Academic journal article Currents in Theology and Mission

Bonheoffer: A Brief Overview of the Life and Writings of Dietrich Bonheoffer

Academic journal article Currents in Theology and Mission

Bonheoffer: A Brief Overview of the Life and Writings of Dietrich Bonheoffer

Article excerpt

Bonheoffer: A Brief Overview of the Life and Writings of Dietrich Bonheoffer. By John W. Matthews. Minneapolis: Lutheran University Press, 2011. ISBN: 978-1-9326-8865-8, 100 pages. Paper. $15.00.

John Matthews provides a helpful introduction to the life and theology of Bonhoeffer, suited primarily for those without previous knowledge of Bonhoeffer's work. Especially helpful aspects include a brief biography, a timeline to help chronologically locate major events and writings in Bonheoffer's life, and reviews of five key productions from Bonhoeffer: Sanctorum Communio (The Communion of Saints), Discipleship, Life Together, Ethics, and Letters and Papers from Prison.

Within this brief monograph, two assertions stand out. First, Matthews reveals the central role Christology played in Bonhoeffer's life. The very structure of the book looks at Christ's centrality expressed in theology, in communal and personal life, in discipleship, and in ethics. In particular, Matthews claims that, as the center of theological reflection, Christ took a principal role not only in the church, but in the world. Matthews emphasizes the significance of the incarnation in Bonhoeffer's writings, especially in relation to God's desire for the transformation of all creation, including human society. …

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