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German

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is

one of the commanding figures

the age,
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R GOD, LIKE
5

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books

PRISONER

TOGETHER, and ETHICS

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

theological unthe basic structure, of Bon*girding,
iffer's

reader will find the

thought.

Philosophical

and

ologicai alternatives of
(CantiwMtd on back

major con-

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25 O BTlac Bonhoeffer Act; and "being

62-05559

ACT AND BEING >A E i".U.. .

.

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

N. FIRST EDITION Library of Cong) ess catalog card number.This book under the title of AKT UND was first published SEIN in Christian Kaiser Verlag. 62-7951 . London. Ltd. New York 16.. 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. 49 East ttrd Street. For information address Harper <& Brothers. Printed in the United States of America All rights reserved.Y. 1956 by Munich ACT AND BEING Copyright Copyright if 1956 by Christian Kaiser rerlag 1961 by William Collins Sons ^r New Co. and Harper York Brothers.

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

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

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

Definition of** being B. 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. " in Christ in 170 The past as determinant of being Christ: Conscience in 177 180 185 c. Revelations mode of being within the Church c. Man's mode of being within the Church the idea 119 126 D.Contents B. c* Adam " A. 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.

The Problem .

.

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

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

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

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

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

of" there is . the idea of revelation must be reas analysis of revelation In terms envisaged within the concretion of the idea of the Church. Part Two. . The idea " " of this of sin and man in sin. Concepts of being. is suspended knowledge and object are shown selves accordingly. The theological concepts of to be determined by the sociological category of the person and must reshape themThe sphere of the entity. inasmuch as deriving from revelation. is thawed into motion by the sociological category. but each " in the other.Act and Being whether of a cort being l produces concepts of knowledge unsuited to bear the whole weight of revelation. 1 * Part Two. i. Chapters 16 i and 2. is Out man of conscience formed the child. 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." of frozen ontological concepts. " Adam " and Christ. represents an attempt to unify the aims of true transcendentalism and true ontology within an " ecclesiastical The whole thought ". Chapter 3.e. of grace and man being Three developed within the wider concretion of the idea of the Church. 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. reflexion and intentionality. neither " is to be imagined without the other. are always determined by the concepts of sin and grace. The past is in grace is in Part " " suspended of the in the future. reflexion in intentionality.

PART ONE

The problem

of act and being, treated

as the epistemological

problem in

philosophy's understanding

of Dasein

THE TRANSCENDENTAL ENDEAVOUR

Epistemology
reflect

is

the

self's

attempt to understand

itself,

I

on

again:
is

myself, that is the basic attitude

and

I

and my-self separate, then they

fuse

of the transcendental

philosopher, and

somehow
this

comprised in

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

itself

the intention of the I

see the

common

germinal

cell

self-understanding. Here we of transcendental philosophy

and

idealism.

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

from

philosophy, the concept which Kant endeavoured to amplify its long evolution reaching back farther than scholastic
theology,
1

and the concept of transcendentalist philosophy 2 by post-Kantian idealism. Secondly, we must bear in mind the question whether Kant's transcenas understood
1

Cf.

H. Knitter meyer,
Christliche

**

Die Transzendentalphilosophie und die
idealist

Theologie,"
2

Welt, 1924, especially p. 222.

All that follows below
is

by way of representing Kantian or

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

though we believe he intended to be one.

It is

the system

we

debate, not matters of historical fact.

19

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

its

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

a double reference to the transcendental:

a

retrospective,

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
thing-in-itself

and transcendental apperception are under-

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

dentalism:

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,
special

meaning through thought.
Dasein
is

human
1

situated

"

All entity has reference
Die Religion

among which " human to
des Idealismus,
I,

Gf.

W.

Liitgert's interpretation in

PP- 8ff2

The concept

of Dasein as the

mode
is

distinct

from other forms of being
1927.

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

20

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

in

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
is

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

radicalisation

of the

transcendental

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

of

itself, it

can never get into the
being in reference to
5>

embarrassing position of merely
the transcendental.

"

Nevertheless,

mind

residing in

itself,

even
i.e.

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

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
1

human

existence.

Cf.

God
2

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

Luther, RSm. Komm,

8

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

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

27

Act and Being

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

simply

is

not true that concrete
is

to

be in

God is doomed to hideous disillusion in
loneliest solitude,

experiencing

the utter introversion,
self,

the treadmill confinement to the

of the very

with

its

tion

and

sterility.

Concrete

man

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
agent,
is

more purely expressed in the genuine transcendental

understanding of existence than in idealism's conflation of
act

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

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 something which gives proof of itself in the tionality,

understand
as

itself) is

an

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

has an essential connection with existit

and

this

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-

28

Act and Being
hand.

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
to

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

transcendentalism must

come

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 as to the being of 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 Now it is no mere radicalisation. transcendentalism by chance that idealism, which begins with an ontological
the

judgment,

finishes, as

shown, with something very

like

a

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

On

the contrary,

it Is

not hard to see

its

importance even

for theology, as well as for the philosophical theory of

God

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
roles
its

between the

I

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

become

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.
(i.e.

In

this
is

way

there

is

at least in principle

so far as this

violation

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

the

way

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

as

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
1

for the possibility of existence

Doubtless an oblique reference to the hubris of philosophy, which
is

for Bonhoeffer

per se systematic: see pp. 58

and 70 below

(Translator).

3

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

not persaying the same with the I itself: " God ". just as the transcendental unity all truth. " a The truth of religion does not lie in the fact that Op. and.e.. is the condition on which all possible". 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 ". p. I have none with God. is Religion. p. as the beingawareness of the unconditional personality. Religion has truth. This was by Here the point of between God and man this the unconditional personality. I can manently subjective. of the I is the basis of is confirmed only by the fact character as experience of the unconditional that. at. of the unconseized by ditional value-reality of personal life. lies unconditional personality in It follows that certainty of the experience of God in experience of the unity of nowhere but my own I. op. 1 presented in the idea of The experience of God must be the experience of myself. is truth. 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. Religion as experience. not non-objectifiable..Act and Being a large scale to the best of F. i. It is just " I ". 15 if. Religious experience has a " certainty wholly in and through itself ". its " Brunstad. 1 The : I keeps itself company.. 40 . Brunstad in his Idee der identity my knowledge. cit. as a necessary prerequisite of all truth. because it comprises the basis of all possible truth in the experience of the unconditional-synthetic unity of the I ". of the religious experience. but truth and validity is in the significance of religious experiences. But just could also say when I in fact say as I can have no commerce with my transcendental I. personality. 154: science arrives at results coincident with the utterances of faith. it itself becomes the basis for the possibility of 2 How the I can thereupon enter into communion all truth.

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

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

however much both problems may coincide The implications of the Christian idea of for idealism. it clearly requires a " " bounds of reason. and makes a thorough-going experience of the will and resistance to demolish the whole of idealistic epistemology in favour of attempt and epistemological The same confuses psychoconsiderations a philosophy of life determined by history. 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. which at W.) 43 . and 134. 1890.Act and Being again to finish in the system of reason. x.1 No. 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. Dilthey's inquiry into from our first sight impresses as biassed in favour of tradition. Gesammelte Schriften. we are conence or proof of a cerned to ascertain the mode of being of divine revelation. disqualify the inference of the external the reality of the external world. for example. reality. the concept of version of the " " this in reference to being and the concept of the act being. 2. Thus interpreted. In context the meaning of the idea of transcendence. Halfte. the dependence of the consciousness on pp. 9off. since logical it significance. to give an example. receives far clearer this of the expression than in connection with the problem external world. 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. if. Riehl (Der philosophische Kritizismus. proceeds to it. Dilthey's work is of crucial importance for the most recent philosophy of history. pp. and it has of late acquired influence over theology as well. book. " world from social emotions ". If. Our own problem of being is not the problem of the exist" real external world ". V. viz. God. the " " meaning of the outside or of being. (Beitrage Z.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

i. Scheler has difficulties he cannot find his grip his way back to the existentia and finally loses on the essentia as well. 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. but we also see that the undertaking comes to grief in the same way as Cartesian methods of proof.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. it bears within itself. the good and the very deity. In this way the being of God. for the Nevertheless. according to Scheler " " the envisioning I is sense of values in the himself. 57 ." x we indeed see clearly his will to posit reality. or of sounds before they are heard. endowed with the capacity to take into itself the whole world. with the problem of reality because. Wherever he may stand in the matter. Such shyness in making statements about existence is of a piece with Husserl's way of putting reality in inverted commas. 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. 55 if.e. of world and I is once again delivered into the hands of the person remaining 1 Vom Ewigen im Menschen. No doubt a sphere transcending the logos not to say a primacy is reserved for being. " essence ". pp. the fulness of life. though he does not hesitate to base his thought on the hypothesis of the essence's transcendence of consciousness. something which permits it to understand God and itself. as a person. by virtue of its vision of the highest values.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Act and Being
existence, as epitomised in Przywara.
esse-essentia

Man,

existing in the

tension,

must bear within
the
ability

himself, as a given

existential

possibility,

to

behold the

Is

the

esse-essentia identity.

It follows

from

this,

however, that in

this

"

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
all

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

and

esse.

Just as

Anselm arrived

at a

"

being ",

l

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

but,

failing

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

it

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
is

useless for

theology?
1

Such outright

rejection

is

no more applicable
150!".,

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

n. 3.

69

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

In so

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

both

that the I understands itself
truth), they offer

from

itself,

can place

itself

in

revelation.
thesis

If

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

itself,

that in the second

somehow

falls

itself

consequently that in both cases within a closed system. Per
;

power of the thinking I, the I understands itself from
se,

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

Christ.

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

may

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
"
"

thought

suspended
1

in being, in order to test against

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

70

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

so,

we

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.
all,

to theological inter-

of service in understanding the

What

offends

Christian
is

thought in
it

any autonomous

man capable of self-understanding truth on himself, of transporting himself into the bestowing 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 which Christian theology does only
that

considers

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
validity

may be conceded

to the proposition,

common
'

to

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

V

places the knower in a direct

"
possessive

"

relation to the

known;

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

oneself, or

"
is

already

being in

.

.

."

whether

in

"
"

Adam

"

Christ ".
to give oneself truth

Never being able

"

represents the

unattainability of a systematic metaphysics; for such

knowl-

edge as that would imply would signify a self-placing into the truth. But neither is such knowledge a possibility for
1

Cf. F.

K. Schumann,

Gottesgedanke und %erfall der Moderne>

1929,

closing chapter.

71

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

any

"

critical

;

from

itself.

German

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

No, the knowledge
into truth
for the
I

represents

is

likewise a self-placing

world of the
"

confined to the

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

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

because

"

it

simply

is

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

"

Only thought which, bound
"
is

to the

from the truth

can place into

yet

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

possible step, but as

or us to be able to take

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

accepted.

It

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

Two.

and a theological anthropology as guilt essentially or by grace in and not merely as " " determined by being at risk anthropology analysis of itself. Admittedly." ^eitschrift fur Theologie und Kirche. 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. n. also F. 6. 1929. 1930.d. 5. relevant passages below. 300). " Das Cf. of transforming even this (Bedrohtheit) is the human existence into of in other words an attempt to seize hold of becoming theological anthro- pology. Tillich is of the opinion that no distinction can be philosophical made between (Religiose theological anthropology Furche. This may be put to the test only in conjunction with the concept of contingency inherent in revelation. Gogarten. of course. Recently R.NOTE Theological anthropology If P. No. Bultmann (" Die Geschichtlichkeit des Daseins und Der Glaube. from ontic) possibilities of believing and unbelieving 73 . If from the standpoint of revelation the existence of man is seen by Verwirklichung. one need only indicate in reply the concept of revelation.. pp. 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.. p. " in ^wischen Problem einer theologischen Anthropologie den eiten y No.

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

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

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.

.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

the representation of consciousness is not " " belief. The identification of being I. in the non-objective. it we have the one choice of considering it it Epistemologically. the Holy accrediting 92 . retains objective or non-objective. is impossible once the I recognises that it exists in time. God's revelation has. precipitately inferred by idealism. So in revelation God is in the act of name understanding himself* That is his location. must somehow.Act and Being entity. then it was not God that he knew. as we have seen. for the objective is involved in the I. Essentially. become knowable in speaking of revelation. since. God himself. If. we are really become manifest Christ. as we know. 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. 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. and the If we now try to place revelation in this frame. and he cannot be found in my consciousness for any reflexion on this act. what revealed has the of Christ. but this is possible only if God is also the subject of the knowing of revelation. God which I have in my God is only in the act of Spirit is In my belief. by definition. Yet if is revelation that non-objective. knowable by man. is not involved in the I but transcends it. the subject of the understanding is God as the Holy Spirit. 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. on the other hand. and in fact man. if man knew. bound to its existence in history.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Act and Being

have
the
act,

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

new
it

direction

seems impossible

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

question.

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
imposed.
such,
is

is

unable to convey: even according to Luther,
his

man

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 ;
pretation.

they are susceptible of every arbitrary interas
it

Be that

may,

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

there

was shown above, if at all from the

man

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

know

himself, without interpretation, in utter clarity

and

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

But

this

is

to say that the unity of

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

way

that the fact of the unity's basis
its

Word

is

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.

Adam
is

but

107

REVELATION IN TERMS OF BEING

A.

The

"
being

"

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 ".

The
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.
tive
it

""

there, present,

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

are

available

from the outset

to

the

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

an

institution.
is

If the essence of revelation
1

taken to be doctrine,
Translator.

Or

"
theory ",

"

Ibre
1

"
(Lehre)

08

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
its

then

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

come

together, there the
is

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

doctrine

in

itself

no stumbling-block

least

to

our

modern way of

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

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
possibilities

of man.

From

this it follows that

when

revela-

tion

is

understood

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

that

we now

see another aspect of the fusing of act-

and

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

understood as religious experience.

God

is

then present in

my

experience, understandable, 109

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It is not yet it that of the external world. the extrinsicality sought in individualistic epistemology is a given reality. Herein the peculiarity of the theo-sociological category. " " 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 ". and drawn into the social sphere of persons. In the communion. sustaining his claim And so it is that through the extrinsicality of the Christperson the external world takes on fresh meaning. to which he of course continues to belong qua entity. 139 . is no more than my possibility of self-assertion neighbour confront me as (Grisebach). But even the external world. But through the person of Christ the Fs fellow-man is also rescued from the world of things. as a contingent pre-requisite. 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. which is only known for truly extrinsic where man is in Christ. is only in its action on human existence. Only here is Without Christ my very reality sheer first-hand decision. one which. The extrinsicality of the Christ-person is essentially transcendent of existence. as mediator of the spirit of Christ. it cannot conceive that this having-to-suffer derives it from itself lies but must recognise that comes from outside. can no longer be called into question.Act and Being person suffers the impact of the person of Christ in judgment or in the process of incorporation into the communion. Only through Christ does my neighbour making some form of absolute claim on me from a position outside my own existence.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

INDEX .

.

: : : '75 1 14 121 CORINTHIANS i : i : 13 1 30 2 12 *6 15 12 i2fF. 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. 13 120 I2O 120 93 155 155 133 COLOSSIANS i : 2 3 3 : : : 18 17 10 lof. PETER 5: 12 133 I8 7 .INDEX I. 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. I2O 120 142. 145 2 2 3 : : I36 145 3 1 2O 6 12 12 13 15 : : : : : 12 22 i5"-45 16 . 4ff.

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

as. of. resurrection. Baptism. 90 . 44^.. 122. 16." 140 Capax infinitiy 83 Care. 119. 122. 148 Communion. Annunciation.. unto death. 11. 28. 170-84. 103.. 6gn. predicatory. in Christ. i29fF.. Ascesis.. Seeberg. Winkler. in terms of persons. 56!!. 93. 120 Bond.. "existing as community." 75 Believer. 108. 136. 7 in. Traugott... Socrates. 125. 181-3 Actus puniSy 44 Actus reflexus. E. actus directus and. 92fF. 1171!. 12 in. 155-84. 102-3. 124 189 . 75 of social reference. i27n. communion death and 130. ngff. religious.. 132 Actus dtrectus. 91. 137^. 32n. 128-9 Spinoza. 169. 29. 155 Child. 111 Catholicism. 123 Catholic dogmatics. ogy. 115. Body of Christ. 38. i74ff. 30. 121. 171 Causa secunda. I igff. 183. sociological. 136. 183 46. i26n. God's. " 148. 47 23." 1 20... 139." 61 157. R. Tillich. 115. 590.. 42. 139. the. 131 Agere sequitur esse. 08 157 66ff. non. 90 Cognition. 70. 128. in. i8m.. Zanchi. 82. 73. 120 Anthropology. i33> *37> *4. 67. no. 122. Being in Adam.. 106.Index Scheler... 79. 50.. K. 14. Anamnesis. 73. 147. 12 in. 139. 71. 1 29 the Word of freedom. 150 A priori. 106. 112. 55. 119. 148.6 9. 161 Schleiermacher. 47. 105. 6. 112. 121. communion. being in. 133. Christian philosophy. 95. 146. 114. 125. i27n. iSoff. 51 1 " Boundary. extrinsicality of Christ-person. 12. knowing 137^*. Stoker. F. 141. 128. idea of. 122 sociol- Church... 1 1. I35n. 182 Agere. revelation in. 184. no. 179 Aseity. 142. 99-101. P. 13. 1406. 25 Thomas Schumann. 115.. empirical.. 157. 98. in in the Church. iSsn. 137. Aquinas. personal quality of. 30 theo-sociological. 53n. 133. 115. Subjects Acts. temporal. 133. i55.. 13. i2off. 27 ni. i6m. 64. A priori synthesis. 66ff. 6 1 .. Seeberg. 87n. 90 Atheisym.. 35>37 Apocatastasis. existence as. 26. R.. " towards death. 130. Categories: 134. 114. 183 Being (Dasein). 70. 105. religious. 112.. conflict over. 106. 169. 176 Schmidt. 66. Analogia entis. 182. 32. 143 Blasphemy. 106. 105-6. 68.. 7oflf. 1 1 1 176 Bible. i6in. Christ. 87^. 139 Catholic Church.

theology of. revelation and. 86 Everydayness. 86. 103. 173 Ethics. Bjn. 73 Contritio activa. 55. concept 104. 140 personal. proof of. I77ff. 175. 103. 174 Holy Spirit. 134. 87. i8off. 101. 167 Ecclesiastical Eidos. 120. 66. 133. 84. roo.. 87. 182 Esse. Death. 118. 157. 93 Context. 84n. 53. 66.." 141. 156 community and. Humanity. 137 Creature. 120. IOQ." 11. 175. 63.. 131. 141. 140 Contingency. 172 Critical reservation. transcenden36. Dialectic.. 177. 174 I (-Thou). 181. knowledge. 52. " " existing deity. 150.84. 47. 89in social 90. 59. 145. 159. agere seguitur. 108 Confession. 151 Dogmatics: Catholic. talist. 89. 102. Existence. 140 Existentia. 174 1 2 1 n. 160. 100. 137 Existentiality. 62. God: 143. 104. I45ff. 135 Dialectical theology. concept of. 8sn. 124. 108. Decision. 120. i62ff. of. 65. 92. 182 Dogmas. 114. 146 Direction. 14 Creator. 57. 80.Index Community. 83. 130. 113. being of the. 55. 65 Future. 61. 83. 59. 100. I4off." 51.." 102 cognition.. 57*69. 120 Cross. 976. heavenly. 970. 173 Existential knowing. 104. 57. 130$:. 52.. 83. 115. 118. in decision. 132. 69. 107. Corporate person. 104. Dasein see Being : " I78ff. HI. 53. 143 Conscience. Guilt. pure. 105. 103. 74. 39. 84^.. 137. 171. 115 Finitude. 39.. 75. idea of. the 84.. 155 " Essence. 98. 115 n Faith (belief). Consciousness. i6in. 141 " no Epistemology: sociological. 108. the "coming" deity. 137. thought. 134.. 59. I32fl. 83. 60. 136. 105 History. 127. 61. 108. 79. 8. 62. 144 54 Empirical theology. 126. 157 Contritio passiva. 164. 66. 171. 125. 176 Fides direct^ 181 Fides implicita. 921!. I73 Creatureliness. idealistic. 102. 113. Protestant. social. 145. i24ff. "religion of. 102 Ens.. 172. 4on. 179 Cor curvum m se. 64. ' Experience. 68. 173 Heavenly double. the new." 102 Historicity. i62fF. 136. as religious object. Habittts entitativus. of 37 Eschata> 182 Eschatology. 172. 57 Essentta. Creation. 137. 15781. " Double. 37. 179-80 Faith. i66ff. 159. 32. reference. 105 IQO ." i6on. 156 Grenzsituation. Esse. 108.wishfulness. 99. 123. 1 religious. Esse peccator. in. 69. 47. 131 Adam. 10. i66ff. 105 Doctrine. 157..

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

. 139-40. Temporal categories. Temporality. Values. 144 " Sense. 146. 143 I2on.. 15-16. 39. 87. 176 the. 163. 83. 95. 93. 138.46. *Ky System. essential. 134.. 156. 142. transcendentalism. 73ff. 98. 112. 143. lyoff. 172 192 . 71. 150. 133. 88. 49 Thomism.. 144 Resurrection. 122. Status gratia. 145. 115. 103. 163 Sins. Theo-sociological categories. I33> 137. 119. 160. 183. Remorse. 96. 180. 73. 143.. 91. i43ff. 150 Remembrance. 93. 148-50. 127 142. 72. 51. 157. experience. 145 Science. 130. 112 Truth. 132. 134. I59n. 126.I-' of. *55> 15 181. 75 Society. 161. ^VJ.. 87. 40 Understand. forgiveness of. 46. 183 157. 109. 57. dialectical. 84. 181. isSff. 146.41.Index Religious acts. 67 Thou. 113. i66fF. i6iff. "There 47. 82 Word.. empirical. 47. 33 122. 105 -W 1 * Subject.65. 64-5 Temptation. 8sn. 86. 132. 99. 120. 113 y Voluntarism." 112 120. 65. 131. theological. 59." 149-50 Sin. I. 80. 125. 1 (" howness "). 88 Wiesein 165. 49 concept V*. 98. Time. 12. 122. 136. dialectical method of. 162. 137 Substance. 136. Satan. 130 Sociological categories. 4 iff. ability to. 81-2. and I. Sola fidey 127 Unconditional personality.. 114. 102 is. World. no. 44. 36fF. 125. sense of. 178 Reservation.68.. 4on. i44fF. 64. theology of. 125. Sacrament.43. Revelation. ng. 172 "Through. 67 kJVLUTiJlMAJLVV/. i62ff. 86. 171 Thing-in-itself. no. " HO 67 Status corruptions. 118. 150-1. 58-9. 57 Verbal inspiration. 1143 Vision. 71. 121. original. 94. 131. 106." 37.V^V. 35. will to refrain from. 142. 129. 97. 85. 44. concept of.-t. concept of. 97. 86. the. 120. 119.. 66." category of. 139 Theology. 109. 123 Revelatio specialis. 102. 37n. 66. Transcendentalism..

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rich Bonhoeffer studied f . Here in this important book is di plined theological thinking illumina by a profound faith.- cern are analyzed and clarified. City. He and preaching ag. New York . 1 . K on the one hand and Heidegger on other are used by Bonhoeffer to velop tion his original theology of revi : and the church. car at Union Theological Semina. writing in Germany during Nazism. 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'$.(Continued from jn> ^ /^/. . in which act being are at one. was executed in the < centration camp at Flossenburg April ' 1945.

CZ rfi 13072' .

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