This dissertation focuses on the aspects of grace in the theologies of Karl Barth
and Paul Tillich. Following the phenomenology of Jean-Luc Marion, the threads of
both the iconic and the idolic will be investigated as to their influence in Barth's
exposition of the doctrine of the Covenant and Tillich's development of the Gestalt
of grace. A chronological approach will be taken, showing both the similarities and
differences between Barth and Tillich and the theological developments in their lives.
The phenomenological analysis of the given, will show that Barth and Tillich were
nearer in concepts of grace then is often accounted, but it will also be demonstrated
that they were not compatible on that which manifests itself as the iconic. The
covenant, as espoused by Barth, will be seen not to have a sufficient iconic presence
in comparison with Tillich's Gestalt of grace symbolized by the cross. However, it
will also be shown that Marion's eucharistic symbology is not completely adequate
as a corrective to either Barth or Tillich.
The introductory chapter will state Marion's thought on the "giveness" of the
phenomenon of grace, both as concept and icon. Chapter 2 will focus on the
theological and philosophical backgrounds ofBarth and Tillich. In Chapter 3 and 4,
the early careers of Barth and Tillich will be narrated and their early meetings
recounted. In Chapter 5, Barth's developing theology will be discussed, especially his
shift from dialectical thought to an analogy of faith following his study of Anselm.
Tillich's career as a philosopher will be analyzed with special emphasis on his
theological essays. Chapter 7 will focus on Barth's early dogmatic thought leading up
to his doctrine of election and the covenant. Tillich's mature theology in his systematic
writings of the fifties will be the topic of Chapter 8. The final notions ofBarth's
doctrine of the covenant in the last two volumes of his dogmatics will reveal his
theology of the cross, and his understandings ofthe secular parables of grace. The
conclusion will summarize and critique Barth and Tillich's ideas on the divine
initiative of grace and Marion's icon of grace in the sacrament of the Lord's Supper.
This study uses an approach not done before which will illuminate various
understandings ofBarth and Tillich's theology and seeks to provide a fresh reading of
their respective doctrines of grace.