Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Dietrich Bonhoeffer (dē´trĬkh bôn´höfər), 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 biographies by A. Dumas (1971), E. Bethge (rev. tr. 1999), and E. Metaxas (2010); studies by L. Rasmussen (1989) and R. Wind (1992); M. F. Marty, Dietrich Bonhoeffer's Letters and Papers from Prison: A Biography (2011).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

Selected full-text books and articles on this topic

Dietrich Bonhoeffer: A Spoke in the Wheel
Renate Wind; John Bowden.
Eerdmans, 1992
The Cost of Moral Leadership: The Spirituality of Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Geffrey B. Kelly; F. Burton Nelson.
W.B. Eerdmans, 2003
Dietrich Bonhoeffer's Letters and Papers from Prison: A Biography
Martin E. Marty.
Princeton University Press, 2011
The Cost of Discipleship
Dietrich Bonhoeffer.
Macmillan, 1963 (Revised edition)
Prisoner for God: Letters and Papers from Prison
Dietrich Bonhoeffer; Eberhard Bethge; Reginald H. Fuller.
Macmillan, 1960
Spiritual Care
Dietrich Bonhoeffer; Jay C. Rochelle.
Fortress Press, 1985
The Stones Will Cry Out: Pastoral Reflections on the Shoah (With Liturgical Resources)
Douglas K. Huneke.
Greenwood Press, 1995
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 13 "For the Life and Service of Dietrich Bonhoeffer: A Service of Remembrance and Gratitude"
Beyond Religion: The Truth and Error in 'Religionless Christianity'
Daniel Jenkins.
Westminster Press, 1962
Librarian’s tip: "Bonhoeffer on the End of Religion" begins on p. 33
Religionless Christianity and Vulnerable Discipleship: The Interfaith Promise of Bonhoeffer's Theology
Jensen, David H.
Journal of Ecumenical Studies, Spring-Summer 2001
Answering for the Past, Shaping the Future: In Memory of Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Huber, Wolfgang.
The Ecumenical Review, Vol. 47, No. 3, July 1995
Holy Scripture: A Dogmatic Sketch
John Webster.
Cambridge University Press, 2003
Librarian’s tip: "Calvin and Bonhoeffer" begins on p. 74
German Incertitudes, 1914-1945: The Stones and the Cathedral
Klemens Von Klemperer.
Praeger, 2001
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 9 "Maturity: Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Faith and the 'World Come of Age'"
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