Dietrich Bonhoeffer

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Dietrich Bonhoeffer
BirthplaceBreslau, Silesia Province, Prussia
EducationDoctorate in theology

Bonhoeffer, Dietrich

Bonhoeffer, Dietrich (dēˈtrĭkh bônˈhöfər), 1906–45, German Protestant theologian. Bonhoeffer, influenced early by the thinking of the young Karl Barth, 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).


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).

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References in periodicals archive ?
(5) See Adolf Bonhoffer, Epictet und die Stoa: Untersuchungen zur stoischen Philosophie (Stuttgart: Ferdinand Ende Verlag, 1890), 187-222.
Dietrich Bonhoffer, who became an active member of the German opposition against Hitler.
Lifson, J.D., Bonhoffer, S., Nowak, M.A., Hahn, B.H., Saag, M.S., & Shaw, GM.
Everybody could read the Bible for themselves (though few would read it, as Bonhoffer later exhorted, `against themselves').
Surely, the writings of Karl Barth, Dietrich Bonhoffer, Hans Kung, Alasdair Macintyre, Reinhold Neibuhr Paul Ricoeur and Paul Tillich should inform anthropological ideas and students of religion on how traditional and missionaries' encounters are conceptualized on the intellectual plane.
This recommendation that, in Dietrich Bonhoffer's phrase, we become "servile before fact" is especially unsuited to progressives, since it represents such a sharp break with the American tradition of social reform.
In this context and in this conversation, we should constantly have in mind what Dietrich Bonhoffer, in a note surreptitiously preserved by his friend Eberhard Bethge, wrote from prison: "We have for once learnt to see the great events of world history from below, from the perspective of the outcast, the suspects, the maltreated, the powerless, the oppressed, the reviled--in short, from the perspective of those who suffer." (35)
BONHOFFER, <<Christus die Wirklichkeit und das Gute>>, en Ethik, C.
They also helped German composer Uwe Steinmetz in the premiere of his highly original composition based on the poems of German theologian and martyr Dietrich Bonhoffer. Performed by jazz ensemble, string quartet and narrator, it brought the audience into the cell where Bonhoeffer awaited execution to witness `his struggles with evil, with justice and with God'.
Nor can this exclusion be justified on the grounds that "Bonhoffer (sic) was just beginning his theological work in 1933, and his most important work came later".