Hans W. Frei

Unpublished Pieces

Transcripts from the Yale Divinity School archive

Edited by
Mike Higton
Professor of Theology and Ministry
Department of Theology and Religion
Durham University


with assistance from Mark Alan Bowald
and Hester Higton




In the winter of 1998, I spent some time working through the papers collected in the Hans W. Frei archive at Yale Divinity School, while working towards a book on Frei’s theology (Christ, Providence and History: Hans W. Frei’s Public Theology, London: T&T Clark, 2004). This collection of transcripts makes available a few of the most interesting pieces from the archive, and a couple from elsewhere, all of them previously unpublished – and all of them, I think pieces which clarify and extend Frei’s published works, or which cast interesting sidelights on his theology.

Several of the pieces are transcribed from messy manuscripts, two from audio-tapes of lectures; I have taken the liberty of tidying up punctuation and grammar in places, of expanding abbreviations, and from time to time turning notes or stumbling live speech into prose. I have also tried to complete (though not normally to supplement) Frei’s sporadic and uneven references, to identify some quotations for which he provided no reference, and to add information about the availability of English translations for some of the German sources he quotes.

This project would not have been possible without the assistance of Martha Smalley, Research Services Librarian at YDS; the Faculty of Divinity at the University of Cambridge, who funded my trip to Yale; Charles Campbell, who provided me with a copy of one of the pieces not in the archive; Mark Alan Bowald, who transcribed the tape recordings of another piece missing from the archive; Angela Morris at Louisville Seminary Library who helped me get tape recordings of Frei’s Greenhoe Lectures – and most of all my wife Hester, who endured my absence in Yale, and typed the ‘Analogy and the Spirit’ piece.

A guide to the Hans W. Frei papers in the Yale Divinity School archive with links to the transcripts is available at http://www.library.yale.edu/div/fa/div076.htm.




You can download whole collection (PDF: 1.24MB).

Individual transcripts are also available, either as HTML files (i.e., ordinary web pages) or as PDF files (i.e., far clearer layout; suitable for printing). The PDF version has page numbers, which can be used when providing references to this material.


I Theological Reflections

1. Analogy and the Spirit in the Theology of Karl Barth HTML 72KB PDF: 205KB
2. Scripture as Realistic Narrative HTML 44KB PDF: 145KB
3. On Interpreting the Christian Story HTML 73KB PDF: 204KB
4. Historical Reference and the Gospels (YDS 13-199) HTML 21KB PDF: 93KB
5. The Specificity of Reference (YDS 12-189) HTML 16KB PDF: 89KB
6. History, Salvation-History, and Typology (YDS 19-278) (YDS 2-36) HTML 44KB PDF: 139KB
7. God’s Patience and Our Work (YDS 18-268) HTML 61KB PDF: 178KB
8. On the Thirty-Nine Articles (YDS 12-186) HTML 15KB PDF: 83KB
9. Theological Hermeneutics (YDS 13-205) HTML 6KB PDF: 59KB

II Historical Investigations

10. Religious Transformation in the later Eighteenth Century (YDS 10-168/9) (YDS 13-198) HTML 181KB PDF: 400KB
11. Herder (YDS 18-271) HTML 21KB PDF: 93KB
12. The Formation of German Religious Thought in the Passage from Enlightenment to Romanticism (YDS 13-199) HTML 34KB PDF: 133KB
13. Contemporary Christian Thought (YDS 13-197) HTML 14KB PDF: 78KB

III Reviews and Book Notes

14. Review of Wendelgard von Staden’s Darkness over the Valley (YDS 10-166) HTML 17KB PDF: 84KB
15. Notes on Erich Auerbach’s Mimesis (YDS 13-199) HTML 3KB PDF: 51KB



CD Karl Barth, Church Dogmatics (Edinburgh: T&T Clark 1955–1977)

CPH ‘Primary Sources: Annotated Bibliography’ in Mike Higton, Christ, Providence and History: Hans W. Frei’s Public Theology (London: T&T Clark, 2004) – followed by the reference number which the transcribed piece has in that bibliography.

EBN Hans Frei, The Eclipse of Biblical Narrative (New Haven: Yale, 1974)

IJC Hans Frei, The Identity of Jesus Christ (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1975)

KD Karl Barth, Kirchliche Dogmatik (Zürich: Evangelischer Verlag/Zollikon, 1932­–1967)

TN Hans Frei, Theology and Narrative, ed. George Hunsinger and William C. Placher (New York: Oxford, 1993)

YDS Hans Wilhelm Frei Papers, Manuscript Group No.76, Special Collections, Yale Divinity School Library. (YDS 13–199 = box 13, folder 199, etc.)


Mike Higton
Lecturer in Theology
University of Exeter