. no being entity in Church. 40. There is a being only in faith qua act of preserved at 2. 342f. 2. is not where he is not believed. knowing is itself accepted or rejected* Existence. 523. Seeberg into his system as 2 There is no salvation except religious transcendentalism. It according to the only in such faith measure of of which the first aspect is not infrequent in Luther. 44 above. " " of atonement. as an ascertainable in faith. Faith invariably discovers itself already in the Church. i. If we are to discover how human existence. To " become (it a member of Christ's Church this is believe being understood that not a is man must human possi- bility.Act and Being concept of existence into a critical yardstick against which any other must fail. therefore. 1 has been introduced by R. we must look to the concept of the " Church. To that u " is it would appear to correspond.. When it comes to know is that it is in the Church. Here the sola fide seems purest. This conception.. that God only in faith. as pati y in the communion of Christ is related to the problem and of act and being.. man " has " God. his grace and W.

The being of revelation. only in faith. " seems possible to combine in reciprocal complementation two views so opposed as that of Flacius. with his perseverantia sanctorum.Act and Being the community of Christ already present. All hangs on itself not as somehow conditioning but as conditioned by. Faith encounters a being which is prior to the act. of its own being or non-being. Whereas the former's doctrine of man as imago Satanae according to the justificatio could never become a 128 " " being of man but . this: that it knows being. with his perpetua justificatio. his own being in the is Church of Christ. the continuity is indeed only in " but thereby is really preserved as being in the believing the Church. this or even creating. it depends on this being. Faith knows independent of it. and that of the this From point of view it Calvinist Zanchi. would be disrupted by the discontinuity of acts. because it knows itself involved in it as a special declension of it. Since however faith as an act knows itself as the mode of being of its being in the Church. There of revelation. the Christ-communion. 3. the faith knows that the being is wholly independent of itself. These two propositions must combine to make a third: only in faith does man know that the being of that revelation revelation. on the contrary. is inde- continuity continuity of existence. If here faith were understood wholly as an act. created by. the continuity of being pendent of faith. but there again in such a way that faith qua believing is suspended only in " " c< faith qua being in the communion ". is is only in faith. The being is not dependent on the faith.

scarcely have failed to see. hence of man's new being. which can no more be affected by acts than vanish altogether: what God has chosen is chosen for eternity. based on predestination. Zanchi claimed knowledge of a being of man. no " there is ". Zanchi likewise would have recognised that the act of faith alone can penetrate to the being. for he thereby guards against an ontology seeking to understand the being of the new man as an implanted psychic habitus. only in the that comes under consideration.Act and Being must be re-created in separate acts. for ready reference. it can be asserted only in Predestination as a doctrine (seeing for faith. that his concept of faith is individualistic and inadequate. one that understands the act and whose con- tinuity this and genuine extrinsicality understanding. against 1 which Flacius correctly recognises which Earth takes a different view. which here is no entity ready for the finding. whereas concepts of being derived from the idea of the Church are always formed with reference to the act of faith. historical revelation in Christ) produces concepts of being which. but one to be known and known again itself in in the act. to Zanchi was undoubtedly right wish to express the continuity of the divine activity at work upon man. regarding predestination as the mystery " " this renders a lies before and behind everything. 129 . the divine knowledge of his own predestina1 tion. that individual acts of faith are already within a being in the communion of Christ. to the extent that man has at his command. Both ignored the central significance of the idea of the Church. but Flacius is no less justified in demanding a perpetua justificatio. Flacius could from the standpoint of that idea. assume the form of entity. therefore entity. being impossible.

It is through the sociological category that the dialectic " of faith and being in . the man we must the historical man who knows and who himself transplanted from the old into the new humanity is. for Flacius faith remains an actual constituent of that new that the act of faith being. and The concept of the man is tied to society.Act and Being is in one way or another an essential of the component being of the new man. yet he knows at the same time that humanity drew him into its sin and guilt when he was powerless to resist. however. a person who is only in the act-reference to Christ and whose being " with reference to " Christ is based in Christ " on being the act " " is and " his communion in such a way that in the being. in the end. He is the bearer of the new humanity 130 ... stay unaffected. while the suspended being itself is not in the absence of the act. a person re-created " " by Christ. rather than its correlative manner of being. The person. as a synthesis of act and being. He has himself committed the sin of the old humanity. existence of man would. in Part Three. 4. is always two in one: individual absolute individual is an abstraction with no corresponding reality. It is not merely in his general psychology but in his very that humanity. by membership of the new." in the concept of man finds its concrete interpretation. consider is No. which will be argued more explicitly man In accordance with the being of revelation. the being of should be conceived neither frozen as entity nor In either of these cases the total spirited into non-entity. When existentiality his existence is touched (in judgment and mercy) he knows that he is being directed towards humanity.

falls apart into religious life and profane life? What are we to make of the fact of everydayness? Even if the I. the I and hear the same time new humanity now individual as then. I know myself borne: therefore I believe agere is am borne I (pati) y therefore I am (esse).Act and Being in his faith. see him and the congregation praying for me. Man these but such a supposition collapses against the historical reality of Christ's communion and my membership thereof. yet knows that he borne in all his actions by the communion. affected. 1 is as individual and man as humanity. Here I. at / hear the gospel. sacrament and prayer of the communion of elsewhere. For even pati here. (agere}. as " " here " there " takes the shape of empirical communities of individuals revelation. and humanity tothat is. I join in the prayer and I know myself joined into the Word. prayer and affirmation. Christ. Needless to say. In reality I hear another man " declare the gospel to me. It might be supposed that man's humanity-being could be understood as an abstraction without the slightest effect on existence. man one in two inseparable aspects. is but another way of saying man as act and being. He is never one alone. I I believe. The circle closes. but the One or though it is in faith the New historical a member of the new humanity which retaining always remains the historical One. by Christ. am encountered. see him offer me the sacrament: thou art forgiven ". gether. Is though the mode of being of not the continuity of the I destroyed by the fact that as historical. . the historically whole man. Adam or in Christ. especially Luther's Sermon on the is said below on being in Holy Body of Christ. here as bear it upon me and am borne of it. 1519. 1 See also what Cf.

being in continuity everyday psychical datum). Because the humanity wherein I stand. forgives sins (in preaching and sacrament) inde- pendently of me.Act and Being we refrain from describing historicity. only in faith that this being " is ". as a divine punishment. Being transcends entity: 132 be a manner of being of that it is the basis of the entity . prays for me. in existenti" but of course only in faith ". " But what is meant by the unity of the historical I in (e. as faith " is which I believe to unity in community. my everydayness is overcome within the communion: only there am I embraced both as individual and as humanity. being always the whole humanity whereever I am. The unity of " " " is the I only in faith ". faith. Everything points to that If it were possible for unbelief to discover conclusion. and knows itself to being. the evangelical understanding of faith would be at fault and being would be entity. 2. 20). simply not identical with would once again be explicable otherwise the being of faith " as entity ". in the historical community be the communion of Christ. 5 Se vvv & v crap/c^ v & Faith is " with reference to it is " being the Christian com- munion of conversely.g. yet faith knows it to be independent reveals itself or itself. which I myself also am. The while it indestructible unity of my I is guaranteed even crumbles into everydayness: (Gal. which ality and continuity knows itself possible by virtue of the communion and is abolished within it. just because I am its member. the difficulty obtains only from a Religious acts are standpoint of unbelieving reflexion. everydayness.

The being of revelation. 100. Just as unbelief is no discrete psychic act but is the manner of being in the old humanity. being independent of the act. Thus act comes from to being.) 133 . 14. (Translator. unexpectedly coalesce. with a phenomeno: logical system of autonomous self-understanding as corollary. " decided 6. as the manner of being in Adam. Faith knows that it comes to its decision as to one already decided. and the original ontological principle of I alike. for faith alone may assert it. As the being of God does not have the mode of" there so this applies also to the being of human existence 1 is '*. Eph. Since the transcendental and ontological theses are here in the sociological category. as the manner of being in the For though faith is Church of Christ. as it also goes has reference to act. 16. just as unbelief. above. "stand in faith" (I Cor. yet. p. moreover. the existence of man combined is conceived to lie as essentially in decision as in ** already act.Act and Being and the being. whether Cf. but this is not decision a general principle. the result is is as incompatible with the idea of revelation as Kant's rational transcendentalism. is " person " the revealed person of God and the personal community of which that person is the foundation. Being. 3.i. i.. 12) as in the " without a conscious act of faith. it embraces the whole of existence in Christ. as hovering between the objective and the non-objective. yet is free. Of course if being is understood as entity. 13. Here the transcendental thesis of " being only in the act ". being in Christ (or Adam) ". I Thess. 8. I Peter 5. II Cor. n. embraces the whole of the old existence. 24. so belief1 may correctly be seen not only as an act but as the manner One may therefore of being in the Church of Christ.

W. . but it " " " is ". III. is in of God. for the it is new being whose manner W. yet " " is to disrupt the continuity of the new intention their being. Sermon on the Holy Body of Jesus. Sin and death. therefore. 119. sin and death. There is in sin or in faith. . 2. but this they do in such a way that the munion now I likewise bears with me my sin and my death. 1 Cf. Enders. or that death is the temptation of the crd/> live v <rapt<t. et my eternal con- which endures Here gaude is the application of pecca Christo* fortiter.Act and Being no believer. " " " " human no given there is existence. qua encountered. no sinner. set Here again the thing "-conin motion by the category of social " If in faith the whole man is to be embraced by the com- munion of Christ. by is virtue of the Word of acts within the Church the existence affirmed. is but only forgiveness and life. in the execution which same acts the unity of ception of being reference. and Tesseradecas. 746^. me believe that sin can finally put temptation which will have me beyond the pale of demnation: while I God's commonwealth. reach into the communion comin of Christ. A. 208. faith can embrace the whole of the entire historical in everydayness. A. 6. sed fortius fide in And so through historical life communion. Luther's especially * Luther. sin and death must be contained. because it bears the man. because the It is communion with me.. while no longer 1 see sin and death in the communion Christ himself no longer a sin. i3ofF. My sin is my death is no longer a death. must impinge on existence and be in continuity.

61. lines 6fF. Thus when I collate Dogmatik.. which do not all describe. it further to or against judgment of knowing with another of not-knowing. lines 5ff. pp. when one looks more closely. That and 9. 460. in other words. I include in my thinking a factor it a priori uncertain. Dogmatik. that the obligation of God to his Word is limited by the freedom of God which is beyond all which renders in means binding. The endeavour to regard revelation as non-objective and make it thus indirectly the object of cognition means that corresponds to the whatever when I speak of revelation God may have to say that I always counter a I always take into account it. even. to lay hold of any unequivocal concept of dialectic in Earth. 456. with p. Section b. never in reflexion). i. a factor which consists my is adding the antithesis to the positive proposition. 135 . 2 That Earth's dialectic. 3 Idem. a confusion of three entirely different concepts of theological dialectic. 1 is Man's knowing is it not-knowing.Act and Being D. The problem of knowledge and the idea of the Church We have yet to discuss the concept of knowledge which being of revelation and the being of man. I do not think possible. Schumann. To speak frankly. cit. Only on this under- have free speech. I. 22 iff. 64. op. 457. p. the same aim and concern one might rather say they leave doubt as to whether dialectic is here a method separable from the heart of the matter (cf. to remain standing 3 at all times a subject (supposing that God is only in the God-effected existential act of faith. I. and p. possible for God to We 1 see here the interconnection of the actwise interpreta- it is at least is its general sense.) or whether Earth's whole case does not in fact stand or fall with it. p. p. lines 1-3 ? I think to detect : * Cf.

wrong to say that there generally speaking a not-knowing. of revelation. To leave open tion. instead of as Lord and creator of both. of my theological thinking. How knowing then becomes knowledge (Wissen. inferred from an idealistic-rationalistic anthropology. three Theologically existential this knowing takes ecclesiastical. (d) It is Wissenschaft) is another question and a later stage. with the must be content with dialectical theology's on its own faith instead of having direct reflexion permanent recourse to Christ. that communion. which corre- sponds to the if it is belief " knowing in faith. (c) is to to we rationalise. once we believe. tial reference to the community.Act and Being and the non-objective concept of knowledge. (b) His being bound to the Church is the freedom of God. event. it means that I have God always at my back. prospectively and retrospectively " " with reference to the transcendental. i. will and what mean is be made clear later. a knowing which stands in the We can know what is given to us positive Cor. the contingent positivity of that " know " from preaching of the revelation given to the Church. Here the transcen- dental view of the act. the seal is set on Gold's non-objectivity. God must in some way be bound quite apart from my individual act. in (I " must be. 2. is. 12). result that I A further consequence is that God is virtually defined as the subject of my new existence. In the first place. we know without not-knowing.e. There faith. is as well oriented . (a) The whole conceptual nexus may If revelation has an essenis conceived individualistically. It is forms: these disbelieving. a fateful error on Earth's part to replace the Lord and creator with the concept of the subject. dialectic this To be objected: any freedom of God beyond the event of salvation formalize.

Whether such cognition is possible is a 1 senseless question here. defined therefore in sociological terms. which correspond to distinct sociological functions of the Church: knowing as a believer . hence three concepts. 6. as framed. op. knowing in first preaching and theological knowledge. To a concept of knowledge envisaged in a sociological category. cit.. In understanding this we first need to distinguish between three ways of knowing. of which the the others ecclesiastical may be called existential and cognition: is Knowing as a believer a question of fundamental socio- means knowing oneself overcome logical epistemology. we must extract our answer from the result of defining the being of revelation as personal. the being of revelation. from the isolation of unbelief. accepting whatever consequences may follow for the concept of knowledge itself. whence it can only be answered It 1 Horens ".Act and Being served In fact better served as by the Idea of the Lord and creator lies by the concept of the subject. whence a defective concept of knowledge. 2: " Die subjektive Moglichkeit der Offenbarung". "Die Moglichkeit des See for example Earth. When we come to ask what truth remains in the interpretation of this failure arises From the act which underlies the non-objective concept of knowledge. 17: 137 . and blessed with grace by the person of Christ through the preached Word. But the ultimate reason for the inadequacy of Earth's explanation in the fact that it fails to understand God as a person* a defective definition of the being of revelation. there must correspond 2. since it derives. defined as that of the Christperson in the community of persons called the Church.

knowledge one can of such. Section 2. The asking of such a quesBut tion postulates a concept of existence as potentiality. inclusion in a transcendental it is I. which for its part acknowledges the freedom of the self-giving person and testifies thus to its absolute If however the person in revelation should extrinsicality. in the course in itself a distinctive kind of knowing: for annotated sentence. yet by virtue of freedom from the knower.Act and Being with an Impossible! (incapax!}. Bonhoeffer uses both erkennbar and wissbar. *By Nwhtseinkonnen Bonhoeffer presumably designates the person's freedom not to be an entity or cognitive object. The importance of Wissen here is that it implies compendium continuity. The person " " and a unity which overrides the bifurcation of entity it is non-entity. On the knowability of persons there are interesting pages in Max Scheler's Vom Ewigen im Menschen. its the knowing I. there remains only the as held in restore its to which only the person itself can existence of freedom-not-to-be over human power If the I as the power of acknowledged never falls into the power of objective. the typical knowing as positive storable a in ". freedom genuine objectivity.e. (Translator. The knowing of persons is of " knowable ". briefly. to postulate its possibility with respect to God is to uphold (contra Barth) the respectability of a positive theology. It gives itself through the Word to the I in the act of faith. its i. remembrance. its How. " Word " withdraw from cognition. knowable.) epistemological and of acquisition wissen for of knowledge. not to be (Nichtseinkonnen)^. its ability to withhold itself from a cognitive intention. " live knowledge. they are distinguished in his usage by the employment of erkennen to designate the " instantaneous " act. whence Wissenschqft 138 . Its object is the person of Christ which is preached This is an object which resists within the communion. faith a God-given reality: one may question its manner of being or becoming. but not the actual fact of is its being. in " Probleme der Religion ". or any non-objectification: stands as person over against man as person.

but the peculiar extrinsicality of " " the Christ-person claiming my whole personal existence both as guilty and as forgiven: the extrinsicality of the theo-sociological category. But even the external world. Herein the peculiarity of the theo-sociological category. It is not yet it that of the external world. " " nor stabilised by a there is and turned into something " " there for the finding of cognition. sustaining his claim And so it is that through the extrinsicality of the Christperson the external world takes on fresh meaning. as a contingent pre-requisite. it cannot conceive that this having-to-suffer derives it from itself lies but must recognise that comes from outside. Only here is Without Christ my very reality sheer first-hand decision. But through the person of Christ the Fs fellow-man is also rescued from the world of things. In the communion. one which. the extrinsicality sought in individualistic epistemology is a given reality. and drawn into the social sphere of persons.Act and Being person suffers the impact of the person of Christ in judgment or in the process of incorporation into the communion. as mediator of the spirit of Christ. can no longer be called into question. no than is more my possibility of self-assertion neighbour confront me as (Grisebach). to which he of course continues to belong qua entity. Only through Christ does my neighbour making some form of absolute claim on me from a position outside my own existence. The extrinsicality of the Christ-person is essentially transcendent of existence. (here " " through in the sphere of including the empirical Church) should not be classified " " There is " presupposes the there is ". which is only known for truly extrinsic where man is in Christ. 139 . is only in its action on human existence.

dary perhaps the first to reduce the problem of transcendence to the historical (geschichtlich) personal wills (see p. which applies only to the Christ-based personal community of the Christian Church. 140 . i. which with regard to the being of revelation is inapplicable even to the external world. since the being of revelation is the very basis of " my being is a person. mindful of this. is The judgment. the almost certainly Thus faith discloses a new sphere of knowledge and may be left open objects. The person " is cc " is only in the self- giving act. problem of the encounter of two Yet even this 43. n. which The sociological replaces other concepts of knowledge.Act and Being position of the detached observer. therefore. and less than the mode of though the point for the present that the first mode is the foundation of second. that of existence in the social reference. And yet the person It that to which it gives itself. which has already fallen away from direct reference and bears merely upon One must digest and be constantly the residual entity. 31 above). i. " " outside ". Now we have found that in our sociological category we have the point of union of the transcendental and the onto- logical epistemologies. that there " this person a reflexion. Christ that is in independence of through the person of " acquire this understanding of the person. the bouncategory has served to redefine the " was Dilthey's attempt (cf. creation. attempt has no issue or fulfilment save in revelation's encounter of the divine person and man. p.e. above). that the personal mode of being is being no " there is ". The Christ preached in the com- we munion gives himself to the member of the communion.

also Part Three below). as my who Lord has power over me.e. and this very reflexion must indicate that connection to the direct act has been interrupted. i.. In the act of belief. the movement of though not ascertainably in demonstrable Where and when I believed is known theres and thens. and confirmation. above. inasmuch as believes within me. is for there Christ is his In faith Christ at the els avrov the creator of same time the Lord " with reference the my new personal being " to which is person is created. my existence. In " " have Christ in his personal objectivity. but for that very reason he impinges on himself to be known by it. religiosity "that there is an actus directus taking place in time. This is the fundamental problem of everyday141 . gives faith passes in time. to only abides in itself as actus directus (see pp. " is is " " only in " faith. he gives me the Holy Spirit who hears and he also proves himself the free Lord of Christ faith. As concrete being-assailed by Christ.Act and Being Faith means knowing that one has reference to this. ness" " (" Glaubigkeit"). losf. faith I In faith there own and witness is no not-knowing. For such a dismissal itself reflexion has no justification. yet he is master of my He the absolute extrinsicality for it. Reflexion discovers always to be already in reflexion. Nothing could be more mistaken than from the fact that everything is accessible to reflexion reflexion therefore faith only as "faith-wishfulin only to deny. thus existence determined both prospectively and retrospectively in relation " " is to transcendence: it between transcendent poles. my existence. which Christ himself creates within me. redeems me. Faith is God and inaccessible to my reflexion. atones for me.

as one who addresses the communion. There may be no uncertainty here. the existential proposition that I have " been forgiven would in itself be no vehicle of the ecclesias" tical thou art forgiven ". as " " in remembrance ". 130 above). I preach. for in the preaching which produces " " be declared the of subject the spoken words. 2. 1 Of course this too is only a statement from faith. Jesus Christ the crucified announce the gospel to hearer. no not-knowing: all must be made plain from the Word of God who has bound (I Cor. for. given that during the preaching itself I could overcome temptation in the act of faith. act. but I preach in the strength of Christ. preaching and sacrament. 2). He has full power to the to forgive sins in faith Christ causes himself to himself in revelation. The preacher. and we are left with the condition of predicatory and theological knowledge. Notwithstanding.Act and Being ness. The person and the Word have ing my existence) separated. which involves reflexion. the Word of the Crucified. its matter also must reflect in principle always heard. and must bring it to expression. Although by its very nature my faith. the preacher himself For over against reflexion stand becomes problematic. the strength of my faith. that is. as a temporal embraces the whole of my existence and though it (or is abolished in being within the communion 1 (see p. for reflexion there remains only the past ec meanspoken Word of Christ as a general proposition. which depends on the community whose office preaching is. 142 . Thus through the manner of his utterance. must " know " what he preaches. For that reason preaching is " on the matter of his address.

helps this in other words. of the Christ-person which is confession. stored as entity in the historical Church. the Word its it prayer. creative Word of the Christ-person itself. much as ing. As such it assists the Church to it. for Church there is none without preaching. But how " if is it " the preacher to speak " correctly possible he can only propose "? This sets the problem of theological cognition. preaching and sacrament. inasmuch as for it Now to preaching. So existential not knowledge. given the promise that when the preacher correctly utters the " " " words and propositions " (pure doctrine recte docetur) the living person of Christ attests itself therein. the Bible. hence the question: how is theological science possible? Theology is a function of the Church. such knowledge possible? In theological reflexion I am detached from the intenis how is which vanquishes temptation. to say that stands between past link which is as and future preach- Theology should past preaching to the real 143 . words in remembrance about a divine event. nor preaching without remembrance. as office of the communion. preaching. Theology its is therefore the science which has own premises as object. but theology is the memory of the Church. to understand the premises of Christian form dogmas. To positive end it must have knowledge (Wissen) of the Christian affair. but he is unable to speak the living.Act and Being " " " " " only general propositions ". is discloses itself to the hearer. It has its object theological in the remembered happenings of the Christian comtionality of the faith munion. These the preacher can reiterate.

seems. knowledge reflecting amenable to grouping within a system. on in Even the connection with the living person of Christ is reflective and as such systematic. account theology must stand in intimate relationship with preaching. yet on the other hand submitting humbly to its direction. here. theological differs in essence from all profane science. the spoken Word of Christ in the Church^ from which fact has authority to 144 it make general . it impossible so long as gives out its propositions as existential or as faith-inspired (which in the end is the same thing) . is On the contrary. as such. Dogmatic knowledge therefore is principle entity. It follows that logically dogma It not the aim but the condition of preaching. dialectical thought. obedience of thought. not in method of thinking but in In itself the dialectical method of no humbler than an avowedly systematic the reservation is Moreover. It is positive science. it may only be practised where the living person of Christ is itself and knowledge thought and knowledge. On that present to acknowledge or destroy that entity. immediate claim to humility in theology existential force. Yet if the connection is genuine it has been made possible not by the pursuit of any theoretic method but by cleaving to the heard Word in humility. theological thought are only possible as ecclesiastical Because theology turns revelation into entity. as he preaches and is preached in the communion. then that in principle theological is is not is different positive from profane thought. and in this way there should be proposed to future preaching a dogma on the basis of which it can preach with Christian rectitude.Act and Being person of Christ. has no thought. despite the foregoing. has its own given object. for it preparing its way.

9. II Cor. In sum. 9). 2. for there is real talk of God and sin only when Christ speaks of them here and now. the For communion needs theology. it knows that the the theology. theology says " sins neither God himself is nor sin itself forgives implicated. We may keep before our eyes. at dogma. not of speculative. Word it hears is ever its communion that all this acquires Only the communion knows that and again repeated in a sphere no more than the custodian. 2. concrete struggle. theology is unable to speak but once the community of Christ is aware of its creatively. can never go wholly astray. theology can never conquer the real temptaIt is a matter of the tions of faith with its propositions. Needless to say. i. Then in the it may and should take courage to " " " " may know even as Paul knew it (Rom. is it aims at the system. 4. manner not of existential. i. that theology is general pronouncements are meaningless without their confirmation by Christ. so that theology. but that both have been used to form a general proposition. knowledge. Eph. It ecclesiastical fulness of God. but of 6. if it but earnestly place within the communion. of which the issue must first be won and lost. 14. knows that the very dogma on which preaching builds is the result of " direction " by " It knows that when God preaching. But it only within the Christian particular meaning.Act and Being pronouncements. between Christ and Satan. beyond catalogue and memorial of this Word. 5. 12. speaks of my sin specifically in the " existential now ". as . I Cor. who stands by the may be certain of the faithWord he has given to his itself community. taking place in the direct consciousness of man. theology's limitations practise it. 2.

even theological thought. it is tions. in the special circumstances whereby the preacher has to utter the Word before an empirical assembly of the his- 146 . For preaching it follows that the preacher must be a theoBut predicatory differs from theological cognition logian. that it takes its its own method more seriously than is premises. theological propositions of forgiveness and redemption. This is known by the in which it is practised. that theology's tendency to " can works intellectual be (Herrmann) justification by appear only in the knowledge of limitations. In the final analysis. unless the general proposition becomes a living occurrence. munion to allocate and allowing the combestow its meaning upon it. and indeed it would its but also of " selfits justice and necessity. i. 5): it is obedient when it does not abstract itself from the Church which alone can shake and rouse alone it it from the systematic. they themselves are a collective temptation. 10. place. communion Here are the bounds of theology. the Church in which has meaning.Act and Being much as we like. unless Christ in person speaks to us his Word of new creation to transform our existence. can counter the urge to justify myself with intellectual works in no other way than consonant with own by inserting is my theology into the its communion of persons (which the theologian's humility). only because dialectical theology thinks individualistically. in constant abstrac- overcome.e. In reality the position is such that I. yet there is obedient and there is disobedient thinking (II Cor. will always be " and can matic nature therefore never by comprehend the living person of Christ. " systeThought. speaking as theologian.

Christ wishes to address the communion. however. everything hinges on the office. since this To no reality retires from demonstration as an it. and for the hearer this Word is a word of For himself as a separate individual the preacher " not to pray cease may help Thou my unbelief". as borne by the office it is productive. any reflexion must obliterate Faith looks not on itself.Act and Being communion. gation he utters that prayer no more. but for himself as ordained to the office of preacher to the congredecision. because the communion wishes to hear it. is in essence equally an individual and a member of the communion. through his very self. the preacher communion dogmatist is primarily. whereas the essentially an individual and secondarily in the is communion. This Word is not spoken torical as an existential confession. but that is namely Christ and his communion themselves. in this very place. entity. The preacher. utely can be answered only by faith's reality. The believer. resume: in the knowing of the believer there is absolThe question whether faith is possible reflexion. The only possible vehicle of the proposition " " thou art forgiven is the office. essentially. and plenipotentiary. the individual is permitted to declare that forgiveness because he must. not reproductive. But. but on 147 . Thus the object of this cognition is no the already spoken Word but the Word to be spoken longer here and now to this assembly. announces the gospel in the full power of the communion. knowing that at this very moment. Sociologically. As that of an individual the preacher's cognition is also reflexive. second-hand. nor as pure theological doctrine from the very pulpit. in the and secondarily an individual.

Word of the person of Christ. but in the office of the congregation to whom he must declare the forgiveness of sins the preacher sees his knowledge as that of the communion. here alone is unity and wholeness of life. man is either in Christ or in Adam " 148 . as certain as that If the object of the believer's knowing is is of Christ. As the action of an individual. predicatory is no less reflexive than theological cognition. at such and such a place. we now see.. I believed. but the faith which believes faith. therefore as appointed with authority to edify the communion* Let us return to the mainstream of our inquiry. that of theological cognition the living Word the spoken Word. and so he comes to know that his old being was being in Adam. with the problem of a theological doctrine of man's self-understanding " " in connection with his by revelabeing placed into truth " " In faith man understands himself to be within the tion. The being of man has no formal. (see Part psychological properties dis- sociable from the proposition that " Three). Church in his new being: he knows this as an existential reality which lay outside the bounds of his own peculiar He sees his existence founded solely by the potentialities. He lives sub specie Dei and otherwise not at all. That such is faith takes place in the it is " direct consciousness " not reflexively reproducible in its actwise reality. Whether faith is faith can be neither asceris tained nor even believed.Act and Being Christ alone. that of predicatory cognition the Word to be spoken and declared to the communion. Being is to be in Christ. The general investigation must conclude. wherefore one may never say: on this or that occasion. metaphysical.

this medium of meaning. is placed into truth. (Translator. But because here is untruth (cf. " objective nection. Thus it It is at once the sinner and the just man who know God. " " that it affects is not because God's Word makes sense the existence of man but because it is the Word of God While God knows 2 1 . the Word. Here erkennen is existential. who himself be man. though not as if from this. in which is his " " " But word erkennen. This truth is one bestowed.) . though is God makes is not necessarily cf. Here. .Act and Being " " connected with truth. being " is Christ. " ist eine gesetzte Beziehung. 2 man of nature man (as pure in Christ. one's connection consisted in one's being in it). " imposed from without But gesetzt) of idealism. until he is existentially jus of justitia is synonymous with the Gesetz of gesetzt: the true law or normal order for man (BonhoefFer seems to imply) is the existential."ordained in the Adam) preceding paragraph. were to grow the But through possibility of autonomous self-understanding. it is Jesus Christ himself. the " everyday sense demands A kennt B ". (fallen it . unlike gives itself to unlike lives. gesetzt also means " " as opposed to the (selbstself-imposed 3 " it does not therefore mean scientifically institutes. But to be known by God means to become a new man. epistemological in this context the act-connotation of intention must be stressed in the usual Know ". man knows God. even in the case " of that truth ". Thus the mediator must always be " " lucid the "sense ". lacks his essentials. i. Christ the crucified and risen known by by man. the connection of existence to him is a Man is " positive connection l (justitia passiva!). The *#/ra-ordinary. presumably. .) " " A knows B " when this order to distinguish the sense from that of " A is means acquainted with B ". 4if. " positive the con- pre. because he "is in truth. here. Man not creature). unlike known by unlike pp. This truth is no longer the self-imposed extreme of the self-transparent I (though. above).e. " " as from a given meaning of man. (Translator. ordains. revealed. refers to truth.

autonomous self-understanding. this self-understanding in the instant of belief. in which And so his case he would no longer be the theologian. " no longer a case of self-understanding which has been placed into truth " that it is in faith but of If " reflexive thought in the service of the Church ". to " oneself in recollection his own self-understanding and ever being able to understand only " by . under the onslaught of Christ on my existence. is it understood that a theology meaning serving. his active. however. limited. He knows is that his doctrine of human self- understanding circumstances. when he understands himself wholly ravished from his own sense and redirected God. he could not overreach himself. can only be stored in a recollection. one may adapt 150 . It is this understanding which is removed by two stages of reflexion when I under" " can only understandstand myself to this extent: that I myself-in-recollection. it is autonomous thought. non-sense. anthropology remains a theory unfolded in these pages in like any other. to is Thus man. in faith. For theology. where the Word of Christ is held in remembrance and living person is mere theory. to serve the concrete as Church is in reality subChrist. unless Christ were to tempt and overcome him. Redeemer. Atoner. likewise the concrete doctrine of self-understanding in revelation which is is. system.Act and Being " " sense of the Creator. Only in the Church itself. yet It is in that this Word is fulfilled. the nomos of is Where a theological self-understanding concerned. even if that meaning is countersense. itself. For such is the theologian's reflexion on himself.

the contrary. something for dogma but dogma particular theology is right is " " is directed by the preaching of the living Christ. the theologian's rubric sed fortius fide et is Reflects fortiter. 15* . Which to say. we discover the enterprise of theology to be based on the structure of the Church and to be justifiable Nothing of this tends to justify On only in that context.Act and Being Luther's dictum. any particular theology. gaude in Christo.


PART THREE The Act-Being Problem " in the Concrete Doctrine of Man " " " in Christ In Adam or .


existence as a creature providing the substratum of the ontic modulation which is sinnerhood. 15. the doctrine of causae secundae " " becomes unavoidable.e. Komm. Definition of" " being in Adam " Sola fide credendum est nos esse peccatores. If it were humanly possible to know oneself 12-14). 45. cf. 155 . hence being in Adam would have to be " ability to be in regarded as the potentiality of a deeper truth ". 69. 1 is To be in Adam " It derives 5. from the Bible (I Cor. his not being in truth) to some more fundamental being of his own. 1 Seen in this light. If in this way it is contested that the whole of man's being is involved in his being a sinner. this would mean that the sinner remains being in Christ the creature. pp. Luther's words I2ff. a more pointed ontological equivalent of esse peccator. Rom. neither " being in Adam " nor would be an existential definition of man's being. II. Rom. 22. Luther. Theologically expressed. as resting on a being untouched by sin.BEING IN ADAM A.. there is danger of semiPelagianism. for it would mean that man could place himself into truth and could therefore turn back from his being qua sinner (i. 15. a sinner without revelation. Picker. ontologically.

alone.. Man in Adam) can never be outside " revelation has broken loose from alone. by God's Word. to tear himself loose from God where he is bound to him. That he should now begin and end with himself in his cognionly to be expected. sunk into the world of things (cf. devisings. and to bind God to him with a Word which as he reads it has not come to him ". because it is founded solely on God's Word: God's Word demands faith. and now he stands he is which " is in untruth.Act and Being are thus intelligible: we may never comprehend our a whole. his fellow-men have " Mitsein "). How has man been behaving since? He makes use of the properties wherein he has been created by God just as if he had not become a transgressor through the disobedience of one. . for means in untruth. That we are sinners in the whole of our being is a knowledge accessible existence as only to faith in revelation. thus also with men. That (i. in culpable perversion of the will (the human essence) inwards to the self cor curvum in se. as if himself as he is and lives. He makes use of truth to make God a liar. tions. for he is utterly in the falsehood of naked self-lordship. whereupon to insist that he disclaims his own righteousness. 1 Because world. Kohlbriigge. or righteousness to set up his own self-righteousness. as if he had not fallen. p. Heidegger's God has become a religious object. but man himself has is " his become his own creator. sin '. use of life in order to 156 . 52 after ' Man '* and * * . F. delibera.. the world communion with God. for it is only then. is revealed knowledge which " in Adam acquired. 1839. as if his entire heart. notions. that the whole of our being can be placed into truth. were not perverted and perverse. tion is 1 " by himself" Ontologically this means that sin is the violation of the H. his own master and property. He makes deny his death.e. . : did not lose the image of God but lost God himself. * he had become disobedient God called him flesh and his conduct wicked *. Das siebente Kapitel des Briefes Pauli an die Romer.

as existing " " in sin with reference to God. His to shudder in alarm. " critical philoeven when it purports to question itself as sophy ". begins to fear himself. all knowledge. not bent on man's ultimate justi- fication in his But there comes a time when. wherein creatureliness and sin are separated in a manner which remains to be described. (Translator. because the Dasein is still in the power of the Wiesein . under the Atlas-burden of a world's creator. remains correct. Christ. exalting himself to be his own final judge. because the I has become existence. it can be derived only from revelation. own silence of his eternal solitude. he proceeds to his own indictment which is couched in the language of conscience. Thereupon.and Wie-Sein is meaningless. its own master and itself taken possession of its Furthermore. have rendered above as Three these German words will be retained when used in contrast. the knowledge of sinnerhood is impossible from the state of sin itself. mean respectively and manner or quality of being (what we " 157 .Act and Being Dasein (the being of the creature) by the Wie-Sein* that when we come to the concept of sin this ontological distinction between Da. conscience and remorse of man in Adam are his 1 The final Dasein and ** Wiesein. so long as it will not allow revelation to drive it into the historical Church of is excluding yv<50t o-eavrov. when charged. ontological definition of And so the as being a sinner. man answer. Any man attempt to establish an ontological principle by fastening " " the idea of the creature to Adam must lead to the Catholicism of the analogia entis. a pure metaphysics of being. is remorse (contritio activa!). The thought and philosophy of man in sin is self-glorifying. thereness the actual being (existence) " In the rest of Part ontic modulation"). in the cold eyes.} and " newness ".

. but is unable of itself to kill 6 man. his situation.A. W. W. who leaves man to himself in untruth. W. the final confirmation and justification of 1 Man makes himself his self-lordly. helps us to pray and weep. even more it lurks pp. 2. p. before God. 40. which holds him prisoner in himself and " sin grows also and look only on those sins. 511. Luther." 5 Luther. 27f. But the cry of conscience serves only loneliness of bis desolate Isolation. 690. so this conscience must be mortified when Christ comes to man. . " For sin does not only lurk behind evil. op. yet it would be the remorse * 8 of Judas.A. that bids him is ashamed before God and is 5 sorely punishes itself 5 *. 3 As a sinner he abides by his sins. If we now do good. for he sees them through his conscience. 2. 74. 4 There- of the Devil. sin permits us to strive renounce till evil and struggle. mis" " seek himself in himself 2 . self-masterly attitude.A. W. cit.A. . 719: "in which belief. cit.. sounds without echo into the world that is governed and construed by the reaches the confines of his solitude but.. Kohlbriigge. Luther. . 6 This was put with admirable clarity by H. to dissemble the mute self. : behind good.. 689: the sin in the sinners nor in thy conscience. if it were possible that thou hadst the remorse of all the world. 226 : ". F. On the duo diaboli. because is indeed it is his final grasp at himself. Man unable to 1 But against this see for example Brunstad. 2.Act and Being grasp at himself. 40. W.A. the defendant and exhorts himself upward it to his better self. the value-reality of the unconditional-personal is evidenced in the conscience ". continues to reading in Man Adam he hopes by remorse still to preserve his sinful existence. cf. can fore this conscience drive to despair. Conscience can torture. to which contributes the foolishness of our conscience. 687. which rather angers than placates God **. op. " 4 Therefore thou shouldst not look on Luther.. . . i. but waxes great through too much looking and thinking on it. we faint 158 .

thus does it drive and goad us to maintain through this very care our wretchedness in the sight of God. A. and only to maintain himself in the same he wills the good .Act and Being will his own death even in conscience. absolution and a constant unmindfulness of the purification of bygone sins. . 674: 159 . .A. not from love of God's commandments. the sin of us all. man dies for ever. . 40: . ipsius vires seu . kills all that is under the sun". applying to his service the service of God. " This is aware that I fell short of God's glory. . yet man .. " a Luther. 29: "I made a thousand protests against all wicked desires. and himself stays fast in the death which is the flesh. I God that it might sanctify me through and through." And on p. this Caeca est enim natura humana. . Luther. I sundered myself from my flesh. in the challenge with which the Cross confronts the sinner. It is only when Christ has broken himself placed into truth. Nay. turn superbe contemnentem et ignorantem suae corruptionis et captivitatis. . I cried out for the spirit of I believed. . that he may procure himself rest in his unrest. 18. the high-priest in the temple of the religiosity of all flesh." And on p. 18. . ut nesdat suas morbos potius9 deinde superba videtur sibi nosse et posse omnia . is he clings to himself. persisting in his man through the solitude of man that man knows sink. did works: but all that I did as one pressed by necessity. 37: that I might not come to be sins and let me soon after feel remorse. they are conferred on him only by the encounter with Christ in contritio passiva and faith.. . I did good out " Then it plagued me with of enmity to God. W. To of God means to be dead or to neither of which be placed in truth in the sight live.. For such piety and holiness is well-pleasing to the flesh. armed myself with tears. W. 1 There is his limit. Here is penance. .. but these are conditions can impose on himself. who. exercises of penance and tireless prayer." And on p. whether. I shunned the will of God even while I strove to act in accord with it. . scriptura autem definit hominem esse corruption et captum. .664. therefore his knowledge of himself 2 imprisoned in untruth.

1 itself the Moreover. it is only recognised If for what at the instant of Christ's break-through. in either case true is " thought knowing itself given only through Christ. Cf. 70. it is that is to say. However. the temptation which leads to man's death is work of Christ. was to die through The severest temptation of the law. guilt knowledge of oneself towards Christ. this difference is analogous to the relation of faith and faithwishfulness. (Translator. God without Christ. conscience man and God. however.. of the deus in sua majestate? It is temptation by the death of Christ as end j* in principle not possible to lay down the difference is between real temptation by Christ and temptation by conscience. 2 In Luther. as the last grasp of the self at the self.) 1 60 . hence exclude Christ and the it made a Church. certainty about this is never to be won by reflexion on the act we remain psychologically self-impenetrable probably no idle coincidence that Holl both defines Luther's one of conscience and admits a possibility of finding. Luther* p. as Christ died). If " master of its world corresponded to the condition of this now is state recognised in its true colours as isolation. where its " seeking of the self in the self".Act and Being isolation. there Christ come to the end. intended to It is 1 religion as imply an impossibility of meeting the deus 8 in sua majestate in Christy Literal translation. It is not. or dies to live in truth with Christ (for die he must. to direct line of communication between would circumvent God's self-obligation the mediating Word. the essential implication of this expression is that of a God not bound by the Word of grace. for man dies of the law only because Christ died or (in the pre-Christian era) the law. in the first commandment. grasp is more than a is truly final at work. Where the I has truly reaches out of itself.

Act and Being but only in the direct contemplation of Christ and his Hence Luther's countless activity upon me. last. measure of agreement with und Glaube bei Luther. in the real temptation.. Jacob's Der GewissentMiiller evinces a large H. 1928. see for example pp. G. his Ich glaube an den dreieinigen Gott. 1 kills man in order to give or not give him that self-understanding It is is possible know when and where only all-important to crv"yi<pLvovTe$ &a. within me. 1930. 161 . That is just the astounding thing about conscience : upon me through man hears only himself in an ultimate and frightful isolation. IO. 475: essential nature one could hear the voice of the actual basis of ethical and he reality". 1924. All three credit Luther with a religion of conscience ". Stoker's Das 1925. there. the other side are to be placed Gogarten's criticism of Holl in Ghristtiche Welt. While I am reflecting on myself in order to find Christ. from myself and never but through myself.. 1929. by Heidegger II. 1926. article Gewissen to " in R. der " On Hen.G. own faith. so restraints are imposed the experience of conscience..vTol<$ a.VTOv<$ jjierpovvre^ KO. Conscience may be termed the voice of God only inasmuch as conscience is where. Grisebach in his Erfahrung begriff in der Theologie Luthers. and Grisebach's " : And Gegenwart. Christ life.VToi)<$ the living Christ approaches us. as formal ontology the definition of 1 With reference to the current debate on conscience c Holl's Luther.G. 1927. Jesus Christus. admonitions not to look on one's own remorse. because the attempt to understand oneself from oneself remains in sin. and R. therefore thinks to be hearing himself as God. Seeberg's Gewissen. Christ is not If he is really there. 5641?. . 267-300 of Heidegger's Sein und %eit. (II Cor. is which " is influenced the and Tillich. 1927. still but to look on the Lord Christ himself." And on " It would be overrating oneself to maintain that in one's p. but in this way the restraints are never really imposed from without. I see only him. only in his comtemplation. relevant phenomenology of conscience. See further pp. M. Brunstad's Idee der Religion and the work by Hirsch.L ov But. e<x. 12). his Theologische In the Tradition und theologische Arbeit.

only for wilful self-determination against God. Sin. and so to minimise the gravity of guilt as a distinct concept. " essence ". to the effect that one is responsible character of sin. 162 . Adam " as I and as humanity Sin is the narcissism of the human will. Any choice made The a in self-seeking sense must be adjudged a sinful act. but in the (empirical) light of one's conscience seems false to understand sin-g^-guilt as the being of man. therefore sin importance of defining sin in this way lies in this. this argument fails. must be understood as act. and 1 is this only through knowledge overrules whatever coni. Here one may it attempt to differentiate sin and guilt as respectively being and act. 157. that it does not seem otherwise possible to preserve the guiltunderlying this as an empirical datum is the dictate of conscience. Will has no reality save as which is to say free and conscious. Fundamental to this conclusion is a concept of conscience as God's direct voice in man. be regarded as man's attempt at We have knowledge of what sin God's Word. above (Translator). of conscience to restrict sin to the act should self-salvation. is act. B. misunderstanding through the usurpation of the Dasein by Wiesein* in the sinful act of pretending to absolute power over oneself. The interrelation of act and being the " in Adam " is something we " now have to examine. n. such as The endeavour was outlined above.But if we accept a different explanation of the experience of conscience. Christ's mediation of See p.Act and Being human existence In Adam as sinnerhood is correct and To being in sin corresponds the act of selfsufficient. then.

" there is ". all speculative dualism tends to subscribe to this metaphysical theories of satanic Here an ontological prius. So la fide credendum est nos esse peccatores. In this tarnished non possum non peccare. since the whole of the old is continuity of man's being in Adam is judged by the death of Christ. man as humanly generated. Sin conceived as entity is man's exculpation. The death of Christ reveals that the man must die to the law. Sin is understood as a pre-temporal deed underlying the sin of the present (of this view Julius Miiller is the latest exponent) . is given undialectical with all the fixity of sin. In one way or another sin is fastened to the By embodiment call nature of nature. over act the of primacy Yet as entity sin cannot touch me existentially: I transconception. Thus the necessity arises of in sin. it would be theoretically and humanly possible to find one's way back to a sinless being. If sin were no more than the occasional free act. as in the doctrine of original sin: we the may process historicisation. as well as cend it. hence the complete inexculpability of the recurrent act. being must be ascribed to sin which on the one its A mode hand of ex- presses contingency. The concept of nature vouches a priori for sin's continuity and existentiality. psychologisation or naturalisation. 2. in the shape of an entity revolt. Adam The understanding sin as being. I remain its master even when it overpowers me. revelation in Christ would have whole become redundant. and on the other admits an interpre- 163 . There are two ways in which sin may be understood " " mode of being: entity having the 1.Act and Being science may have to say in dissent.

I find myself already in the humanity of Adam. the whole its my life. charge with each sinful occasion. the very first to do the inwho does it still sin. And for the very reason that the deed of the individual is also the deed of permanently consigned into this old humanity. to fall As man the which came humanity. and it is knowledge . and because I wished to be alone the master. man must know himself responsible for the entire It is not possible to demonstrate the guilt of mankind. hands the I. kills But Christ's death kills the whole of my humanity. or I see that in me. peculiar interrelation of individual and " " connection otherwise the entity humanity as a causal mode would once it is more come into play but knowledge of 164 given to the individual as part of God's judgment. I am alone in my death. whose whole weight I continue to lay upon me as a dimensions. <c " is not. humanity fell. In the judgment brought upon I see me by the death of Christ entirety. humanity does I is also this my own free deed. for I am I and humanity in one: And from God. the taker of I decisions. the act. The New Testament itself lays in our very concept of being which we seek: Adam as and as the person of humanity. therefore Christ is my death. myself perish in of the actor am as guilty person. through me. As an individual it for it is and was always in humanity. which again and again were self-seeking: determined myself in false ways. my for I myself. act. so the I's humanity in in the man. necessarily. But in this he conceivable.Act and Being tatlon of sin as the master of man to whom man has utterly delivered himself. my debt before the Cross grows to monstrous fall it is very Adam.

: psychologising interpretations. but then in all individuals the one person of humanity. . while conversely the person attested being act by responsible conduct itself. Adam. is This conception tion of sin given by in general agreement with the definiLuther who wished it to be envisaged equally as original sin and as individual conduct and guilt as self-seeking. and the continuity of being tc in Because sin " " in the person is ". is active. not in terms of histori- theories. envisaged in the concept of mode of being. : 1 See p. 157. as I am Adam. stands within the humanity of Adam. am I and humanity. i. as human being. The being of sin has the personal mode. but both act and being come into It is judgment calising as laden with guilt. that the rather I should it be thus regarded in myself humanity together. Thus in Adam act is as constitutive for being as being for act. so is me falls am Adam. I see that my Dasein is in the power of my Wiesein l I cannot know When I know of my being a sinner it in its creatureliness. n. who I also am. On the contrary. as a person. as the individual person's seeking to possess himself. because each person. he may not sever himself from the sinful act and would not a thereby rediscover a sinless being: the whole of his being. and is combined with the continuity proper is to the person. above (Translator).Act and Being of a kind which cannot be detached from the judgment and manipulated in theoretical abstraction for purposes of exoneration. the contingency of conduct is Adam preserved in the person of humanity. structure of Adam's humanity should be conceived. This expresses both the contingency of the act sin. every individual. When I know of my being a sinner qua individual. is in sin.

before the judgment-seat of Christ exposed the everydayness of Adam is desperation man must and that stand II Cor.. R8m. Komrn. temptation and the knowledge of conscience guilt. and Adam proposes to correct this by conscience itself. it is despair. my sinful Dasein is the basis of my yet I never see this as an exoneration. as rightly known. but beginning and end is death in guilt. Ficker 236. as if I occupied the position of a detached observer looking at a fixed entity: on the contrary. 1 66 . the wilder the flight is the Isolation is not grasped in its true sense. life erupts into man's fear of himself. c. I see that Wiesein. which is a decision constantly in process It is of being taken. the law and death. then in death.Act and Being qua humanity. In conscience the powers of the world. all the and the less man is conscious of mask of lonely isolation. inasmuch as I " know I must die as Adam ". more. But because flight is (for if not to-day. 10). by reducing himself to his own resources. It is the option for self-isolation. there arises merely a general consciousness of being left alone. 31. 5. and as such it is acknowledgment death and hopeless * sets constantly in flight from matters whose bounds to the business of enjoyment: oneself. I see my existence within the frame of judgment. Luther. because it has already been taken. ewrydayness of The man in Adam is the creature's wilful and compulsive quest for enjoyment. because he 1 Cf. loom large to threaten and frighten. Superficiality its directed lifeward. seeks to overcome them through this very awareness. as the becoming aware of despair and isolation. Conscience. Everydayness.

is also in this fear an inability to break free of a final lingering of the I on itself. This constant dying is accompanied with fear and woe. On this " point cf. Here all that went before grows to grim reality. That this being-alone has the character of guilt is revealed horizon. making the world too "narrow" is man he already in death. perfection. but only as an entity.Act and Being is Yet there oneself. " " is not. Guilt. and remains alone. ignorant of the future and has no control over its course. and he is forced to recognise that his guilt and death are the beginning and end of his is Man flight. sees that " " as the Heidegger's analysis of being to death " " of ". existence finds its real end. death is no longer an entity overcome. death is incorporated in living existence. not its wholeness. since " Dasein ". and into which he has always lapsed. as which may be forced to terms by conscience I's through the temptation wherein Christ assails man through the law. unless Christ qua is fulfil- Death 5. arrested in his ultimate flight. eternal wake man from the dead (Eph. metaphor.e. on the apparent escape-route of conscience. In conscience death rises over the itself.he includes Inasmuch as end qua finish and completion. very source of all his knowledge and volition. for him. death and the mundane press in upon man. a phenomenon Man knows himself immortal. death in the process of mind finding itself. an being to death ontic-existential experience but part of the ontological-existentiai The structure of Damn. " end " " " i. 167 . to which man in Adam has as such always forfeited himself. here ment are identifiable only in the metaphysical system. 14). in the moment of recognising guilt and the curse of death. . its terminus. Christian account is very different: in death. death. realisable the existence entirety proper potentiality by Heidegger's concept of death is metaphysical and at bottom a false 1 dead before he Death is the dies. for they do not come from the life of God. he is and he is 1 dying anew each moment. Moment by moment his guilt is bringing death down upon him.

pp. and 168 . which is nevertheless of the spirit. ankle. is In the death of the sinner.Act and Being him 1 no longer Is he alone. In it sin. predestination for one. . In this temptation. the literal sense of Anfichtung (Trans. yet all is far narrower and smaller against the Heaven to come than is our mother's womb against the heaven we see thus in dying one should take comfort against fear.). Adam. 9 antecedents) " 2 . eternal death. 2. and know that a great spaciousness and joy will be thereafter". Christ. so man goes out of this life through the narrow gate : though heaven and world appear great and wide life. assault ". guilt and the law darken the Cross and resurrection. however. to us likewise. . eternal death. No. and must lead Temptation It brings with it again and again the terrors of to death. constriction. ange ("painful"). man in grace tatiin Whether Christ will give himself to the tempted man and faith is always in the balance. op. W. itself fulfilled. Or 8 On cit. out of the little dwelling of its mother's womb into the wide heaven and earth of this world. 685f. now we are in . for another. 4 Holl is inclined to this error. his death. see his Luther . eternal life. Angst (" fear ") and bangs (" woeful '*) are words with a common root which is of course shared by many words of Examples: O. dies 3 "of" the law. passim. the free gift of 1 that to his life God should grow out of death is communion. angina > anxious (with Latin 9 Greek and other angle of death. therefore temp- should never be regarded as a dialectical point of 4 transition on the road to faith. it is the real end of the sinner. free even for the " Like as a child is born in fear and peril Luther. angr anger. man dies for . anguish.A. this point also Kohlbriigge writes with a rare profundity. and they tempt man to accept them as belongs to in final. for now everything speaks to him as his accuser yet he remains in this condition " 2 of" alone and defenceless. etc.E. Translator's Note: At this point in the text Bonhoeffer remarks that Enge (** narrowness *'). Gyff.

" is " in the communion.e. finds himself believ- God can allow man In to die " of" the knowledge of this and can lead him through of Christ. self this case death into the communion he turns man's eyes pure away from man's Risen. his sin. and gives him his direction (the intentionality of the actus directus] to Christ the Crucified and who is the defeat of temptation to death.Act and Being man who ing. i. 169 .

n. i : Luther. 157. If. which has come to him from without. 2. 282. qui solus est mea". W. i. W. then wilt thou find thyself eternally in him. not as if it were able to stand Luther. et resuscitatus. 20. 40. 2. himself in Christ because he fact Wiesein.* the sight of Christ brings the loosening of the bonds: Dasein becomes 1 2 free. 40.A.A." * Here the man in se conversus 2 is torn away from the attempt to remain alone with himself and is turned towards Christ. non ego *: non See p. " that * is.A. on himself but on salvation man looks no that faith. longer " alone. 2 iff. 283. Luther. inspicio me'\ 4 8 W. i. on Gal. 690. " sed hie opportet Christum et con- scientiam meam fieri unum . 2. . 170 . Now he lives 3 This is the gift of only in the contemplation of Christ. Si vero in me tantum intueor excluso Christo 9 ibi in me converse $it> debeamy item quid mihi faciundum iustitia et vita et considerans qualis ego sim vd esse amitto ex oculis Christum. . He finds is already in Christ from the of seeking himself there. above (Translator). through man's selfDasein in Adam in was subjection to his incapsulation. ita ut in conspectu meo nihil maneat nisi Christus crucifixus actum est de me.BEING IN CHRIST A.: corpus. Definition of " being " in Christ Seek thyself only in Christ and not in thyself.

logical here to would seem demand that the ontological definition of the being of man as sinnerhood and being-in- Christ should be underpinned by a general ontology of the creature.Act and Being over against Wiesein as independent being. the other possibility. which is inseparable from " " is not in the fixed entitythe ontic mode called faith. of seeking a groundwork in the phenomenological interpretation of the existentiality of existence. Ontologically this means that God is at once the : basis of the creature's being and his master. it " mode of there is ". himself as the creature of Only God. He knows himself as one who lives in Christ in identity has passed through death knows himself as the creature of God. where for the first time in original freedom it recognises itself as the creature of God. for the very reason that he continually postulates himself as his own creator. in another connection. whose essence it is to live in self-disregard. is another matter. dentally 1 it means that the existence of the creature Transcen" is amid The obtains even possibility of forming the Idea of a creator-god. which naturally It is an idea which in statu corruptionis. That the sinner also is a creature. by the sinner It it with the old man who As known remains an idea in untruth. the old man must have died and the new arisen. Creaturehood simply is only in faith it is the existence of the believer. the sinner can say only as a believer. in Adam he was at once creator and created. 2 In such a case we would have allied ourselves " " with Catholicism. . cannot be understood as a reality by the individual in that state. but in the very movement of being in faith. 1 If he is to know himself as the creature of God. but in the sense of escaping from the Fs domination into the lordship of Christ. 2 We have already rejected. in Christ does man know wholly in the contemplation of Christ.

I know therefore that these circumstances are in some way affected by creatureliness. both as I and as humanity. It follows that any theory of being which sought to be applicable 1 to " " purely creaturely being i. above (Translator). Nevertheless.Act and Being and with reference to " transcendence. faith must believe that in spite of its falling-away the world is God's creation. metaphysical ideas In the Christian doctrine of being. There Is no on to- logical specification of the creature independently of the fact that God is the atoner and redeemer while man is the sinner all and forgiven. must aeeds See p. being and becoming. God is still the Lord even of this world. Only from this viewpoint is it possible to define the being of sin. more exhaustive definition. 157. n. the being of grace. in the context of nature and history. essence and appearance must be compatible with ontological concepts of sin and grace. to which is promised a new Heaven and earth. living and dying. personal being. I know further that God has in creating me placed me in my entirety. as being with the character of a union of act and being: as personal being. determined in its Wiesein by and death and with its Dasein l in subjection. is God's creation. in the idea of the creature the personal being of God revelation is expressed as lord and creator over my and of human is Creatorhood. and. However. 172 . looking to the hope offered by the resurrection of the historical (geschichtlicK) Christ and my life with him. of eternity and time. or they must be entirely recast. the If it is only in faith that I am able to know myself as God's creature. in this conception. ** But creature-faith that has sin is reluctant to claim that the world " come to be its own. the being of revelation.

i.e. Condition " understood as foundation-state ". only in Creaturely existence Dasein exists. in this context is one's understanding of the Da and Only Wie safeguarded from adulteration with categories alien to the case. Da and Wie belong indissolubly " da ". it is even though If only in Christ that a full and proper faith in divine creation may evolve. the " is an ontological Da " being-directed peculiarity of this as such. but this Bonhoeffer says simply *' in order to eliminate the has been rendered ontological condition " " connotation (~das Doss) of Dasein when it is contrasted actual fact " " " " must be with essence or used to affirm reality. exist (Dasein) fically through under the impact of revelation. together on revelation and only on revelation. conversely. x His Da " can never be specified mode. specishow that the definition itself suffices This utterly general in the concept of creaturehood the together.Act and Being become a definition of being outside the revelation in Christ. ens no onto- logical-existential structures are capable of hunting the Da " of creaturehood. This is to say that both Da and Wie are. " Das * Da ". his " ontological condition.e. we now have we must seek our answer simultaneously in the structure of man's Dasein (whether enslaved by sin or emancipated by grace) and in the structure of his Wie-Sein 9 his i. No metaphysical deductions or distinctions " existentia. his Wie. the ontological task of demarcating the of the as postulated in the being of sinner and creature being justified alike. is the being-directed towards revelation. to down To be a creature means to God and for God in faith. his independently of his ontic " being-directed-at ". essentia. 1 ' Translator's note: " 173 . ontic orientation. inextricbased ably.

no. And raise so the idea of creation provides no basis our definition of man's being in Christ. being and becoming. on which to " " is There Adam or in Christ. only the concretions nected with by Christ. The being of all these. redirected or re-created Likewise it is Thus all our ontological definitions are conthe revelation in Christ. in unbelief or faith. whose answer is subsequently returned by revelation together with a fundamental correction of the question. in the " " humanity of Adam or the communion of Christ. there is only man in alone as creator. which also " bestows on it its character: it "is for man in Adam his " " own subjected. The world God of entity is transcended by this personal being. To object that categories of a generally metaphysical nature have been employed in the foregoing is to overlook the " " as a pre-comprehension necessity of a certain formal standpoint from which questions even if wrong ones can be framed. etc. being in history and nature.. but this possibility depends on the presupposition of an existence affected by revelation.Act and Being only in revelation that creaturehood can be defined qua personal being. God as atoner and redeemer. Neither do they exclude " " the possibility of theologically rethinking such creaturely it is categories as individuality. rnoreoever. But these do not abolish the idea of the creature. inasmuch as it is the person whose existence has been affected. of sinnerhood and the being of the just man answer the case before us. is personal being. world imbued with the interpreted . " preserved and expressed in the concretion of existence through and for God ".

1 and . but where is our criterion for distinguishing such occasions from self-stimulated experiences? Is it perhaps to be found " in some special intensity of experience "? Has Miiller really avoided falling into psychologism? Only two persons can be sure of the reality of faith as distinct from faith.Act and Being curse of death. and this it does not need to be Christ. definition. 1928. being has no more general free. That is the danger in Earth. Its is absolutely for God. eternal master. it tion of the new (Rom. but Christ alone. makes existence man exists for and through Christ. 175 . Every act of faith -wishfulness a happening embedded in the psychic and there accessible to reflexion. Christ. 8 3 igff. it " is for " man in Christ the world delivered to it from the I yet newly subjected creation its by God in the expectafinally. he believes because Christ. in my opinion. The " when faith overcomes temptation are said to be stress (Not) plainly demonstrable.).wishfulness one is the believer who being in faith no longer questions. M. Miiller in our own time the desire to locate in the act of belief itself the reflection which discovers faith only in the reflected form of faith" faith wishfulness. he looks on In defining this faith in terms of pure intentionality one must avoid on the one hand the desire to pinpoint the temporality of faith as is attempted not only by the theology of consciousness but. But faith properly so called lies in the act's intention towards is " wishful " in so far as it is founded in being in the communion of which grows doubtful of itself because it considers itself unworthy is a faith which stands in temptaFaith itself knows that it is not faith qua opus which tion. being-directed to Christ. the other is Christ. also 1 and on the other hand by H. Faith and " lie together in the same act. justifies. Being in Christ. which is A faith " times of need See his Erfahrung und Glaube bei Luther.

it is God-given by God. 176 . This is the penalty paid for inadequately distinguishing between knowing in faith and theological cognition. within the communion of Christ faith takes shape in religion. help Thou my unbelief". as I turn to look on myself. as I " only to add. which is destroyed only by reflexion on the self. all hoping in sight of the Cross. there is a danger here of inadvertently allowing that wishful faith truly grasps Christ. 18. his may and must say my consolation " I believe look on " Word. it is still faith. piety. with the effect of casting doubt on faith itself. ciency it dwelling thus with undivided attention in the contemplation of Christ. inasmuch as it holds fast to it. all searching for God in clinging to his promise. whereupon all such ominous words " as enthusiasm. that therefore religion Christ. the lively sense or religous experience ". therefore indirectly on Christ. inasmuch temptation. pp. all of Christ. side which in addition says something quite as it questions faith and brings it into Though Earth has theological right on his when he chides Schleiermacher for his "great confusion" of religion and grace. draws it to itself. All praying. but in the communion religion ". all entreaty for his grace. 301 IT. A Barth.Act and Being told by a reflexion different. that it assures itself of its content. that. conversion of the will must It must be plainly said that perforce return to currency. wherein by God's mercy he may the If faith wished to question its own suffi- would already have lapsed from intentionality into temptation. I. of course. while really be found. then. feeling. 1 he undermines his position by introducing reflexion into the act of faith. faith willed work of man. Dogmatik. all this for reflexion " " is faith-wishfulness ". Say rather. I is here called for faith. Furthermore.

from we may begin to see clearly the concrete mode of being shared by being- directed to Christ and being within the communion. or me as my judge from the Cross. 119 above). " Christ or the spirit of evil Historical man has a conscience. obviously the problem of the Christian conscience. is reflexion on the self is This science appropriate to man in Christ: Conscience is munion) and myself. Man has conscience from and in himself. it does not belong to the things yet " to come ". thus pointing 177 . man in Christ Is no longer ruled by conscience sin. Adam (as Since. distinction must be made between two forms of con- upon Christ. And so the transcenabove) dental and ontological theses are re-united. Being in Christ is " This call it. if it is being- directed excluded. shows him to interposed between Christ (the comit obscures my view of Christ. Conscience is only where there only in is sin. A i. not the voice of God but man's own voice. however. represents a determination by the past in Adam. and this is possible " only through being already (as we have described in the communion of Christ. The past as determinant of being lacks conscience is in Christ: Conscience " Whoever (Theologia deutsch}. B. It is the reflexion on oneself which Primarily it is the farthest limit of Adam's penetration. is no more than the formal But in this its definition. not a shield against the attack of God) but also in the Church of Christ. as we may (see of being in Christ. is historical actuality this being similarly determined It is by both past and future point that p.Act and Being being turned to Christ. is But if being in Christ is purely intentional.

man's conscience. anew to man and restore his faith. of reflexion on the self. Luther. comprised within the intention towards Christ. . there they and swallowed up in Christ if thou but believest this. 2 2. hear only my accuser. it is rather the basis from which I.A. I see my sin in the context of my having been forgiven by Christ.In reality this is temptation 1 and rebellion against Christ. defection from Christ.Act and Being constantly to my sin* The law of the spirit has risen against me. W. 1519. can contemplate Christ with such singleness of mind.. they no longer cause thee harm ". death and Hell reach out to seize me. 1 Cf. but this sin is now from Christ indeed. 2 Furthermore. 690.A. and this conscience is itself is other form of conscience. Whoever The seeks himself in Christ sees himself always in sin. 2. for it is mistrust of the grace I offered in Christ. for are overcome . repentance is no longer the final attempt to grasp conscience (!). see myself cast out. In this temptation the man in the com- munion of Christ confess himself also stands in real unless Christ himself comes forward to kill danger of losing Christ. The opinion that such temptation is needed in order to come to faith resembles Hegel's dialectic in making evil a necessary stage on the road to good. 68sfF. he knows that even temptation by sin and death is overcome in faith for him who stands in the communion. . v <rap/c. This temptation belongs wholly to the righteousness of the flesh. 2. But in faith man once more finds himself already in the communion. W. I 78 . the whole of Luther's ** Sermon on readiness to die". " Thus thou mayst surely look on thy sins from out thy to distract the attention no longer able there sins are no more sins.

2. given into death by Christ. for these remain the steeling give work of natural man. repent- ance would be thanksgiving. W. 713$". in the power of faith he can see Christ wrestling with death within him. and in Christ. yet he is body and soul in the grip 1 Gf.pKt. contritio but repentance in the confidence of forgiveness 1 This is the meaning of daily penance and passiva. he dies solely in faith. even the reflexion of repentance has v o-ap/d as its precondition. just as the selfreflexion of man in Adam was the death of man in the spirit. the agony of the old man. but sees himself. even now.A. which sees sin henceforth only in the context of forgiveness by Christ within the communion. repentance. Because Christ died. . 6). the self-reflexion of sinful man is the death of man ev oa. into conflict. but a self-finding Admittedly. were no sin. but as such reflexion has lost its power to disrupt the steady intention towards Christ. Neither ascesis nor self- strength so to die. who cannot desire a Cross and a him He does not give himself in faith. for it lacks the pure (see being determined solely by the future" "C" In the presence of Christ. Luther's " Sermon on the sacrament of penance 179 ". death. This remains penitence. to the This final hindrance by sin is pure contemplation of Christ overcome in faith faith.Act and Being oneself. of course. and because we in baptism have shared his death (Rom. flesh. life Not a self-losing to oneself. death is embedded in faith. the sin of falling away from If there intentionality towards Christ. He sees himself drawn into the daily death-throes of the death. intentionality still is upon occasion drawn form of " below). the death which the believer must daily die. He has faith in the victory of Christ. in Christ.

Christian conscience persists. reflexion y yet-to-come demands outright acceptance is here abnegation. newly created by him. reflexion. Christ. is But in pure intention there his is toward Christ there no sin. Life in this world is reflexion. even the second stage of reflexion is superseded. stands on determination by the future of life and sanctity. already the past. I see Christ as nay 1 reflexion of faith-ful repentance. 80 . the absolute futurus demands faith. not only self-reflexion outside Christ but the reflexion of " " the Christian conscience described above. man is wholly detached from himself by contemplation of Christ. of repentance and dying. of one's neighbour and the creation. The world estranged from Christ is I-confined: that is it is. of course. this. The future as determinant of being " signifies the : in Christ: the Child determination of being by something " " yet to come coming from outside. which delivers the future to the past in compensation for having forcibly deprived it of the new man. Thus being in determined by the past in the form of the Christ.e. the mightier power of the past over man. While sin In persists. only through the " Future reality.Act and Being of death. The harder death attacks him. a matter of " self-dissolution in mystical vision. There is something genuine futurity only through Christ. orientation upon him. to say. The man over whom Christ's future has triumphed in faith must with open eyes die daily the death of this past. The death of the old man is guilt. within faith. is the which is c. and In therefore no determination by the future. Yet it is not. demands a reflexionless i. The or rejection.

joyful assurance. our forefathers would have said. Biblische Psychologie. however. but is. 1 It rests on the objectivity of the event of revelation in to Christ has Word and sacrament. 1855. the forma fidei 181 . no need to be conscious of itself: the cleaving it is in any case wholly taken up with the performance of the actus Man is in Christ. These concern the actus directi and reflexi of the life of grace. Franz Delitzsch. The future's determination of being in Christ recapitulates the dialectic of act and this point cf. are not of the essence of justificatory faith. is no longer a reflexion on the I but is a manner of expressing the personality of the relationship which is preserved even in the attitude of pure : intention. his sin nor his death. Fides directa tional is the name which has been Protestant dogmatics to the given by tradiact of faith which. as And on page 298: " The processes named and promised by the Word (scil. Here alone the risen Crucified in one's neighbour and in is the revelation of that future which determines the present in faith. in one and the same act. faith. as his Lord and his God. sensational (empfindand tasting. creation. and it is only now and again that reflexes therefrom enter " If the fact of rebirth were an our consciousness. how could there possibly be sphere such variance and uncertainty among enlightened minds as to the " Here of course difference of effect of the Word and the sacraments? a theological should replace the psychological interpretation. this actus directus essentialis" . cannot be reflected in it. for there is neither sin nor death in Christ. Christ furthermore he sees neither himself nor his own He sees only Christ.Act and Being Lord and my God " that. though taking place in the consciousness of the person. actus reflexi lich] seeing of divine certification. Seeing in Word and sacrament means seeing. on that account he sees neither directus. rebirth) also happen to us in the depth of unconsciousness." And on page 299: in of our the event consciousness. The page 306 we read: 1 On 30 iff. On " This actus directus has in itself God's promise. pp.

e. In faith the future is the present. never in beingless act. these together are the eschatological upbeat under which life is 1 Both are properly inconceivable save in connection poised. lapses into the past. with the child. Cap. 301. Hollaz. Actus or actus reflexus ? infant baptism or religiosity? The directus and infant baptism. The child is neighbour to the eschata. gripped by the onrush of things to come. It is only out of the future that the present can be lived. man " is " in the future of Christ. willing to be determined by the present. but the grown man. one which Baptism is the man's summons to the be may understood only in an eschatological Only the community of its members can speak of the meaning of infant baptism. into death and guilt. i. p. the other a paradoxical event of revelation devoid of any response in reflexive consciousness. Here the child poses the problem of theology. last things. op.. The child sees itself. therefore it can live only for the present. 182 . Willingness to be determined by the future is the eschatological possibility of the child.Act and Being being. as associated by oldactus Protestant dogmatics. Cf. This too is inconceivable save by the faith which abolishes itself in the presence of revelation. but inasmuch as faith suspends itself before the future (knowing itself as the future's mode of being. into himself. our immediately preceding footnote. never in actless being. 1 Faith " may know habent infantes fidem non reflexam aut discursivam. cit. the one being the act directed solely directus by and on Christ. sed dinctam et simplicem a Spiritu Sancto 9 cui " malitiose non resistunt per baptismum accensam See also Delitzsch. in all fear and wonderment. de gratia ngmerante: and cf. Examm. but not as productive of it). sense.

like that of the Christian communion " directed " general. while conversely the Wie rediscovers " Da ". quoted 2 less justified " (Pontoppidan. 227. may lie hidden under the guise of blasphemies: quid mnt molenter a diabolo hominibus invitis extorte. See p. are many who have truly seized on Christ even though they do not feel 1 Now that they have him. is determined it by the which woken from by the Spirit. 1726 and 1768. and continuity.Act and Being that baptism is the unbreakable Word of God and the eschatological foundation of its life. founded. It lies between eternity and " referring founded by God's Word and is " onward and to God's Word. the whole of my past life acquires point eternity. aliquando gratiores sonent " there in aure Dei quam ipsum Alleluja ml quecunque laudis jubilatio ". by Delitzsch. i. all 1 all this may appear to open prospects roads are barred to the eschatology of an Yet this very talk of apocatastasis may not much more than the wishful regret of theology. wherein not apocatastasis. when it must speak of faith and unbelief.. To by speak of the reflexion (not actus directus my own act which may never be captured by myself. i. above (Translator}* 183 . of election and rejection. says that the actus directus " cum tales blasphemie. cit. and these are none the Heller Glaubenspiegel. in Rtim. Dasein and " Wiesein 2 are restored to their proper relationship. not to mention any self- second observer).. Because baptism. the echoless crying itself in the divinely appointed Luther himself. while lying in the chronological past. n. 157. The Da " is released from oppression by the Wie. be In pure direction to Christ. Komm. op. to speak of infant baptism. 173. p. is yet an eschatological event. n. future. in Thus my past. of a abolishing faith. II. and p. 307).

. 184 . Gleichnis. it may be. above. . ** Alles Verg&ngliche ist nur ein . to the The man is in exile as he finds his He who has grown slave is unbound. because act. to Christ. Bonhoeffer's choice of words recalls the tarily. In contemplation of Christ. because we are children of the future. 2 confidence and courage. : or. " future ". a conscientia (Translator). never 1 Wissen Gewissen scientia (Translator]. n. final Chorus Mysticus of Faust Part Two: . Home is the communion of Christ. of the future.Act and Being out from solitude into the solitude of self. the new creation of the new man there in vision perfected. the inadequate here grows into a full actuality. i. the protest against all kinds of duress. always being." See also p. always 3 act. Here in faith becoming a this is reality. because being. . has unexpectedly received an answer: gradually it is resolved into the still and prayerful converse of the child with the Father in the Word of Jesus Christ." of which the literal sense is "Everything that can be bygone is only a likeness. das Unzulangliche> hier wird's Erdgnis . Schofl 8 Translator's note: hur im Glauben Ereignis werdende Involun- perhaps. 168. the tormented knowledge 1 of " the Fs laceration finds the joyful conscience ". or it may be as an oblique Lutheran correction of '* Goethe's ewig Weibliches **. who becomes what he was was a creature of God a child. and wretchedness grows to be the child home. . the present which " always in faith ". the man who is born out of the narrowness of the world into the breadth of Heaven. who no longer looks back on himself but only away from himself to the revelation of God.



Biblical references II ROMANS 5: 12-14 6 155 145 1 20 1 CORINTHIANS : 10 12 161 1 13:5 20 20 20 6:9 6 6 8 12 13 I : : 13 19 igfF. : : : '75 1 14 121 CORINTHIANS i : i : 13 1 30 2 12 *6 15 12 i2fF. 4ff. PETER 5: 12 133 I8 7 . I2O 120 142.INDEX I. 145 2 2 3 : : I36 145 3 1 2O 6 12 12 13 15 : : : : : 12 22 i5"-45 16 . 120 120 121 II i CORINTHIANS : : 3:11 I 120 120 24 14 10 16 4 5 5:1 : : : 6 10 5 133 145 145 166 120 146 THESSALONIANS 133 3=S I ST. 13 120 I2O 120 93 155 155 133 COLOSSIANS i : 2 3 3 : : : 18 17 10 lof.

Cohen. 72n. 35. N.. 51 Marx. Flacius. 14.. Husserl. 3ofE. 49n. 49. Julius. Vincenzo. 380... 122. 106. 34. 145 ^^ Peterson. Paul. 27n. 1351!. E. ' Brunstad. i82n. 26.. 96ff. 126.. i8m. Descartes.. E. 126. 54 5811. 60. I Gogarten. 12. 84n. 63.. 50. 94. i?5 Muller. 8rn. i68n. 6311.. St... ign. 67.. i6in. 34 Geyser. 57. Bultmann.. 66. 86.. 980. 29!!. 1 1. 230. 128-30 Malebranche. 75 Lutgert. 27. 59. F. 53n. Fichte. 1820. 67.. 100... Herrmann. Kohlbrugge. 133. 34 Ficker. 20. Kuhlmann. F. 86rF.69 Rickert. 560. Ehrlich. ii.. 80 Lowith.. 8511... i67n..Index ii.. 93 188 . 230. 850. 990. 64. Kurt. 58. 8 7 n. 270.. M. Schaeder. In. on. 320.. J.. 93. Names Hollaz. n Plato.. ii. 112.. I2in. 35. 178 Heidegger. ii. i6in. 64 Adam. 175. Luther.51. 71. ^ Arir Wllham Occam > r of ' 8o ii. 75> F. 140 Duns Scotus. Gioberti. 156. 54 Delitzsch. 86.. G. i6m. 45. 139. w. i6in. 112. H. Hegel. 5sff. 51 73. 98. 183 Przywara. Earth. 1580 . 43n. Anseim. n. 155- Althaus.. 69 Kant.. 20 RiehJ. i6in. 90... 127. 59. 13111... H.. i6m. i6in. 95 n.. i6on. Hartmann. 62 Dilthey. 53n. 13.. 43> 49. 148. 1 1 Kattenbusch. ii. 1260.. n. 98n. 50. 56. 25 Knittermeyer... 151. Holl. 8iE... I29n. ( w 69. 26n. 1 1. Pontoppidan. Karl... W. 47.. 37ff. being in. ? 57. i6m. 105-6. 560.. H. 69 16. n. ii Jacob.. 112 176 Bartmann. Grisebaclx. W.. Kierkegaard... igff. 73-4. loifL. 26. 146 Hirsch. 2on. 155. isGn.. 26 Muller. G.. 112. 44. . 97n. R. 163 Natorp. 104 i68n. 15..

1 29 the Word of freedom. 38. 13. 93. Ascesis... 6. resurrection. 103. 91. Subjects Acts. 179 Aseity. predicatory. communion death and 130. 14. Traugott.. 66. i27n. idea of. 90 Cognition." 140 Capax infinitiy 83 Care. 143 Blasphemy. 70. religious. 171 Causa secunda. Being (Dasein). 29. no.. ngff." 1 20. 128-9 Spinoza.. as.. in. being in. 155-84. 182. 139. iSoff. 148. 87^. 115. 139. 105. 32. 146. 106. 75 of social reference. Christ.. 183. F. 73. 82. i6m.. i33> *37> *4. 139. 111 Catholicism. 105. E. 124 189 . 150 A priori. 147.. 121.. 87n. 42. 161 Schleiermacher. 95. communion. 169. 12. Stoker. 182 Agere.. the. 131 Agere sequitur esse. 51 1 " Boundary. 183 46.. 56!!. i26n. 176 Schmidt. Aquinas. 169. ogy. i8m.... 130. 70. 119..Index Scheler. 137... R. existence as. i29fF. conflict over. 139 Catholic Church. 128. Seeberg.. religious. 112. 1406. 73... empirical. God's. 119. Categories: 134. 114. Annunciation.. I35n. Seeberg. 132 Actus dtrectus. 44^. unto death. i2off. 133. 141. Baptism. 108. of. 35>37 Apocatastasis. 90 . 183 590. Being in Adam. 11. 106. 50. 90 Atheisym. 123 Catholic dogmatics. 12 in. extrinsicality of Christ-person. 137^.. 157. 79. Tillich. Anamnesis. 115. 122. 47 23. Christian philosophy. actus directus and. 64. 71. in terms of persons. in in the Church. 67. 184. 68. 7 in. 133. Analogia entis. 155 Child. sociological. 125. 1 1 1 176 Bible. 133. knowing 137^*.6 9. i6in. " towards death. "existing as community. temporal. 120 Bond. personal quality of. 136. 16. 98. 66ff. 08 157 66ff. 92fF. 115. Body of Christ. 30.. 6 1 .. iSsn. 112. 47. I igff. 1 1. no. P. 12 in. 120 Anthropology.. 102-3. 122. 105-6. 106. 136. 125. 142. 28.. i74ff. 114. 128. 106. i55. 26. 53n. 55. 6gn. 122. 181-3 Actus puniSy 44 Actus reflexus. Socrates. 27 ni. 32n. 99-101." 61 157. 30 theo-sociological. Winkler. in Christ. " 148. R. 7oflf. 13. 170-84. 25 Thomas Schumann. 1171!. revelation in. 122 sociol- Church. 112. 115. i27n. Zanchi. K." 75 Believer. 121. 148 Communion. non. A priori synthesis.

Habittts entitativus. 164. 87. 63. 69.. 123. 68. I73 Creatureliness. 174 1 2 1 n. 59.. proof of. Creation. 103. 156 community and. 134. 89. 65 Future. 89in social 90. Protestant. "religion of. 103. 75. 104. 10." 141. 62. 101. " Double. 57. 100. 137. I45ff. 39. 47. 127. Esse. I4off. talist. 134. 66. 130.. 174 Holy Spirit. 144 54 Empirical theology.. 59. 159. Existence. 135 Dialectical theology. 157. i62ff. 120. 66. 172 Critical reservation. 176 Fides direct^ 181 Fides implicita. 140 Existentia. 141 " no Epistemology: sociological. 84^. 120 Cross. 159. 160. knowledge. 105 IQO . HI.. 39. 115 Finitude.. 970. 182 Dogmas. 137. 976. 131. 102 Ens. 55. Bjn." i6on." 102 Historicity. 64. 179-80 Faith. 60.. 157 Contritio passiva. 136. Decision. 14 Creator. 172. 130$:. 103. 156 Grenzsituation. 57 Essentta. in decision. social. the 84. 87. Dasein see Being : " I78ff. concept of. 155 " Essence. 108. 137 Existentiality. transcenden36. 8. 921!.. Dialectic. 174 I (-Thou). 118. 125. Guilt. revelation and. 52. 80. 105. 145. ' Experience. thought. of. God: 143. 143 Conscience. 1 religious. 140 personal. 83.Index Community. 57*69. i62fF. 98. 137 Creature. 102. 140 Contingency. 150. 83. i6in. Esse peccator. " " existing deity. the new. 145. 102. 32.. 84. 84n." 102 cognition. 115. 181.. 151 Dogmatics: Catholic.. 108. heavenly. roo. 133. 179 Cor curvum m se. 107. concept 104. 115 n Faith (belief). 65.wishfulness. 120. 182 Esse. pure. 105 History. being of the. 57. 175. 59. agere seguitur. 118. 86. 173 Existential knowing. 62. 61. 53.. 8sn. idealistic. reference. 126. 61. 173 Ethics. 104. 137. 167 Ecclesiastical Eidos. theology of. 99. 93 Context. 100. 79. IOQ. 47. 172. Corporate person. 173 Heavenly double. 113. the "coming" deity. 53. 37. 86 Everydayness. as religious object. 83.. 157. Humanity. 120. I77ff. 113. 132. 66." 51. of 37 Eschata> 182 Eschatology. 69. 146 Direction. 136. 4on. 171. 124. 141. 52.84. 92. 55. i8off. 74. 177. i66ff. 108. 108. Death. in. i24ff. Consciousness. 108 Confession. 105 Doctrine. 171. 73 Contritio activa. idea of. 114." 11. i66ff. 104. I32fl. 175. 83. 131 Adam. 15781.

. 133. i39fF. 34 Reason. 20. 128 " Ontology. i6in. 165. 163. " Orthodoxy. 129. 47. 129. 136. 1418". 83. 144- 120. 118.. Personal community." 146 Pelagianism. i8m. 1 60 Logos. 179 Perpetua justification 128. i43fT. no in. 119 Psychologism.ff. new. 147. 95 69. trans' " cendental. 80 Rebirth. 146. in. 150 126 Obedience.. the. 130.* 183 Religion. 58. 1 76. 180 Past. existential. 151 Predestination. 138 Prayer. 140 Phenomenalism. Knowledge. i72fT. Protestant. man as. theological. 70. 98. 176 60. 183 Institution. 126. 131 177-80 108. Knowing: ecclesiastical. transcendental concept of. Individuality. 147. 72. 128 Intuition. and faith* 176.. 49. 61. "Outside" (from). 19. 99ff. 71 I42ff: . 148 Present. i55> 156 Natural religion.. temple 191 . 137. 105. 47 Nature. 51 Justification. 57 Lord. 89. I38ff. the." 54 Imago Satana. 35. 112 Possibility (potentiality). 251!. 84. 132. 63 121 Materialism. 121 52 Nominalism. 86. 83 Object. 54. 26 Metaphysics. Noesis. 109 Ideation. 20. 1365 Man. preaching. 1 1 8. 137 Lumen natur<ey Sjn. 125. God as. Pre-cornprehension. 70 Philosophy: Christian. 32. 70. 133. 120. 146. 160. 112 Ordination. natural. 137.. 118. 118.. 106 nativitasj Nomos Nova of Qhrist. 168 Predicatory cognition. in Original sin. i2in. 22 5. 174 Infant baptism. 47. 50." 86. I75. Pati. 137. * 52ff.. 150. New man. 55j 63. 122. 120. as revelation. 129 Perseverantia sanctorum. 88. 69 46 141. 182. 94. 59. Mind. religious. 136. 59. 131 Individualism. 176. 131. 92. I37ff. Religiosity. 41. Phenomenology. 69. 149 Person. 142.. and grace. 146 Preaching. 36n. 137. 86ft. 147.. 137. corporate.Index Idealism.. 26n. 122.. as believer. 125. 50. 75 Justitia passiva. 12. self-justification by. 52. Recte docetur. 143 " Law. " 146. no. 137. 163 Individual. 174 Neo-Kantianism. 123 Intellectual works." 174 Preacher. i6on. 83. . 137. 182. 148-50. 156 Ontological proof of God. 94: of conscience. 143 Reflexion. 130. 126. 142. of. Reality. 155 Penitence.

. 130.. dialectical. theology of. 145 Science. 4 iff. 65. 156. 119. 88.65. concept of. 133. 142. 114. 39. 181. and I. will to refrain from. 73." 112 120. 136. 94. 120.. 49 Thomism. 161. 57. i43ff. 44. 67 Thou. 102 is. 183. 144 Resurrection. isSff. 85." 37.68. concept of. no. i66fF. 125. i44fF. i6iff.. 82 Word. 131. Satan. 163. 145." category of. 98. 105 -W 1 * Subject. 125. " HO 67 Status corruptions. 73ff. 87.-t. Remorse. 143 I2on. Theo-sociological categories. Transcendentalism. 86. 123 Revelatio specialis. 98. forgiveness of. 142. 172 "Through. 136. Sacrament. 143. 131. 49 System. 51.46. 59. 67 kJVLUTiJlMAJLVV/. 97. 163 Sins. 150 Remembrance. sense of. 160. 137 V*. 15-16. 1 (" howness "). 47. original. 120. 122.. no. 102. 125. 37n. 84. World. 106. Temporal categories. the. 83. 122.. 157. 75 Society.. dialectical method of. 57 Verbal inspiration. Sola fidey 127 Unconditional personality. Values.V^V. I.. 91. 66. lyoff.Index Religious acts. 109. 99. 86. 132. Time. empirical. 35." 149-50 Sin. 86. 58-9. 33 122.. 40 Understand. 134. 143. essential. "There 47. 146. 81-2. I33> 137. 112 Truth. 93. 148-50. 144 " Sense. 103. 138. Temporality. 129. 4on. 180. 113 y Voluntarism. 127 142. 121. 66. 113. 115. 150. 72. 12.I-' concept of. 172 192 . 118. 183 157. 162. *Ky Substance. 93. theological. 109. 44. 36fF. 139 Theology. ^VJ. ability to. 178 Reservation. 96. 88 Wiesein 165.. 46. 1143 Vision. experience. 95. 134. 139-40. 176 the.41. 80. 87. *55> 15 181. 171 Thing-in-itself. 97. 64-5 Temptation. 71. 132. i62ff. 130 Sociological categories. 71. 126.43.. I59n. 64. 150-1. ng. Status gratia. 8sn. transcendentalism. Revelation. 112. 119. 146.



Here in this important book is di plined theological thinking illumina by a profound faith. car at Union Theological Semina. writing in Germany during Nazism. 1 .- cern are analyzed and clarified. in which act being are at one. New York . rich Bonhoeffer studied f . THE CHAPTERS THE TRANSCENDENTAL ENDEAVOR THE ONTOLOGICAL ENDEAVOR REVELATION IN TERMS OF THE ACT REVELATION IN TERMS OF BEING THE CHURCH AS A UNITY OF ACT BEING BEING IN ADAM BEING IN CHRIST THE AUTHOR Dietrich Bonhoeffer conducted an legal" seminary 1930'$. was executed in the < centration camp at Flossenburg April ' 1945. K on the one hand and Heidegger on other are used by Bonhoeffer to velop tion his original theology of revi : and the church. . He and preaching ag.(Continued from jn> ^ /^/. City.

CZ rfi 13072' .