This study looks at the formation of theology as it emerges out of biography. Indeed, the biography of the theologian is the key to unlocking the meaning of his or her writings, and a valuable tool for a thorough investigation of their work. There will be a focus on the biography of Karl Barth and how this relates to his theological writings. Attention will then be turned on a group of North American theologians to analyze how Barth's theology has influenced their personal experiences and corresponding theologies.
The personal experience of the theologian provides the background to the theological judgments she or he makes, and therefore provides valuable insight into what she or he has written. Experiences in the theologian's life determine how she or he forms and communicates the ideas that the experiences have given rise to. Indeed, theologians profoundly connect with readers as they write theology as an expression of their experiences of faith. Therefore, this book contends that there is a necessary connection to be made between the theologian as a person and the theology that emerges out of her or his unique biography. Indeed, it will be argued that theology is born out of the lived encounters of the theologian that develop into the kind of personal convictions, passions, concerns, questions, and a motivation to connect with others that is evident in her or his writing. Consequently, theology and theologian are inseparable.