Dietrich Bonhoeffer

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Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Birthday
BirthplaceBreslau, Silesia Province, Prussia
Died
EducationDoctorate in theology

Bonhoeffer, Dietrich

(dē`trĭkh bôn`höfər), 1906–45, German Protestant theologian. Bonhoeffer, influenced early by the thinking of the young Karl BarthBarth, Karl
, 1886–1968, Swiss Protestant theologian, one of the leading thinkers of 20th-century Protestantism. He helped to found the Confessing Church and his thinking formed the theological framework for the Barmen Declaration.
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, urged a conformation to the form of Jesus as the suffering servant in a total commitment of the self to the lives of others. His ethical thinking led him to become an outspoken leader in the breakaway Confessing Church in Germany that openly declared its theological oppositon to Nazism in the Barmen Declaration of 1934. After the state cracked down on the church, Bonhoeffer continued his ministry underground and eventually became involved in the plot to assassinate Hitler; he was imprisoned for two years and hanged for his role in the plot. His writings, which have had considerable influence on postwar ethics and theology, include The Cost of Discipleship (tr. 1948), Prisoner for God: Letters and Papers from Prison (tr. 1953), and Ethics (tr. 1965).

Bibliography

See M. F. Marty, Dietrich Bonhoeffer's Letters and Papers from Prison: A Biography (2011); biographies by A. Dumas (1971), E. Bethge (rev. tr. 1999), E. Metaxas (2010), and C. Marsh (2014); studies by L. Rasmussen (1989), R. Wind (1992), and E. Sifton and F. Stern (2014).