North American and British circles often assume that Barth was the great opponent of modern theology. German interpreters, however, have viewed Barth's appropriation of modern philosophy in much more positive terms. This book seeks to respond to the gulf separating Anglo-American interpreters from their continental counterparts. Mark Ralls considers Barth's relationship to modernity from the provocative, yet largely unexamined, question of the human self. Ralls argues that Barth preserves the modernist claim that the self has a self-identity established by free self-determination, while establishing the self anew as the covenant partner of God. This paradoxical understanding of the self may avoid both the false optimism of modern subjectivity and the daunting cynicism of postmodern deconstruction.