Journal of the Faculty of Humanities and Human Sciences;Volume 5


Kanzo Uchimura's and Karl Barth's Studies on Romans

Sasaki, Kei

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In this paper, I will compare the most representative work of Kanzo Uchimura, one of the most representative Japanese Protestant Christians between the Meiji and early Showa era, Romasho no Kenkyuu (A Study on Romans) with also the most representative work, studying the same Epistle of the New Testament, Der Römerbrief, written by the most prominent Protestant theologian of modern Europe, Karl Barth. Both works were written in almost the same period. Although these two works were written on completely opposite sides on the globe, they have some interesting similarities, not only superficially but also substantially. For example, both give very orthodox comments on the verses many times. However, the differences between the two works are very suggestive to understand Uchimura's indigenous Christian Faith. Uchimura is extremely particular about the Apostle Paul's character and personality, on the other hand, he does not talk about God as "ultra-transcendental" as Barth does. These kinds of observations of their works will be useful to answer my ultimate question, "How We Become Christians," namely what exactly our Japanese Christianity was and what it is now, and how we Japanese have become and now become Christians.