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Karl Barth and James Cone: Theology in Context


 Faculty of Divinity, University of Cambridge

West Road, Cambridge CB3 9BS


Friday 9 December 2022, 10 am – 4 pm.


                     A day conference co-hosted by the Faculty of Divinity,                        

University of Cambridge & Oxford Centre for Religion & Culture,

Regent’s Park College, University of Oxford






Special revelation has always occupied the central role in Christian theology. It means that there has been a self-revelation of God in biblical history and decisively in Jesus Christ. It is this conviction that Karl Barth takes seriously by using Christology as the point of departure of his Church Dogmatics. God has been fully revealed in the man Jesus so that the norm of all existence is determined exclusively by him  - James H. Cone ‘A Black Theology of Liberation’, p.51


This one-day conference seeks to explore the theological legacy of two foundational ‘patriarchs’ of 20th century academic Christian theology – Karl Barth and James Cone. Karl Barth and James H. Cone on first appearance seem to have little in common, and yet once we dig beneath the immediate facade, we see multiple connections. Cone’s doctoral work was on Barth’s theological anthropology. Cone’s scholarship is shot through with multiple references to Barth as witnessed in the above quotation. Both of them see Jesus Christ as a critical point of departure in their explicitly Christian informed faith commitments to undertaking academic theology. This conference seeks to put Karl Barth and James Cone’s respective theologies into context.


We are inviting short papers (20 minutes) for a one-day conference on December 9th, 2022, to explore the relationship between the theologies of Karl Barth and James Cone. The conference will take place in person at the University of Cambridge Faculty of Divinity and online. The deadline for paper submissions is: 1/10/22.

Please send short paper proposals to both of the following email addresses:

Online registration is available via the link below. The cost of lunch is £15.

Barth-Cone Symposium 9-DEC-2022 | University of Cambridge


Draft Conference Programme:

10:00-10:15 Introduction: Prof. Anthony Reddie & Dr Stephen Plant


10:15-10:45 Keynote: Prof. Kelly Brown Douglas, Dean of the Episcopal Divinity School at Union Theological Seminary


10:45-11:00 Break


11:00-11:45 Keynote:  Prof. David Clough, University of Aberdeen


11:45-1:00 Short papers [2-3 streams, each with 2 twenty minute papers with discussion]


1:00-1:45 Lunch


1:45-3:00 Short papers [2-3 streams, each with 2 twenty minute papers with discussion]


3:00-3:15 Break


3:15-4:00 Final Keynote: Prof. Susannah Ticciati, King’s College London.



Photograph of James Cone by courtesy of Union Theological Seminary, New York





Current students and supervisors can access the Faculty’s Moodle page by clicking on the image below.