"Called by Karl Barth "the brilliant Ethics of Dietrich Bonhoeffer," this book is finally being recognized as Bonhoeffer's magnum opus and one of the most important works of Christian ethics of the last century. Presented here in a new translation and a new arrangement, it is based on intensive study of the original manuscripts. Bonhoeffer's Ethics is copiously annotated with historical notes and editorial commentary that reveal the theological basis of his radical critique of Nazi policies and practices." Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved


SINCE THE TIME that the writings of Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906–45) first began to be available in English after World War II, they have been eagerly read both by scholars and by a wide general audience. The story of his life is compelling, set in the midst of historic events that shaped a century.

Bonhoeffer’s leadership in the anti-Nazi Confessing Church and his participation in the Abwehr resistance circle make his works a unique source for understanding the interaction of religion, politics, and culture among those few Christians who actively opposed National Socialism. His writings provide not only an example of intellectual preparation for the reconstruction of German culture after the war but also a rare insight into the vanishing world of the old social and academic elites. Because of his participation in the resistance against the Nazi regime, Dietrich Bonhoeffer was hanged in the concentration camp at Flossenbürg on April 9, 1945.

Yet Bonhoeffer’s enduring contribution is not just his moral example but his theology as well. As a student in Tubingen, Berlin, and at Union Theological Seminary in New York—where he also was associated for a time with the Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem—and as a participant in the European ecumenical movement, Bonhoeffer became known as one of the few figures of the 1930s with a comprehensive and nuanced grasp of both German- and English-language theology. His thought resonates with a prescience, subtlety, and maturity that continually belies the youth of the thinker.

In 1986 the Chr. Kaiser Verlag, now part of Gütersloher Verlagshaus, marked the eightieth anniversary of Bonhoeffer’s birth by issuing the first of the sixteen volumes of the definitive German edition of his writings . . .

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