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This week in Christian history: Karl Barth born, American Tract Society, Missionary pamphlet

Karl Barth born – May 10, 1886

Karl Barth
Swiss theologian Karl Barth (1886-1968), an influential Protestant pastor, author, and thinker who resisted the Third Reich. |

This week marks the anniversary of when notable 20th century theologian Karl Barth was born in Basel, Switzerland, the eldest child of Fritz Barth, a Swiss Reformed minister.

Barth spent much of his childhood in Bern and eventually decided to study theology after a period of rebellion against schooling that included being part of a street gang.

“Barth gave new impulses to Protestant theology during a critical phase, reshaping it fundamentally toward a systematic theology that had to cope with the grim realities of the 20th century,” noted the Center for Barth Studies at Princeton Theological Seminary.

“As the principal author of ‘The Barmen Declaration,’ he was the intellectual leader of the German Confessing Church, the Protestant group that resisted the Third Reich.”

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