(PDF) Barth, Karl. Barth in Conversation: Volume 2, 1963. Edited by Eberhard Busch, Karlfried Froehlich, Darrell L. Guder, Matthias Gockel, and David C. Chao. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2018. | David C Chao - Academia.edu
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Barth, Karl. Barth in Conversation: Volume 2, 1963. Edited by Eberhard Busch, Karlfried Froehlich, Darrell L. Guder, Matthias Gockel, and David C. Chao. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2018.

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Barth, Karl. Barth in Conversation: Volume 2, 1963. Edited by Eberhard Busch, Karlfried Froehlich, Darrell L. Guder, Matthias Gockel, and David C. Chao. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2018.

Barth, Karl. Barth in Conversation: Volume 2, 1963. Edited by Eberhard Busch, Karlfried Froehlich, Darrell L. Guder, Matthias Gockel, and David C. Chao. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2018.

    David C Chao
U N C O R R E C T E D P R O O F S U N C O R R E C T E D P R O O F S U N C O R R E C T E D P R O O F S U N C O R R E C T E D P R O O F S viiThe year 1963 was for Karl Barth yet another happy year. He had enjoyed finishing his teaching activity at the University of Basel in the previous year at the age of 76, and, up to this point, the illnesses that would overshadow him in the following years had not yet shown themselves. He had also not yet organized the weekly Saturday "colloquia"-as he deliberately called them-which would shortly be introduced at the University of Basel. He filled the special freedom that he experienced during this year 1963 by conducting "conversations" with different groups and individuals, partly in Basel, partly elsewhere. Three texts originate from the time of his trip to Denmark in April, and five texts from his encounters during multiple trips to Paris. In this volume of Conversations, just as in the other two, the procedure of arranging the material has been as follows: The foreign-language versions have been moved to an appendix*; in the main part, they are presented in German translation.Regarding the method of communication being applied here, a method that was cultivated by Barth particularly during his more advanced years, some things have already been explained in the forewords to the volumes of conversations from the years 1959-1962(Karl Barth GA, Section IV, vol. 25, Zurich: TVZ, 1995, 1 and 1964-1968(Karl Barth GA, Section IV, vol. 28, Zurich: TVZ, 1997). 2 In one of the conversations printed in the present volume, when it suddenly came to a harsh confrontation between "modern" and "evangelical" (evangelikaler) theology and the conversation was on the verge of breaking down, Barth said: "As long as we still can speak to one another, we must speak with one another, don't we?" 3 One can understand this sentence as a plea concerning this confrontation, which was subsequently becoming even more serious. One may also understand the sentence, independently of the immediate context in which it came about, as a motto for this volume as a whole and as an indication of the way communication is being conducted here.I illustrate this with words uttered by Barth at the beginning of his conversation with the Church Brotherhood in Württemberg: "It will not be acceptable for me to spend the entire day doing the talking. I would rather speak with you, and I would like to listen to you as well. We should not proceed in suchU N C O R R E C T E D P R O O F Sa way that you listen and I speak, but rather we want to have a conversation. I will often ask, 'What do you have to say about this?' Or, 'What do you really think?' " 4 This also means that no text penned in advance is being read out, but instead of that there is a two-way communication flow with action and reaction, question and answer. The resulting disadvantage that statements are at times provisional and sentences are incomplete may justify that a few subtle corrections in square brackets are inserted. In any case, the disadvantage is counterbalanced by the liveliness of the dialogue, still noticeable even in the printed text, and by the participants' preoccupation with the truth, which concerned all of them. Some of the conversations were recorded; some, especially if they are interviews, are available in print as a newspaper article; some have been preserved as transcripts. As far as it can be determined from the entries in Barth's calendar, he conducted more such conversations than are gathered in this volume. Even after some serious research no documentation could be found for some of them. The pieces concerned should at least be named at this point: January 21Conversation with Zurich students on "church and state," in the Bruderholz Restaurant in Basel January 29Questions and Answers at a meeting of the Christian A particular editorial problem for this volume needs to be mentioned separately. Of the two-day conversation that Barth had with French pastors and theologians after Barth's last lecture course [Evangelical Theology: An Introduction (New York/Chicago/San Francisco: Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1963), only a recording of the first day of the meeting has been found. Is it possible that no recording was made on the second day? Also, no transcript has turned up either. The hope to finally make a discovery in this case is one of the reasons why the conversations of 1963 are only published now, despite the fact that the edition of this volume had already been essentially completed at the same time as the other volumes : 1959-1962 and 1964-1968. Now, after this hope has remained unfulfilled, the volume will have to go out to its readers with this gap. May the readership be able to compensate the lack all the more with the joy over the preserved pieces.The delay in the publication of the present texts has meant that the work on their editing was done at different times. Therefore I now have to express my 4 U N C O R R E C T E D P R O O F S xiThe three volumes of Barth's "Conversations" in the German Gesamtausgabe (Collected Works) provide an unusual and enriching encounter with the person and thinking of Karl Barth. These edited collections of diverse encounters with Barth were the work of Professor Dr. Eberhard Busch, already well known as Barth's biographer. They were one of the outcomes of years of work at the University of Göttingen, where Busch was Professor of Reformed Theology (the chair that Barth inaugurated in 1921). With the assistance of his students, he painstakingly assembled, edited, and annotated these accounts. The result is a highly readable experience of Barth in retirement. He was sought by a great diversity of groups and individuals and often joined them at the restaurant Bruderholz, not far from his home in the Basel neighborhood of that name. In these discussions, we see how Barth's vast theological project actually works, how it translates into concrete contexts, and how it remains a living, dynamic process, with profoundly important trajectories for the thought and practice of the Christian church. The translation of Gespräche for Barth in Conversation is a project of the Center for Barth Studies at Princeton Theological Seminary. From its inception in the mid-1990s, under the leadership of then Director of the Princeton Seminary Library, Dr. Stephen Crocco, the faculty affiliated with the Center had discussed the challenges of expanding the English translations of Barth's works. Linked to the daunting challenge of such expansion of the English Barth library was the issue of reliable translations. Without in any way diluting our gratitude for the English edition of the Church Dogmatics, there were growing concerns about some aspects of that massive project. It was becoming clear that challenging issues were to be confronted with regard to terminology, consistency, accuracy, and stylistic appropriateness. More and more scholars found themselves revising citations from the English edition in order to make points that were congruent with the German text. To foster a higher standard of translation and to encourage expanded translation efforts, the Center for Barth Studies decided to invite a small group of Barth scholars interested in translation issues to meet and work on texts together. The first group gathered in June of 2007, immediately after the annual Barth Studies Conference on campus.The experience of working together on translation issues proved to be stimulating and rewarding. This small group of avid Barth readers had a solid interest in meeting annually to explore ways to improve the general quality of Barth translation as well as to do actual translation projects as a group. To carry out the first objective, the group began to develop a "glossary" for Barth Translators' ForewordBarth-ConversationV2-01.indd 11 7/26/18 8:30 AMU N C O R R E C T E D P R O O F Stranslations, in which we noted, among other things, our agreement on how certain distinctive terms in Barth's vocabulary might be translated. The group was mentored by Karlfried Froehlich, emeritus Professor of Church History at Princeton, who is not only a native German speaker but also studied under Barth in Basel. His role has been to interpret the nuances and often complex allusions of the German text so that a resulting English rendition reliably captures the syntax, content, and mood of the German original. At its first gathering, the group experimented with the translation of Barth's "conversations" in the first of three volumes in the Collected Works with that title: Gespräche. The advantage of this volume was that the various documents or chapters could be assigned to different translators. The annual meeting in June was then used as an opportunity for each translator to present challenges and questions that emerged from the actual task of translating texts. For discussion in the meeting, each participant prepared a segment of a current assignment. The sessions proved to be extraordinarily productive, not only in terms of the quality of each translated "conversation," but also as a training process focused on the improvement of translation skills. In 2013 a doctoral student at Princeton, David Chao, joined the project as its program manager. He brought with him expertise as an academic theologian and great skill with the computer technology needed to carry out the project. He also had several years of experience in academic publishing as an acquisitions editor. Chao has organized the project, set up systems for tracking the process of translating and editing each segment, and brought the project to a place where publication has become a real possibility. He has facilitated the formulation of policies and practices for "fellows" of the Center for Barth Studies, working out procedures for submission of assigned texts and their editing process. Also beginning in 2013, Kait Dugan, Curator of the Center for Barth Studies, has been instrumental in developing the fellows program through providing institutional support and funding.The production of this volume has thus gone through several steps: Initial translation by a fellow, review of representative excerpts from the translated text at the annual meeting, critical review of all translations by Professor Froehlich as a multilingual native German speaker, with attention to the faithfulness and accuracy in rendering the German into English, and final editing by Professor Guder as a bilingual native English speaker with attention to the quality of the English language version. During the editorial process of this second volume, Dr. Matthias Gockel joined the team as our second native German-speaking editor. He succeeds Professor Froehlich to ensure that the text faithfully renders the German original.The texts reproduce conversations, not carefully drafted and formulated lectures. The speech is idiomatic and not literary. There are sentence fragments and interjections as a normal part of conversations. In some instances, the German editors have reconstructed the text from cursory notes prepared for a conversation or taken down in the course of a conversation. Square brackets are used by the German editors to indicate such editorial emendations. In most cases we have integrated these clarifications into the translation but have continued the use of square brackets to indicate material that the translator has added to enhance understandability. The annotations of the German original have all been translated, making this volume a valuable resource for study of U N C O R R E C T E D P R O O F Sa great range of themes in Barth's theological project. There are several conversations or presentations that took place originally in English or French. In the German edition, these were translated into German and then annotated. In this volume, the original English text is provided, the French is translated into English, and the annotations have been incorporated. The English originals were also conversational and not carefully written-out lecture texts. Thus at times the English is quite idiomatic and evidences the typical problems of spoken English. Citations from the Church Dogmatics (CD) are given first in the English edition, followed by the reference (KD) to the German original, Kirchliche Dogmatik. Where possible, English editions of cited German resources are provided in the footnotes. Our appreciation for the work done by the original German editors, Professor Busch and his students, has grown as we have engaged these documents. They have created a wealth of scholarship that is a great enrichment of the Barth legacy. It is the hope of the fellows of the Center for Barth Studies that the availability of this resource in English will enhance the serious engagement of Karl Barth's theological legacy, building on the excellent work of our German colleagues. Karlfried Froehlich Darrell Guder Princeton Theological SeminaryMatthias Gockel University of BaselMay 2018 Barth's Life O.Br. 1945-1968 K. Barth. Offene Briefe: 1945-1968. Edited by D. Koch. Zurich: TVZ, 1984Pr. 1954-1967 K. Barth. Predigten: 1954-1967 Seiler: Professor Barth, the choice of your successor for the chair of Dogmatics at the University of Basel unleashed a heated controversy by the end of last year. 1 Your student, Helmut Gollwitzer, Professor at the Free University, Berlin, 2 who was unanimously suggested as your successor by the Basel faculty, was denounced in a newspaper campaign as a communist sympathizer and declared "intolerable for Switzerland" because he is an opponent of the nuclear arms buildup, he promotes contact with the Christian Churches in Eastern Europe, and has expressed the opinion that Western European Christianity is in no way everywhere and in every respect reaching its best form. 3 Although one could easily see from Gollwitzer's writings that he repudiates communist doctrine, the attacks on him were successful: he was not selected. You yourself kept your silence at that time although the campaign against Gollwitzer was also aimed at you indirectly and sometimes directly. Soon thereafter you accepted an invitation to travel to the United States, where you were received with greatest honor and where your visit found considerable resonance not only in theological circles but also with the broader public. 4 From your impressions gained Interview with Alexander J. Seiler November 28, 1962/January 23, 1963Barth-ConversationV2-01.indd 1 7/26/18 8:30 AMU N C O R R E C T E D P R O O F Son this trip, how would you compare the Christian character of America with that of Switzerland, which enjoys regarding itself as an especially or at any rate distinctly Christian country? Barth: Yes, after the unhappy experiences that you have described, I was very glad to leave Switzerland behind me for several weeks. I won't say more about the Gollwitzer affair, but this much must be said: the decision over my succession turned out to be extremely disappointing. Gollwitzer would have been a prize for Basel and for Switzerland.As to Christian America and Christian Switzerland, what I especially noticed was that in America the community is still a reality. There, people do not go just to hear the sermon and then back home as we do. They do not go just to be with the pastor, but with each other. They "come together" to worship. Even in the large cities where I stayed, Chicago, Washington, Richmond, churchgoers know each other, greet each other, speak with each other. Going to church is not just a private experience but something social, a "social gathering," as the Americans call it. That may also have its dangers. But basically it is good and gratifying; the gospel binds people together.On the other hand, I found that generally the preaching is better in our churches, at any rate more profound. American Protestantism is still strongly marked by the somewhat shallow [elevation of] reason by the Enlightenment.Seiler: I often have the impression that the strongest side of our Christianity really is the preaching. By that I don't mean that deep dimension of the Christian faith which is and must remain a matter of the individual, but the public area, the everyday life of our society. You yourself have once spoken in conversation of "Christianity meaning infant baptism, confirmation, marriage, funeral, perhaps also the Federal Day of Prayer in Switzerland," 5 which is so widespread among us. That runs alongside real life as a separate and nonobligatory area. Social, economic, and cultural life remain largely unaffected by it. How does this work in America?Barth: My impression is that the more social orientation of American Christianity gives it also greater practical importance in public life. Although there is no established church and in spite of the huge number of larger and smaller free churches, which is confusing for us, these churches generally have more influence on the secular reality than our state churches do. Perhaps it is just because as free churches they are dependent on themselves and their members. This influence may sometimes be problematic and may promote a certain tendency toward self-righteousness. But in general, the vitality of church life is impressive, not least where conversations occur between churches and with other confessions. In Chicago I spent a very stimulating and pleasant evening with Catholic clergy: Jesuits, Dominicans, secular priests. 6 Whiskey was served, and we conversed without any inhibition. I have never experienced that in Basel. Likewise in Chicago I was invited to a public roundtable discussion with a Jesuit, a Jewish rabbi, a liberal Protestant, an orthodox Protestant, and a layperson. 7 The event took place on five evenings during one week in 5 [Great Concert Hall] in Basel! There too, the discussion went on in complete openness. Conflicting views, which of course emerged quite naturally, were neither glossed over nor overplayed but were passionately and objectively fought out. It was an example of our oft-repeated remark, "Well, one has to just talk to each other." 9 Seiler: As the Gollwitzer case shows, in Switzerland we have thoroughly forgotten how to "just talk to each other," especially in political and certainly in foreign policy matters. Those theologians and pastors who out of their Christian conviction spoke out for the initiative to ban nuclear weapons last March 10 had and still have to suffer even today being denounced as "gravediggers of the West" 11 and with similar slanders. How have we come to this drying up of a genuine public discussion, this unchristian lack of political liberality? How has it also come about that our Christian churches on the whole shy away from taking a clear and unambiguous position on such burning life issues as nuclear armament unless they are forced thereto? How is it so much so that such a convinced Christian as the Catholic historian Friedrich Heer could say that the actions of the churches today for the most part carry "the stamp of reaction"? 12Barth: Yes, how did it happen that I was able to have a more open and uninhibited political discussion with a group of members of Kennedy's inner circle 13 than would be possible here even with certain theological colleagues? That I found no one in America who would have comprehended the Gollwitzer case or Zurich's prohibition of Oistrach's performance? 14 That Swiss Protestantism only took a position on nuclear armament under the pressure of an oncoming plebiscite? 15 Perhaps one has to go back to the situation of the German church 8. The podium discussion took place on two evenings while Barth gave five lectures devoted to the first five chapters of his book Evangelical Theology: An Introduction, see note 4 above. [Tr.: Conversation 1: 161-91.] 9. A Swiss expression. 10. On Apr. 1, 1962, the Swiss had voted on an initiative that called for inserting into the Swiss constitution a ban on the production, importation, transit, storage, and use of nuclear weapons. The initiative, which was clearly defeated, was supported by Barth along with others. See Barth's remarks, "Atomwaffenverbot in der Verfassung? Ein Diskussionsbeitrag zur Volksabstimmung am 1. April," in Zürcher Woche 14, no. 12 (Mar. 23, 1962): 3;see O.Br. 1945see O.Br. -1968. Support for this judgment is found, e.g., in the article by J. Zwick, "Atomwaffenkrieg der Theologen," in Die Weltwoche 26, no. 1306(Nov. 21, 1958: 13: "Some enjoy playing the role of the prophet of doom and appear not unwilling to open the floodgates to an east wind so that it will singe the hated 'bourgeois landscape' in which they themselves thrive quite comfortably. In suicidal frivolousness, which they mistake for the courage of faith, they rack themselves up into an antediluvian mood with the confidence that following the destruction of the rotten Western civilization the rainbow can shine all the more brightly."12. See Fr. Heer, Offener Humanismus (Bern: Scherz, 1962), 375: Even the political offensives of the churches are "essentially defensive," "campaigns to reconquer lost territories . . . and institutions, eyes rigidly fixed on the past. . . . One doesn't dare to walk truly new paths; action remains reaction."13. John F. Kennedy (1917-63), American President in 1961-63. The conversation with some of his advisors (Ted Sorensen and others) took place on May 7, 1962. 14. In May of 1961 Swiss immigration officials refused the request for a concert to be played by the Russian violinist David Oistrach, in Zurich. This decision, approved by the Zurich city council, led to fierce debates in the cantonal council at its sessions on June 19, July 3 and 10, and Sept. 4 and 11. See Minutes of the Meeting of the Cantonal Council 1961 (State Archives of the Canton of Zurich), 1612-13, 1670-71, 1688-94, 1715-18, 1722-29. 15. See note 10 above. On May 26, 1963, another national vote was held on the Social Democratic Party's initiative calling for restricting the exclusive right to decide on nuclear armament to the U N C O R R E C T E D P R O O F Sunder National Socialism. At that time, a regeneration took place through the Confessing Church, a reawakening of a confessing Christianity. The political restoration in the postwar years was paralleled by an ecclesiastical restoration that led to a mutual alliance. The situation in Switzerland was similar, with the difference that our church only very partially took a position of intellectual opposition even during the war. 16 After the war, even more clearly, there was no longer an intellectual task. But the church is always sick when it is without a task. Seiler: With a view to the Nazi period, it often appears to me that the position of today's Swiss citizen on foreign policy contains an exorcistic element. It is as though during those years we had gotten used to having the devil maybe not on the wall but right at our border. Today we transfer this position to the world's split into East and West, and we don't consider that the inkpot has become an atomic bomb and thus a boomerang that comes back to strike us.Barth: Particularly since today the devil is rather far away. What our real feelings are would only become clear if the Russians stood at Lake Constance. Would there be a red Pilet-Golaz then? 17 But concerning exorcism, shortly after the Hungarian uprising 18 a very dear colleague of mine 19 preached a sermon in the Basel Cathedral on Matthew 8:28-34, the demons being driven out of the demoniac and into the swine. He did very well and hinted that one day the demons would be driven out of the Kremlin as well. After the sermon, I told him that there was one thing he had forgotten: the swine into which the demons threw themselves. In such cases, they often are we ourselves. 20 What I mean to say is this: one should be wary of driving out demons from others, demons from whom we ourselves are not free or, at least, against whom we are not immune.That is especially relevant for a people of born pedagogues as we Swiss happen to be. It is natural for us to stand at the podium to lecture, to teach lessons to all others. Evidence of this right now is our very unchristian arrogance toward the Italians and other foreign workers who are just good enough to keep our economic competitiveness going by their hard labor. It can also be seen in our electorate (an obligatory referendum) (see below, chap. 12, n. 59). For the position taken by the Federation of Swiss Protestant Churches, see below, chap. 12, n. 53.16. See H. Kocher, Rationierte Menschlichkeit: Schweizerischer Protestantismus im Spannungsfeld von Flüchtlingsnot und öffentlicher Flüchtlingspolitik der Schweiz 1933-1948(Zurich: Chronos Verlag, 1996), esp. 393-444. 17. Marcel Pilet-Golaz (1889-1958, a member of the Swiss Parliament in 1928-44, advocated a policy of consideration and even conformity vis-à-vis his country's neighbor, Germany. See J. Kimche, General Guisans Zweifrontenkrieg: Die Schweiz zwischen 1939und 1945(Berlin: Ullstein, 1962 18. The uprising began on Oct. 23, 1956. 19. Barth's friend Eduard Thurneysen (1888-1974 became the pastor of the Basel Münster [Cathedral] in 1927 and also taught as Professor of Practical Theology beginning in 1929.20. Barth noted to Thurneysen on a scrap of paper: "Plan for a sermon on the second part of the story: 1. On the contentment with which the two thousand swine grazed on their land, and on the three minutes of misery and revulsion (during a general stoppage of the midday traffic on the Basel streets put into effect as a manifestation of protest) in which they watched from a distance the evil activity of the demoniacs. 2. How the Lord was more concerned with the demoniac than with the two thousand swine and how he therefore thrust the demons out of the former into the latter. 3. On the behavior that now gripped the demonized two thousand swine and how it had to lead to their plunging into the sea and drowning." From the editor's transcript of the original note, which Barth showed him in 1967. Barth So what remains in many respects is only the retreat into silence 25 and the hope that in this silence there are still powers at work that are based on a healthy common sense and true Christian values.21. Major General E. Uhlmann no doubt represented the official thesis of the Federal Government in Bern when he declared, "nuclear weapons would only be acquired under strict preservation of our neutrality," as reported by Schweizerischer Evangelischer Pressedienst, issue 45, Nov. 12, 1958;reprinted in JK 20 (1959): 51. After this thesis was challenged from many quarters as illusionary, the Swiss military conceded that it would create a problem for Swiss neutrality, even though at first it continued to advocate Swiss nuclear armament. On the one hand, one argued, it was an "essential goal" of the American nuclear monopoly to "prevent the emergence of nuclear armament in other nations"; on the other hand, it might be advisable "to include nuclear weaponry in the Swiss national defense as part of an alliance," given the fact that in case of a future war Switzerland would not be threatened in isolation. Thus W. Mark, "Atomwaffen für die Schweizer Armee: Können oder Wollen? [Nuclear weapons for the Swiss Army: Can or want?]," in Allgemeine Schweizerische Militärzeitschrift 129 (1963): 445-50, here 446.22. At that time this formulation elicited a critical echo in Switzerland. The Neue Zürcher Zeitung in its midday edition of Feb. 1, 1964 (no. 398) published a letter to the editor from a reader, signed F. W. and titled, "Dorftrottel Europas [Village idiots of Europe]?" It stated that now one was finally gaining clarity on "who is working into the hands of the Communists and therefore also belongs to the fifth column in the West." Furthermore, the question was posed whether every reader of the Woche could recognize "which Trojan horse the scholarly professor is riding and how deliberately and with what finesse the Swiss determination to resist is being undermined by his crowd of followers." See also A. Fisch, "Dorftrottel Europas?," in Basler Nachrichten 119, no. 63 (Feb. 11, 1963) Br 1945Br -1968 25. Here Barth echoes the formulation of J. von Müller, Geschichte Schweizerischer Eidgenossenschaft [History of the Swiss Federation], ed. E. A. Hofmann (Kilchberg-Zurich: Volk & Schriftum, 1942), 187, on the behavior of the early Swiss after the Oath of the Rütli (Nov. 8, 1307?): "Then each one went into his hut, kept silent, and wintered the animals." . In chap. 12, §1. thanks doubly. In the 1990s, at the Göttingen Barth Research Center, Tilman Kingreen, Wilfried Schutt, and especially Christoph Dahling-Sander contributed in collaboration with Dr. Hinrich Stoevesandt at the Barth Archive in Basel. In the revision of the volume this year, Barbara Schenck and Bartolt Haase par-Barth-ConversationV2-01.indd 8 7/26/18 8:30 AM U N C O R R E C T E D P R O O F S ticipated in Göttingen and Dr. Théo Schneider in Geneva, as well as the current director of the Barth Archive in Basel, Dr. Hans-Anton Drewes, who carefully coordinated and completed the actual printing of the volume. Especially these people have each helped in their own way and with their expertise in a mean- ingful and noteworthy way, so that this next volume of Barth in Conversation can now be published. Wholehearted thanks may be given to them for their knowledgeable and constructive commitment. May the book find an interested readership who allows itself to be taken into the conversations begun here! Eberhard Busch Göttingen Autumn 2004 Barth-ConversationV2-01.indd 9 7/26/18 8:30 AM . See Conversation 1:64. 6. This gathering took place on Apr. 15, 1962. 7. See Conversation 1:161-91.Barth-ConversationV2-01.indd 2 7/26/18 8:30 AM U N C O R R E C T E D P R O O F S the huge Rockefeller Memorial Chapel, 8 and every evening we had between two and three thousand people in attendance. Just think of something like this happening at the Grosse Musiksaal turtle-like politics, which consists of rejecting all contacts with the East. While world politics since Kennedy's inauguration has seen a slow but clear reduction of the tensions and improvement of the relations between West and East, we behave in a more Western manner than the West and speak about abandoning our neutrality.21 If we keep that up we will one day stand there as Europe's Dorftrottel [village idiots].22 It could have been Switzerland's mission after 1945 to stand au dessus de la mêlée 23 [above the fray] and form a bridge between West and East. 24 A true Christian mission! But we Swiss lack the Mozartian touch, the calm serenity needed in a world that is torn and divided. We lack the ability to see ourselves in our own relativity. It is from this ability that true peace arises.-ConversationV2-01.indd 4 7/26/18 8:30 AM U N C O R R E C T E D P R O O F S : 1. 23. Above the fray. 24. See Barth's lecture of February 1949 in the city church of Thun and in Bern Cathedral, Die Kirche zwischen Ost und West (Zollikon-Zurich: Evangelischer Verlag, 1949). On the vehement debate occasioned by that lecture, see O. xv Translators and Assignments