Charlotte von Kirschbaum

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Charlotte von Kirschbaum (June 25, 1899 – July 24, 1975) was a German theologian, and pupil of Karl Barth.

Charlotte von Kirschbaum was born in Ingolstadt. In 1916 her father died in the war. This induced her to be trained as a nurse. In 1924 she met Karl Barth personally and in 1929 moved in with Nelly and Karl Barth and their five children in Münster.

35 year relationship with Karl Barth and Nelly Barth[edit]

After being invited by Barth she move into the Barth household, staying for 35 years. The long standing relationship was not without its difficulties. "Lollo",[1] as Barth called the 13 year younger Charlotte, once wrote to Barth's sister Gertrud Lindt in 1935, where she expressed her concern about the precarious situation:

The alienation between Karl and Nelly has reached a degree which could hardly increase. This has certainly become accentuated by my existence.[2]

The relationship caused great offence among many of Barth's friends, as well as his own mother.[3] Barth's children suffered from the stress of the relationship.[3] Barth and Charlotte took semester break vacations together.[3] While Nelly supplied the household and the children, Charlotte and Barth shared an academic relationship. She was the secretary and prepared his lectures.

Work with Karl Barth[edit]

For the sake of the work she learned Latin, Greek and Hebrew.[citation needed] She also attended the philosophical lectures of Heinrich Scholz.[citation needed] She made an important contribution to the production of Barth's Church Dogmatics.[citation needed] In 1935 Barth moved to Basel, Switzerland, followed by Charlotte.[citation needed] From there they supported the German Resistance.[citation needed]

Theological work[edit]

In 1949 her theological book Die wirkliche Frau (The Real Woman) was published. It discussed the role of women.

End of life and burial[edit]

In the early 1960s she became ill with a cerebral disturbance. She moved to a nursing home in Riehen, where she died ten years later. She was buried alongside Barth, where Nelly was also laid to rest.

Writings[edit]

  • von Kirschbaum, Charlotte (1996), The Question of Woman: The Collected Writings of Charlotte Von Kirschbaum, Eerdmans, ISBN 0-8028-4142-2 .

Further reading[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Busch 1975, pp. 177ff.
  2. ^ Barth, Karl (2000), Algner, Caren, ed., Gesamtausgabe, Teil V: Briefe. Eduard Thurneysen: Briefwechsel Bd. 3, 1930–1935: einschließlich des Briefwechsels zwischen Charlotte von Kirschbaum und Eduard Thurneysen [Complete Works, Part V: Letters. Eduard Thurneysen: correspondence. Volume 3: 1930–1935 (including the exchange of letters between Charlotte von Kirschbaum and Eduard Thurneysen)] (in German), Zürich: TVZ Theologischer Verlag, p. 839 .
  3. ^ a b c Busch 1975, p. 199.

Bibliography[edit]

  • Busch, Eberhard (1975), Karl Barths Lebenslauf, nach seinen Briefen und autobiographischen Texten [Karl Barth’s biography, according to his letters and autobiographical texts] (in German), München: Christian Kaiser .