The Cost of Moral Leadership: The Spirituality of Dietrich Bonhoeffer

The Cost of Moral Leadership: The Spirituality of Dietrich Bonhoeffer

The Cost of Moral Leadership: The Spirituality of Dietrich Bonhoeffer

The Cost of Moral Leadership: The Spirituality of Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Excerpt

Years ago we were asked by some readers of our lengthy anthology, A Testament to Freedom: The Essential Writings of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, if we could take the detailed introductions to the various sections and weave them into a separate book on Bonhoeffer. The texts we included in that book comprised several of the most inspiring writings of Bonhoeffer structured under categories that covered his entire life and astounding literary output. One critic had written that our introductions, which set Bonhoeffer's writings in their proper context amplified by our own analyses, constituted a book in themselves. Could we lift such a book from our introductions? The idea was intriguing.

However much we reflected on the possibility, though, the more we wanted to do an entirely different book and thereby address not only a gap in Bonhoeffer studies but also the many pastoral interests that had surfaced during several of our joint workshops, retreats, and conferences, both national and international, over the past ten years. The groups to whom we spoke ranged from candidates for the ministry studying in clusters of theological schools, clergy and laypersons gathered at retreat centers, scholarly university teachers and their students, directors of campus ministries as well as adults involved in parish education forums and Elderhostels. Everywhere we went we detected a hunger for the kind of inspiration that Bonhoeffer's spiritual journey seemed to spark and an eagerness to discuss the creative force behind his life's decisions, his exemplary moral leadership, and his courageous struggle against Nazism. For our part, we wanted to explore further the many dimensions of Bonhoeffer's faith in all its diverse expressions, searching for the inner core of . . .

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