%/ 'C




of a great



Lnristian tninlc

and twcnteth^centuf


It is

given to some




f their times

and thu<










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.

and Harper York Brothers. N. 49 East ttrd Street.This book under the title of AKT UND was first published SEIN in Christian Kaiser Verlag. For information address Harper <& Brothers. 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. FIRST EDITION Library of Cong) ess catalog card number.Y. New York 16. 62-7951 . London.. Ltd. 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.

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

so here dogmatics is grounded in the " Christ existing as community. Gottingm 9 June 1956 ERNST WOLF . the place where being is comprehended." Just as Sanctorum Communio dealt with the dogmatic com- prehension of the church by uniting sociological and theological categories.e." reality of the church.Introduction comprehend the continuity of the new being in faith with the human-personal ego as a whole in the reality of the community." i.e. i." 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." and : ** " self-understanding against its of Christian being in the world over dissolution in religiosity. the dogmatic examination such that the church. With his considerations and attempts at a solution of this " problem. 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. " in truth. 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.

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

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. 153 155 Being in B. c* Adam " A.Contents B. " 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 future as determinant of being Christ: the Child TNDEX . 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. Definition of** being B. Revelations mode of being within the Church c.

The Problem .


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

Act and Being who entis assesses the theological position of both camps with marvellous clarity. being of God In other words. of an adequate of the objectivity concept of knowledge. its for the latter pair of concepts not mutually exclusive in terms. The juxtaposition of act and being is not identical with that of consciousness is and being. 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. and correspondingly of where act man stands when seen from the standpoint of revelation. is is widespread wrestling with the same problem. or is there " being "? if What form such a thing for him is taken by the explain it in terms of the act. of what may be the interrelation of belief as and revelation as being. 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. It is a question " " of the concept God. 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. not even the most recent. Even consciousness 12 . there has to be a theological interpretation " means and how of what "the being of God in revelation known. of defining the relation between the " " and the mental act which conceives it. but to demonstrate in systematic outline the significance of the act-being problem for dogmatics as a whole. one which theology's legacy from Kant and idealism. Is " " to man in the perrevelation merely what is given it is formance of a certain in revelation as a act. though our inquiry can scarcely avoid touching upon matters of present concern.

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

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

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

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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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



as the reason which performed this very This inmost obscurity in the Kantian concept of the transcendental leads to the discovery that even here. Transcendental thought can never say " God " " " that would be objectivising. with its reference to transcendence. authority its despite the strenuous attempt to surpass itself or prescribe own limitations. potentiality but always in the doing. 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. the outcome is nevertheless reason's self-chosen self-limitation. Yet since transcendentalism is here growing noticeably unsure in its theory. There system.Act and Being and thought. for in principle the very bound can be thought away until it is no more a genuine boundary. dogma" " is tising ". Truth only in the act itself. seeking to understand " is " God as at his back. whether the obedience of speculation. is finitising ". never in the result. 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. The carriage of this endeavour to ascertain the bounds of reason is due to the fact that essentially reason has no bounds. God is always itself. whereby it reinstates its own limitation. how can reason determine its own : limits against this unknown? Even if it is to exercise a free decision of practical reason. the 3* . 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 ". Only in the action of the act. Thus in whatever direction man may turn. Reason can only be taken into obedience. in existence condition.

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

be understood is is existence as an integral whole. somehow to creative. allowed the I to celebrate on this very ground the triumph of its liberation. irrespective of the presence or absence of actual technical ability. 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. idealism. The eye does not see itself. thing piece of conduct. It follows that self-understanding existence must be able to think of entire creator of itself (including its self-understanding).Act and Being wrestled In vain to overcome the problem by means of the original transcendental thesis. In the present case the object itself. the problem arises of how the unity of existence can be attained by self-understanding from out the itself as self. into which the I it has been thrust as a self-understander or -nonthis is understander. sciousness of self-evidence. 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. If for there is no understanding save in a context of unity.e. taking over from Kant. existence so constructed that the very will to self-under- standing belongs to its essence. an idea or To understand implies being an artistic composition. and even as creator of its own existence. " " self-contradictory exist l must already from the fact that in order to create. Faced with nevertheless persists in I this position the idealistic 1 reason-I And in final analysis Kant's transcendental as well. 33 . i.

later. This line by human thought and self-possesof thought can do no more than unfold a new problem of act and being. 1902. in making judgment. creator. as noeto-being ". Yet merely by beginning with the thing-in~ itself it expresses an ontological instead of a relational of Fichte. 34 . its of God) own grasps that this his exis" a being psychophysical ambiguity. especially System der Philosophie.Act and Being declaring Itself the ultimate entity " I am what I am" to the concept (ontologically meaningful only in application in making itself. pp. Alternatively man all its of course. *Cf. is tentiality. thought the foundation of being. of alism. from transcendentderived of Cohen's method. " " and being is the other. neoKantianism has tried to develop the transcendental thesis on fresh lines. Natorp's latest work. yet thought is onto-thinking " Quite obviously this speculation. Logik der reinen Erkenntnis. connects with Fichte's quasi-substantial concept 1 While at the outset Natorp here accomcreative mind. 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. Proktlsche Philosophic. In order to solve the problem of thought and being. H. Cohen. and enters upon the path It is a moot point how. I. in a fresh attempt " 2 The universal logic. in " " in reference to between ". 1-27. to master the problem panies Cohen. by an irreducible paradox. a being something to which In this case. existence is a still uncomprehended pointer. concept say. no real understanding of existence is signified. for the self-understanding involved merely characterises the final position attainable sion." of being. 1925. 1 Cf.

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

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

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

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

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

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

2. into its also revelation of the divine inmost depths. here equivalent to there are repugnant to per verbum (A. If theology it is to grasp the relationship of God and man. What and reason can learn from so revelation. Here. revelation. 216 we revelation. he would not but because he is utterly unlike God Brunstad would contest this (op. 218: in so far as we continue in experience. The limitation of our knowledge 1 on the contrary. (!) 41 . 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. is simply an expression of the proposition: Like is conceivable only by like. dt. If God is to come to man. is pervaded by and constitutes " so tar as we are I '. is religion. One is like the very God one conceives. know God revelation ". 1 itself. unity of can only do so by postulating the profound one to the other and finding there. "It (the unity of experience) is We m ' of God lies in the limited nature of our content of consciousness ". revelation in action. its very inwardness. such propositions are It is gically intolerable.Act and Being looking into tion is. It follows that religion is hence to God. and then only then man can indeed read: 214). but on p. That is why God gives himself to man. the of likeness God and man. in reflexion. Thus that intensified. this very subjectivity. underlying everything. the inmost identity of I and God. but is mind. God is Through from living reflexion on the I understands itself itself.C. itself. Yet Deus non potest apprehendi nisi is divine. 9 p. indeed that is all revelaitself (thus Hegel) is incarcerated in consciousness. man must already be in essence no room for faith and Word. and on p. that man may conceive him. exactly. as in the whole of idealism. for they reason. It directly relates itself to itself. 67).

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

however much both problems may coincide The implications of the Christian idea of for idealism. Our own problem of being is not the problem of the exist" real external world ". which at W. Dilthey's inquiry into reality from our first sight impresses as biassed in favour of tradition. Gesammelte Schriften. God. the concept of version of the " " this in reference to being and the concept of the act being. 1890. for example.1 No. proceeds to it. In context the meaning of the idea of transcendence. 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. disqualify the inference of the external external the of the world. new For here is the reef on which the first attempt foundered.UT unseres Glaubens an die Reditdt der Aussmwelt Losung der Frage vom Ursprung und seinem Recht. " world from social emotions ".) 43 . and 134. 9off. it clearly requires a " " bounds of reason. Dilthey's work is of crucial importance for the most recent philosophy of history. Halfte. 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. book. if. since logical it significance. If. 2. we are conence or proof of a cerned to ascertain the mode of being of divine revelation. receives far clearer this of the expression than in connection with the problem external world.Act and Being again to finish in the system of reason. to give an example. x. Riehl (Der philosophische Kritizismus. and 172) wishes to make sensation the proof of the external world's reality. 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. the " " meaning of the outside or of being. (Beitrage Z. V. Thus interpreted. viz. and it has of late acquired influence over theology as well. pp. reality. the dependence of the consciousness on pp.

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

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

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

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

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

. in these circumstances. . 49 . 2 The proper problematic its sphere of ontology The underlying concept. knowledge of objects It is refers to this being . is and 6v there is disputed by the ov which is in itself free. *N. or in the case of Of. 33. The over being aim of ontology is no more than to say that there immediate " a real is being outside consciousness. Act pointed to being. as presented in the preceding pages. pp. Grundlagen einer Metaphysik der Erkenntnis. but it is not coincident with this is being centred in logos ". Enzyklopadie. 1925. How. Kant had dethroned 1 the business of true ontology to prove the primacy of consciousness and to uncover this being. Hartmann. . iSofF.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. claim of logos. In the combination of a clash of two equally mighty claims. outside the sphere " of logos and the limits of ratio ". 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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Scheler has difficulties he cannot find his grip his way back to the existentia and finally loses on the essentia as well. " essence ". pp. as a person. No doubt a sphere transcending the logos not to say a primacy is reserved for being. by virtue of its vision of the highest values.e. i. but we also see that the undertaking comes to grief in the same way as Cartesian methods of proof. for the Nevertheless. or of sounds before they are heard. 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. with the problem of reality because. Wherever he may stand in the matter. according to Scheler " " of values the envisioning I is sense in the himself. 57 . endowed with the capacity to take into itself the whole world. the fulness of life.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. something which permits it to understand God and itself. 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. 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. In this way the being of God. 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. though he does not hesitate to base his thought on the hypothesis of the essence's transcendence of consciousness. the good and the very deity. 55 if.

deny. I. as if man had the power to confer and confirm the Tightness. which right or just. is composed of 8 4 has a play on the word rechtfirtigen. " A system. 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.. p. achieved or complete Translator. Przywara.Act and Being in itself it is and understanding if itself from itself. 262. p. 7. or by made possible only by menology. 4 If previously God's mode of being was in question. and fertig. pulls him down to God himself. at the foot. But this time the person produced the being. Drei Richtungen der Phdnomenologie. it is here determined. 58 . 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. however. and in this All there is also by the " " This well accords. p. version of essential vision reaches out for Scheler's swings up to him in love. 2 Husserl leaves room for a transcendence of God. without probing further. to justify. to be 1 Der Formalismus in der Ethik und die materiale Wertethik. even. but hence also the " Fs claim to divinity the path to the usurpation of godly vision ". Formalismus . by the power of essential vision. its own level this especially in the last The God. only as if the 1 being were accessible to the I from out itself. the justness not as of himself and of the world. In the system there lies the mastery of being by the knowing I.. I. Logische Untersuchungen. 304. phenomenology an immanent idea of God. Chapter 1 1 . * The original text recht. All is sealed in period of Scheler's literary activity. is but a system.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(Thence the inferences of all-efficacy.) 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). on the contrary. man both of his statu corruptionis and statu gratiae. is really adequate of God's to express his transcendence as understood by Christianity. whether in the original state of Adam or in own can always be certain of its analogy to God's being. With the continuity ontological condition there is also guaranteed to the man. But. a metaphysics of lurks behind the facade. Thomas as essentially creatureThis implies a continuity of the mode of being in liness. secundae) the concept of analogy demands two substances over standing against each other in relative independence " " " " of each other. so man is envisaged as enjoying a relative but authentic reality of his own in relation to God (causae transcendence. the analogy of divine being. God is still 67 . " " in-over man. as distinct from sole efficacy. the theory of the natural and supernatural. or whether. by analogia entis9 a continuity of that of God. inasmuch as his being is defined by St.Act and Being to have succeeded in opening the concept of being to God is not contained in existence. as the Is stands in-over (" in" tlber Przywara's term) the becoming. holds good for the being of immanence The Thomist theory ot being qua creature. nor that in God. but just as God is imagined to exist absolutely in his own right. but allows is as much in him as he also arise him that relative reality of his own. so that his being. but if that is to acquire any kind of concrete theological sense and not remain purely Christ. The question remains of whether the transcendence cc Is ". and the doctrine of grace. God is not : divorced from his creature.

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

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


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

Act and Being existence alike. any very point where further questions ought to be asked. assertion that existence in faith in " (op. 343). " cases a concrete existence characterised it * Philosophy sees that existence is in all by a definite 'How' . 352). existence for all this cc is to be found in Bultmann's is still. the lies reason is that the essence of revelation in its character as a contingent event. that of theology concrete (believ- The theme of philosophy ing) existence.. of this * How '. 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. notwithstanding their contingency. than the unbeliever. in principle. in within the existential-ontological possibilities of existence. : c Just is that revelation has descended upon him. then the believer does in fact know nothing ** more " about revelation.. assert this uniformity one can If one can. But the position of revelation revelation is otherwise when seen from the standpoint itself: the believer the whereas unbeliever knows everything about knows nothing. The event-character of revelation and the event-character of belief can.. revelation may be envisaged among the standing possibilities of existence. The precondition unpursued case. p.. But this is the of existence irrespective of revelation (be it only the uniformity of existential-ontological possibilities) without making revelation superfluous. for here lies the root of philosophy's infinite claims. (op. cit. be imagined this. ' speaks of the e actual fact cit. said to be existentiality. 342). For the purposes of existential- ontological analysis. that he " with grace and forgiven endued life. The question is whether p. but then it does not 74 . p. but not of the How itself " is (op. cit.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

which interest itself takes part with lively in 1 Grisebach the development of modern theology. In exist sustaining claim of that my is " neighbour I in reality. 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. Heute und Morgen ". his fellowman. cf. but in this way he remains alone with himself in his system. and fails to arrive at reality. i. has tried in various works to clarify the idea of or rather. finds its parallel in a new trend of philosophy. conflates reality. is taken by his encounter with the Thou of his neighbour.Act and Being God. E. his restriction 1 C especially Die Grenzen des Erziekers und seine Verantwortung. in one way or another.e. Knittermeyer have developed theology in such a way that the place of man's encounter with the absolute. I act ethically. draw reality. kritische Ethik. 1925. " Grisebach's concept of time. 86 . with God. bear within him. Theory is unable to form a concept of reality. into himself. How could it be otherwise. truth and the I. Friedrich Gogarten this thesis for and H. " " 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. corresponding to God's freedom as formally understood. point the way to reality: every system. purports to understand reality and have " In his satanity ". his existence. man is tempted to it at its disposal. since before all thought stands unfathomable predestination? This attempt at unsystematic thinking. 1928. and for that reason he never arrives at the system. the absolute. Gegmwart^ Chapter 12. and Gegenwart: eim 3 On Vom Gestern.

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

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

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

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

being tive subject. in other words. known as of the knower. we shall examine the epistemological from act-theory in this context. the basis for the possibility of all cognition. the problem of the theological system will assume quite a a different way. Anything objective all that is cognition.Act and Being " haveable ". B. 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. Knowledge of revelation its The explanation of revelation in terms of the act has the genuine transcendental philosophical this thesis. with its reappraisal of revelation. it evades the cognitive act because it is. precisely. 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. the pure act in cognition. The transcenbeing dental can never become the object of knowledge. after which the state of the case will demand But first of that we proceed to ontological theory. If it should prove itself. graspable in his Word within the Church. it will suggest a redirection of our attention from revelation seen in terms of the act towards ontological ideas. Here a substantial comes to supplant the formal under- standing of God's freedom. being. and subseproblems deriving the observe concept of existence from the same quently viewpoint. unlike the remains free of the I involved in or formed by is the basis of the .

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

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

may though it is that too. Religious spheres. only he indeed can hear. but as the pure deed of God and of God 2. 94 . 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. 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. the what relation. as full readiness to hear the Word. in other words. God only in belief. different from But (even in religion. alone. the original transcendental thesis marks a sharp " u is contrast between the two. Thus one asks what mediation there is between the divine and the human acts of belief. " " be stimulated by man. This is the point where the profound difference between genuine transcendentalism and idealism stands clearly exposed. If in this apprehended as the subject of cognition. but only God himself can bestow faith. to avoid identifying human with the divine I. as not understood be essentially a psychic happening. revelation and history. tion I If in the latter (as has been shown. on the other side. with the problem of knowledge.Act and Being For that reason faith bringing it within reach of the I. on one side. it is equally pressing. but the Hence faith is subject of the believing is God himself. subsists between grace and reference to religion. we sever them to allot essentially different or suppress the of God if not. above) revela- was essentially religion through the identification of and being. the existential impact of revelation. The act of belief as acts of every kind may reflected on cannot be distinguished from the religious act. subjectivity alternatively.

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

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

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

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

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

itself already guilty . in conscience. as a unified whole? When we put the question of continuity. nor even an absolute possibility: it too is a happening reality. it becomes evident that Heidegger's concept of existence is useless for Heidegger's Dasein is in conelucidating foz'jzg-in-faith. because being as potentiality is confined within its own bounds. in particular the new existence. whereas faith is not in itself a human 3 potentiality. expresses the existential-ontological.) 2 Schuldig. in itself whose favour 2 has decided. 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. (Translator. therefore we cannot " " in sin. but this possibility only confirms its perpetual condition. tinuity. divinely effected decision? to the The requirement new of continuity applies not only existence as such but to the whole I as a unity. Neither is sin a human potentiality. 1 therefore not a being wherein existence finds is English has faith and belief where German has only Glaube. debt "Translator. it out of the world. and to the empirical total I in general. 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.) 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. (It 100 . not the concrete Christian sense of the concept of guilt. but faith already the being of belief. in Heidegger. 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 ". not even of fallen man.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. since it is in the state of it having relapsed to the finds world.

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

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

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

" in ^wischen dm ^eiten } 1928. so good. " 3. Always entirely itself. so ce as a believer I would have clear to find myself already in Christ. 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. not at all As find myself already in guilt. to see how we will seize the possibilities of our historical existence. 1928. unless we are to assume a discontinuous new I. unbelief can doubt Christ belief. since the historical fact of Jesus Christ. how now in " 3 being already in guilt. to see whether we want to belong to God or to the Devil. 4 3. 1 2 Cf. 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. Even supposing the possibility of an existential-ontological unity of " existence. I But it is Christ. 8 Theologische Blatter. Zur Frage der No. Christilogie pp. 4 To us. 1928. 6$f. So far. No. Theolcgische Blatter. in relapse to sin the old I. 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. 67f." 2 The Word of forgive3 way into historicity. Bultmann. and thus import reflexion into the act of But this distinction has decisive consequences for the concept of existence.Act and Being 2. The God it becomes the new it is I in toto. an account would still be lacking of what is meant by being in Christ ". pp. " We are always on trial. for is neither an existentiell I nor existential possi- of my existence. 104 .

Thereby the which God has turned into the direchim. what are we to think of the continuity of the total I? Secondly. 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. From the stand- point of his logical voluntarism he introduces the concept of the new direction of will. appears to require the idea of the Church It is for its in connection with his R. The problem of everydayness the concept of direction. One must first digest the manifest simplicity of the conception before proceeding to a few questions.Act and Being however. possession of the new seems to be satisfactorily solved by " " means the Being in Christ direction of will. evolved Lutheran studies. does good of its own accord. the continuity of the total I with the new I. The interpretations of revelation in terms of act and of being are genuinely combined. Seeberg who here provides a positive view. These arise in the first place justified man remains a sinner. 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. that possibility realisation. and which. from Seeberg's concept of sin. The new tion I is the new will. we are left with a new I that 105 . and the continuity of the new I itself are preserved. In this he veers from the genuinely transcendental thesis towards idealism. which points to direction. being now in the right histori- city of the I. 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

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

being of an institution is ontology of man qua sin. from this we see that although on the one the transition from the ontology the to revelation of concept of the Church. for there therefore the outside. be ob-jective (gegen-standlich] in the That is only possible in the real meeting with another person. His said to have its foundation in the trans-subjective. though. 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. 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. and so they revelation is whereas entities are are unable to be ob-jective in the full sense. can be impact on his existence only "from outside" . no genuine " outside ".Act and Being show that even here the being is existence of man is unaffected. entity. c< To from outside be added no less however. 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. the stipulation of the this other. it cannot the existence incapable of affecting anew. stand over against man. that it must be ". 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 . directed into the path earlier forecast. This. Man assimilates them into his transcendental I. full sense. should indispensable. hence are useless in .

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

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

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

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

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

the concept of science (Wissenschaft)."? How can the continuity of the I be affirmed? . 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. 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. a survey of the important questions raised I acquire understanding of existence of It has myself? already been shown that the (Dasein). 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.. 2. . There is no true cc from outside " save in revelation. 4. How are we to think of revelation's mode of being. for man's cognition of God.e. 1. Accordingly we have the 117 . How are we to think of man's mode of being? " decision or as being in . positive theological knowledge (Wisseri).THE CHURCH AS A UNITY OF ACT AND BEING First. from either analysis of revelation for the i.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

through the person " : become genuinely a person. " " For the man in untruth revelation remains. the given. is God " is " in the personal reference. esse. there is In the " there social context of the person the static ontology of " is is set in motion. There is no God that " there is ". It is only itself that revelation can be conceived real existential being. I. also the Notice and off. Komm. E. the of Christ. Seeberg. " " on the farther side of entity. is a "sufferer": Luther is speaking " of the nova nativitas. Prius est enim esse autem pati quam In relation to God man one can speak of existence only as of existence which undergoes. Luthers Theologie.Act and Being " There is " dictory to seek a It is self-contraonly the entity. F. Ergo has fan. and the relevant literature mentioned in the Notice. his neighbour has man for whom. that is to say. hence any concept of existence tically ". ist sein and (?his) being his being a person (und das Sein Personsein).-Br. 26fF. And so we come to require an account of the being of man in revelation. Earlier we made this Heidegger's which ignores impact from without of absence 2 Rom. authenoperari se sequuntur. II.. Ficker. cf. Existence is defined as pati. Of course that is only comprehensible to the man who is placed in truth. I. i ed. 67.. no. 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. 266. Man's mode of being within quam operari^ prius 2 the Church esse.. the passive position. 126 . p. (as by Christ) or the " " such impact is inauthentic (including " " authentic existence). c. as there is remains.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

to lay hold of any unequivocal concept of dialectic in Earth. Thus when I collate Dogmatik. 22 iff. 64. p. Only on this under- have free speech. To speak frankly. pp. in other words. 3 Idem. I do not think possible. and p. that the obligation of God to his Word is limited by the freedom of God which is beyond all which renders in means binding.) or whether Earth's whole case does not in fact stand or fall with it. Dogmatik. when one looks more closely. to remain standing 3 at all times a subject (supposing that God is only in the God-effected existential act of faith. I. lines 5ff. a confusion of three entirely different concepts of theological dialectic. 1 is Man's knowing is it not-knowing.Act and Being D. lines 6fF. never in reflexion). p. 61. i.. I include in my thinking a factor it a priori uncertain. Section b. cit. 456. 135 . Schumann. possible for God to We 1 see here the interconnection of the actwise interpreta- it is at least is its general sense. op. 2 That Earth's dialectic. even. which do not all describe. a factor which consists my is adding the antithesis to the positive proposition. I. 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. 460. That and 9. it further to or against judgment of knowing with another of not-knowing. 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. 457. 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. p. with p. lines 1-3 ? I think to detect : * Cf.

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

cit. "Die Moglichkeit des See for example Earth. hence three concepts. To a concept of knowledge envisaged in a sociological category. 6. whence it can only be answered It 1 Horens ". 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. op. In understanding this we first need to distinguish between three ways of knowing. accepting whatever consequences may follow for the concept of knowledge itself. 2: " Die subjektive Moglichkeit der Offenbarung". and blessed with grace by the person of Christ through the preached Word. as framed. defined as that of the Christperson in the community of persons called the Church. there must correspond 2. since it derives. which correspond to distinct sociological functions of the Church: knowing as a believer . from the isolation of unbelief. 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.Act and Being served In fact better served as by the Idea of the Lord and creator lies by the concept of the subject. Whether such cognition is possible is a 1 senseless question here. 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. defined therefore in sociological terms. the being of revelation. whence a defective concept of knowledge. knowing in first preaching and theological knowledge.. 17: 137 . we must extract our answer from the result of defining the being of revelation as personal.

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

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

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

This is the fundamental problem of everyday141 . above. which Christ himself creates within me. as my who Lord has power over me. to only abides in itself as actus directus (see pp. In the act of belief. Faith is God and inaccessible to my reflexion. losf. As concrete being-assailed by Christ. thus existence determined both prospectively and retrospectively in relation " " is to transcendence: it between transcendent poles. my existence. inasmuch as believes within me. also Part Three below). atones for me.. he gives me the Holy Spirit who hears and he also proves himself the free Lord of Christ faith.e.Act and Being Faith means knowing that one has reference to this. and this very reflexion must indicate that connection to the direct act has been interrupted. yet he is master of my He the absolute extrinsicality for it. religiosity "that there is an actus directus taking place in time. but for that very reason he impinges on himself to be known by it. " is is " " only in " faith. the movement of though not ascertainably in demonstrable Where and when I believed is known theres and thens. faith I In faith there own and witness is no not-knowing. 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. Reflexion discovers always to be already in reflexion. For such a dismissal itself reflexion has no justification. gives faith passes in time. my existence. 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. i. In " " have Christ in his personal objectivity. redeems me. ness" " (" Glaubigkeit"). and confirmation.

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

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

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

but that both have been used to form a general proposition. I Cor. i. it knows that the the theology. so that theology. taking place in the direct consciousness of man. that theology is general pronouncements are meaningless without their confirmation by Christ. as . 9. theology is unable to speak but once the community of Christ is aware of its creatively. theology's limitations practise it. 14. 4. 9). We may keep before our eyes. speaks of my sin specifically in the " existential now ". But it only within the Christian particular meaning. knowledge. II Cor. concrete struggle. not of speculative. knows that the very dogma on which preaching builds is the result of " direction " by " It knows that when God preaching. but of 6. Eph. 2. between Christ and Satan. 12. i. the For communion needs theology. who stands by the may be certain of the faithWord he has given to his itself community. It ecclesiastical fulness of God. at dogma. 5. if it but earnestly place within the communion. theology says " sins neither God himself is nor sin itself forgives implicated. 2. theology can never conquer the real temptaIt is a matter of the tions of faith with its propositions. of which the issue must first be won and lost. Then in the it may and should take courage to " " " " may know even as Paul knew it (Rom. beyond catalogue and memorial of this Word. In sum. Needless to say. 2. 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. can never go wholly astray. is it aims at the system.Act and Being pronouncements. for there is real talk of God and sin only when Christ speaks of them here and now. manner not of existential.

unless the general proposition becomes a living occurrence. will always be " and can matic nature therefore never by comprehend the living person of Christ. in constant abstrac- overcome. only because dialectical theology thinks individualistically. i. theological propositions of forgiveness and redemption. that it takes its its own method more seriously than is premises. In the final analysis. This is known by the in which it is practised. they themselves are a collective temptation. communion Here are the bounds of theology. it is tions. speaking as theologian. the Church in which has meaning. 10. For preaching it follows that the preacher must be a theoBut predicatory differs from theological cognition logian. place.e. yet there is obedient and there is disobedient thinking (II Cor. " systeThought. even theological thought. munion to allocate and allowing the combestow its meaning upon it. 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. 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).Act and Being much as we like. in the special circumstances whereby the preacher has to utter the Word before an empirical assembly of the his- 146 . that theology's tendency to " can works intellectual be (Herrmann) justification by appear only in the knowledge of limitations. In reality the position is such that I. unless Christ in person speaks to us his Word of new creation to transform our existence. and indeed it would its but also of " selfits justice and necessity.

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

Being is to be in Christ. (see Part psychological properties dis- sociable from the proposition that " Three). metaphysical. That such is faith takes place in the it is " direct consciousness " not reflexively reproducible in its actwise reality. at such and such a place. 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. 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. As the action of an individual. predicatory is no less reflexive than theological cognition. Word of the person of Christ. The general investigation must conclude. therefore as appointed with authority to edify the communion* Let us return to the mainstream of our inquiry. 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. I believed.Act and Being Christ alone. but the faith which believes faith. Whether faith is faith can be neither asceris tained nor even believed. that of predicatory cognition the Word to be spoken and declared to the communion. wherefore one may never say: on this or that occasion. He lives sub specie Dei and otherwise not at all. that of theological cognition the living Word the spoken Word. as certain as that If the object of the believer's knowing is is of Christ. and so he comes to know that his old being was being in Adam. we now see. here alone is unity and wholeness of life. man is either in Christ or in Adam " 148 .. The being of man has no formal.

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

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

Act and Being Luther's dictum. gaude in Christo. the theologian's rubric sed fortius fide et is Reflects fortiter. something for dogma but dogma particular theology is right is " " is directed by the preaching of the living Christ. 15* . any particular theology. 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. the contrary.


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


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

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

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

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

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

God without Christ. in the first commandment. Cf. guilt knowledge of oneself towards Christ. to direct line of communication between would circumvent God's self-obligation the mediating Word. there Christ come to the end. If " master of its world corresponded to the condition of this now is state recognised in its true colours as isolation. 1 itself the Moreover. (Translator. it is only recognised If for what at the instant of Christ's break-through. the essential implication of this expression is that of a God not bound by the Word of grace. this difference is analogous to the relation of faith and faithwishfulness. for man dies of the law only because Christ died or (in the pre-Christian era) the law. where its " seeking of the self in the self". as Christ died). 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. conscience man and God. Where the I has truly reaches out of itself. 2 In Luther. 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.Act and Being isolation. or dies to live in truth with Christ (for die he must. hence exclude Christ and the it made a Church. grasp is more than a is truly final at work. in either case true is " thought knowing itself given only through Christ..) 1 60 . the temptation which leads to man's death is work of Christ. It is not. intended to It is 1 religion as imply an impossibility of meeting the deus 8 in sua majestate in Christy Literal translation. it is that is to say. Luther* p. was to die through The severest temptation of the law. 70. However. as the last grasp of the self at the self.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

the sinner can say only as a believer.Act and Being over against Wiesein as independent being. in another connection. which is inseparable from " " is not in the fixed entitythe ontic mode called faith. in Christ does man know wholly in the contemplation of Christ. for the very reason that he continually postulates himself as his own creator. . 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. but in the sense of escaping from the Fs domination into the lordship of Christ. Ontologically this means that God is at once the : basis of the creature's being and his master. by the sinner It it with the old man who As known remains an idea in untruth. Creaturehood simply is only in faith it is the existence of the believer. it " mode of there is ". 2 In such a case we would have allied ourselves " " with Catholicism. of seeking a groundwork in the phenomenological interpretation of the existentiality of existence. himself as the creature of Only God. cannot be understood as a reality by the individual in that state. the other possibility. 1 If he is to know himself as the creature of God. 2 We have already rejected. whose essence it is to live in self-disregard. the old man must have died and the new arisen. 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. in Adam he was at once creator and created. is another matter. 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. That the sinner also is a creature. which naturally It is an idea which in statu corruptionis. but in the very movement of being in faith.

However. in this conception. or they must be entirely recast. essence and appearance must be compatible with ontological concepts of sin and grace. I know further that God has in creating me placed me in my entirety. 172 . faith must believe that in spite of its falling-away the world is God's creation. It follows that any theory of being which sought to be applicable 1 to " " purely creaturely being i. living and dying. being and becoming. as being with the character of a union of act and being: as personal being. Nevertheless. in the context of nature and history. the being of grace. ** But creature-faith that has sin is reluctant to claim that the world " come to be its own. above (Translator). is God's creation. I know therefore that these circumstances are in some way affected by creatureliness. to which is promised a new Heaven and earth. determined in its Wiesein by and death and with its Dasein l in subjection. personal being. Only from this viewpoint is it possible to define the being of sin.Act and Being and with reference to " transcendence. 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. n. looking to the hope offered by the resurrection of the historical (geschichtlicK) Christ and my life with him. the If it is only in faith that I am able to know myself as God's creature. God is still the Lord even of this world. of eternity and time. 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. more exhaustive definition. must aeeds See p. metaphysical ideas In the Christian doctrine of being. the being of revelation. 157. both as I and as humanity.

only in Creaturely existence Dasein exists. inextricbased ably. his independently of his ontic " being-directed-at ". specishow that the definition itself suffices This utterly general in the concept of creaturehood the together. the ontological task of demarcating the of the as postulated in the being of sinner and creature being justified alike. to down To be a creature means to God and for God in faith. Condition " understood as foundation-state ".e. essentia. 1 ' Translator's note: " 173 . is the being-directed towards revelation. his " ontological condition. ens no onto- logical-existential structures are capable of hunting the Da " of creaturehood. This is to say that both Da and Wie are. No metaphysical deductions or distinctions " existentia. Da and Wie belong indissolubly " da ".e. 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.Act and Being become a definition of being outside the revelation in Christ. i. together on revelation and only on revelation. 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. x His Da " can never be specified mode. ontic orientation. 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. in this context is one's understanding of the Da and Only Wie safeguarded from adulteration with categories alien to the case. conversely. his Wie. " Das * Da ".

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

8 3 igff. eternal master. and this it does not need to be Christ. 1 and . Christ. he believes because Christ. Faith and " lie together in the same act. The " when faith overcomes temptation are said to be stress (Not) plainly demonstrable. which is A faith " times of need See his Erfahrung und Glaube bei Luther. M.wishfulness one is the believer who being in faith no longer questions. being-directed to Christ. in my opinion. 175 . 1928. 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. Being in Christ. makes existence man exists for and through Christ. the other is Christ. That is the danger in Earth. Every act of faith -wishfulness a happening embedded in the psychic and there accessible to reflexion. it " is for " man in Christ the world delivered to it from the I yet newly subjected creation its by God in the expectafinally. being has no more general free. it tion of the new (Rom. 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. 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. but Christ alone.Act and Being curse of death. Its is absolutely for God. definition.). 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. justifies. also 1 and on the other hand by H.

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

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

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

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

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

joyful assurance. 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. 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. The future's determination of being in Christ recapitulates the dialectic of act and this point cf. 1855.Act and Being Lord and my God " that. the forma fidei 181 . Christ furthermore he sees neither himself nor his own He sees only Christ. however. pp. faith. On " This actus directus has in itself God's promise. Fides directa tional is the name which has been Protestant dogmatics to the given by tradiact of faith which. though taking place in the consciousness of the person. 1 It rests on the objectivity of the event of revelation in to Christ has Word and sacrament. cannot be reflected in it. The page 306 we read: 1 On 30 iff. this actus directus essentialis" . in one and the same act. as his Lord and his God. rebirth) also happen to us in the depth of unconsciousness. on that account he sees neither directus. are not of the essence of justificatory faith. sensational (empfindand tasting. Here alone the risen Crucified in one's neighbour and in is the revelation of that future which determines the present in faith. for there is neither sin nor death in Christ. actus reflexi lich] seeing of divine certification." And on page 299: in of our the event consciousness. our forefathers would have said. as And on page 298: " The processes named and promised by the Word (scil. Franz Delitzsch. These concern the actus directi and reflexi of the life of grace. 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. creation. but is. Biblische Psychologie. Seeing in Word and sacrament means seeing. his sin nor his death. and it is only now and again that reflexes therefrom enter " If the fact of rebirth were an our consciousness.

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

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

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



PETER 5: 12 133 I8 7 . 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. 145 2 2 3 : : I36 145 3 1 2O 6 12 12 13 15 : : : : : 12 22 i5"-45 16 . 4ff. I2O 120 142.INDEX I. 13 120 I2O 120 93 155 155 133 COLOSSIANS i : 2 3 3 : : : 18 17 10 lof. 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.

53n.. 1260.. 93. 26.. 29!!.. 69 16. 62 Dilthey. Bultmann. i8m. H. 980. loifL. 380. 178 Heidegger. Ehrlich. 86. i6in. 44... W. 5sff... 26.. isGn. 8 7 n. 112... 63.. 50. 71.. 95 n.. igff. 35. ' Brunstad. 75 Lutgert. Holl. Kurt. Hegel. Luther. I2in. 49.. E.. 270.. 990.51. i6m. Gioberti.. 6311. 1820. Anseim. 320.. i67n. 230. 1 1. F. 560... G.. i82n. 72n.. Fichte. 133. 1351!. 145 ^^ Peterson. 90. 43> 49. 126. Kuhlmann. 51 Marx. 59. Cohen.. 94. In. i68n. 105-6. W. Flacius. 2on. 60.. 35. Karl.. 98n. ii Jacob. 112. 122.. Hartmann. 98. 47.. 58. 45. w. 8rn. Vincenzo. H. 67. 26n. 50. Names Hollaz. i6m. 106. N. 156. Julius. 80 Lowith... Herrmann.. F. H. ^ Arir Wllham Occam > r of ' 8o ii. G. n. 20. St. 140 Duns Scotus. 43n. ii. 15. i6in. 151. 53n. 73-4. 59. 69 Kant.. Kierkegaard. . ii. i6m. 20 RiehJ... n. i6in. 97n. 13111. 25 Knittermeyer. n. 112 176 Bartmann. 66.. i?5 Muller. 146 Hirsch. 560. n Plato. 127. I29n. 84n. 57. i6in.. 34 Ficker. 163 Natorp. ii. 75> F. 148. 34. 96ff. 34 Geyser. Earth.. 175.. 56. 26 Muller. 67. 64 Adam. being in. 13. 8iE. 8511. 49n. 3ofE. R. J. Husserl. ii. 230. 1 1 Kattenbusch. ( w 69. 27. ? 57. Pontoppidan. Paul...69 Rickert. 86rF.. 1580 . Kohlbrugge. Grisebaclx... I Gogarten. 850. 112. 1 1. 54 5811. Descartes.. 100. ign. 139. 14.....Index ii. Schaeder.. 104 i68n. 51 73. 126. i6on. 37ff. 27n. 12. 155- Althaus. M. 64. 86.. E. 128-30 Malebranche. i6in.. 54 Delitzsch.. 155. 183 Przywara.. 93 188 . on..

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

174 1 2 1 n. revelation and. 120. 156 Grenzsituation. 62. Humanity. I45ff. concept 104. 103. i66ff. 104. 131.. Guilt. 108. 66. of. 127. 39. 66. 102 Ens. 970.. 83. Existence. 105 Doctrine. in decision. agere seguitur. 61. 173 Existential knowing. I73 Creatureliness. 157. 84n. 172. heavenly. 57*69. 63. 57. 171. Habittts entitativus." 102 cognition. 14 Creator. 118. 108 Confession.wishfulness. 134.. 150. 140 personal. 115. 104. 179-80 Faith. 103. 60.. 105." 102 Historicity. 143 Conscience. 84^. 133. 99. 921!. knowledge. 83. 61. 102. 174 I (-Thou). 52. 107. 8.. Death. Corporate person. 176 Fides direct^ 181 Fides implicita. 140 Contingency. 108. 172 Critical reservation. I77ff. "religion of. in.. the 84. 55. 136. 118.84. 134. 64. 174 Holy Spirit. 68. 182 Dogmas. 135 Dialectical theology. 37.. 114. I32fl. 124. the "coming" deity.. HI.. 160. Creation. 57 Essentta. 69. reference. 157 Contritio passiva. 137. transcenden36. 126. 86. 130. I4off. 87. concept of. Protestant. being of the. 179 Cor curvum m se. pure.. 92. 65 Future. 83. 104. 130$:. 75. Decision. 120 Cross. theology of. 53. Bjn. 86 Everydayness. 172. 137 Existentiality. talist. 171. " Double. 53. " " existing deity. thought. 100. 173 Heavenly double. 141 " no Epistemology: sociological. IOQ. the new.Index Community. 52. 105 IQO ." 51. 157. 79. 103. 62. 120. 159. roo. Consciousness. i66ff." i6on. 47. 65. i6in." 11. 89in social 90. idea of. 167 Ecclesiastical Eidos. 136.. 123. 83. 80. 15781. 87. 137. Esse peccator. 10. 108. i24ff. 159. 59. 115 n Faith (belief). as religious object. 173 Ethics. of 37 Eschata> 182 Eschatology. 73 Contritio activa. Esse. i62fF. 89. 4on. 74. 57. i62ff. 164. 182 Esse. 113.. God: 143. 47. Dialectic. 32. 151 Dogmatics: Catholic. 976. 102. 140 Existentia. 145. 175. 100. 59. 55. 181. 59." 141. 137. 144 54 Empirical theology. 98. 131 Adam. 69. 115 Finitude. i8off. 132. 108. 145. 120. 177. ' Experience. 156 community and. 141. 125. 105 History. 66. 101. 39. 137 Creature. idealistic. proof of. 84. 1 religious. Dasein see Being : " I78ff. 175. 155 " Essence. social. 113. 93 Context. 8sn.. 146 Direction.

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

44. 1 (" howness "). transcendentalism. 143. 123 Revelatio specialis. 145 Science.46. no. i43ff. 66. 146. 163. 131. 86.68. 80. I33> 137. World. Sola fidey 127 Unconditional personality. 183 157. 82 Word. 93. 171 Thing-in-itself." 149-50 Sin.. 161.. 115. Temporality. 40 Understand. sense of. 1143 Vision. 59. 33 122." 112 120. 137 V*. 142. Remorse. 12. " HO 67 Status corruptions. the.43. 113 y Voluntarism.-t. 88 Wiesein 165. ability to. essential.. 156. 142. 181. 4on. 71. 118. 83. 131. 125. 103. 120.. 67 kJVLUTiJlMAJLVV/. 106. 71. 97." category of. ^VJ. 91. 58-9.Index Religious acts. 119. 84. 180. 109. 146. "There 47. 109. 98. 51. forgiveness of. 73ff. and I. 49 System. 98. 132. 39. 75 Society.. 94. 57 Verbal inspiration. Revelation. *Ky Substance. i62ff. theology of. will to refrain from. 136. theological. 86. 86. 64.. Time. dialectical. 132. 47. i66fF. no. 172 "Through. 67 Thou. 88. 157. 150-1. 121.I-' concept of. lyoff. concept of. 120." 37. 178 Reservation. 46. 8sn. experience. Transcendentalism. 138.41. 130 Sociological categories. 64-5 Temptation. 119. 93. Satan. 102. original. 148-50. isSff. 143. 136. 150 Remembrance. 122. 162. 66. 95.. 143 I2on. i6iff. 130. 65. Temporal categories.. I. dialectical method of. 112. 176 the. 133. 72. 125. Values. 73. 134. 144 " Sense. 160. Sacrament. 57..V^V. 122. 139 Theology. ng. 102 is. 36fF. 15-16. 85... 87. 96. 144 Resurrection. 127 142. 49 Thomism. 134.65. empirical. 97. 99. 87. 126. concept of. 139-40. 125. 114. 112 Truth. 105 -W 1 * Subject. Theo-sociological categories. I59n. 81-2. 183. 4 iff. 172 192 . 113. 145. 35. *55> 15 181. 37n. 150. 163 Sins. 44. 129. i44fF. Status gratia.



City. Here in this important book is di plined theological thinking illumina by a profound faith. He and preaching ag. rich Bonhoeffer studied f . . in which act being are at one.(Continued from jn> ^ /^/.- cern are analyzed and clarified. writing in Germany during Nazism. K on the one hand and Heidegger on other are used by Bonhoeffer to velop tion his original theology of revi : and the church. 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. New York . car at Union Theological Semina. 1 .

CZ rfi 13072' .

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