Weapons Grade Snark: Against Barth On Religions

I am frankly offended by this stunning display of bad faith, initiated by Barth’s tortured dialectic and Green’s defence of so transparent a piece of sophistry […] The parochialism and abject ignorance of the advocates of the Barthian position is not only embarrassing, it is offensive to the dignity of the spiritual and religious lives of literally billions of fellow human beings.

Ivan Strenski, “On “Religion” and Its Despisers,” in What is religion?: origins, definitions, and explanations, ed. Thomas A. Idinopulos and Brian C. Wilson (Leiden: Brill, 1998). responding to Green Garrett, “Challenging the Religious Studies Canon: Karl Barth’s Theology of Religion,” The Journal of Religion 75, no. 4 (1995).

Imagine writing a piece that was so offensive that it actually was offensive to billions of people.

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4 Responses to “Weapons Grade Snark: Against Barth On Religions”

  1. Troy Says:

    I’ve never been a fan of the Barthian “theological critique of religion” theme (I assume this is the object of the snark?). I get the point that’s being made, but in its special pleading for Christian faith, it’s so obviously a case of the “no true scotsman” fallacy.

  2. Alex Says:

    Yup, largely agree it is a piece of ridiculous sophistry. But at the same time I think you have to expect a believer in their religion to think their religion is true, even if they have to say this behind a barrage of knotting dialectics.

  3. Craig McFarlane Says:

    Not just “offensive to billions” but “literally billions.”

  4. Alex Says:

    Ha, yeah, almost put that in!


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