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Incarnation as Awakening: Katsumi Takizawa Reading Karl Barth

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This contribution deals with the thinking of the Buddhist philosopher and Christian theologian Katsumi Takizawa (1909-1984) on incarnation. Firstly, it gives a short biographical and theological introduction to Takizawa, who was influenced not only by the "father" of the so-called dialectical theology, Karl Barth, but also by one of the famous figures of the Kyoto-school, the philosopher Kitaro Nishida.

This contribution concentrates, secondly, on Takizawa's the-anthropological re-interpretation of the incarnation. It is argued that for Takizawa incarnation has to be seen as an awakening of the historical Jesus (or other historical phenomena) to what he calls the original fact: the eternal relationship between God and man.

Thirdly, this contribution discusses the the-anthropological thinking of Takizawa about incarnation in five short points. Apart from the positive challenges of Takizawa's thinking especially for the theology of Karl Barth, it marks clearly the most thrilling point between Takizawa's thinking on the one side and that of scholars in Barthian theology on the other side. The open question that comes up is if incarnation really can be thought without a historical mediation or mediator, as Takizawa seems to claim.

Affiliations: 1: History and Thought of Christianity at the Utrecht University


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