Yesterday, I commemorated the 40th anniversary of Barth’s death. Yet Christians know that death is not the end; we anticipate the joyful day of the resurrection of the body. Karl Barth, I think, anticipated that the kingdom of God will be a place filled with joy and laughter!
Humor and joy aren’t precisely the same thing, but as Prof. Migliore has argued (in his excellent little article entitled, “Karl Barth: Theologian with a Sense of Humor,“), humor arises out of the partial presence of the Kingdom as we recognize that things still aren’t entirely as they should be. As Migliore puts it, “Joy will find its fulfillment in God’s new heaven and new earth; humor belongs to a world between the times.” (See also Prof. Hunsinger’s article on Barth’s wit and wisdom)].
I especially liked Migliore’s insightful description of the nature of humor:
Humor often arises from the experienced discrepancy between reality and appearance, from the distance between what we pretend we are and what others know us to be, or between what others imagine us to be and what we know of ourselves.
In the spirit of humor so described above, I attach below a couple of “Karl Barth photo mash-ups” which I offer as examples of the “experienced discrepancy between reality [the historical context of the original photos themselves] and appearance [how they could be mistakenly understood in humorous ways].”
Or maybe you can suggest some better captions??? Enjoy!