In the spring of 1935, Dietrich Bonhoeffer returned from England to direct a small illegal seminary for the Confessing Church. The seminary existed for two years before the Gestapo ordered it closed in August 1937. The two years of Finkenwalde’s existence produced some of Bonhoeffer’s most significant theological work as he prepared these young seminarians for the turbulence and risk of parish ministry in the Confessing Church. Bonhoeffer and his seminarians were under Gestapo surveillance; some of them were arrested and imprisoned. Throughout, he remained dedicated to training them for the ministry and its challenges in a difficult time. This volume includes Bible studies, sermons, and lectures on homiletics, pastoral care, and catechesis, while also offering a moving and up-close portrait of the Confessing Church in these crucial years—the same period during which Bonhoeffer wrote his classics, Discipleship and Life Together.
Now you can use Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works, vol. 14 in the most accessible edition ever produced. With advanced search features, pinpoint every instance where Bonhoeffer wrote about a particular verse or topic. All Scripture references link directly to both original-language texts and the English Bibles in your library. When you copy and paste material from Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works, vol. 14, citations are automatically generated using the style of your choice.
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This is an enormous venture. Fortress Press, with the blessing of the International Bonhoeffer Society, is publishing a critical, studied, clarifying, and . . . standard-setting, if not normative version. [Dietrich Bonhoeffer] is in the select company of the giants of this century who still challenge new generations even as his writings startle us seniors with their freshness.
—Martin Marty, Context
Dietrich Bonhoeffer is the one German theologian who will lead us into the third millennium.
—Dorothy Soelle, visiting professor emeritus, Union Theological Seminary
Without doubt, Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works will be the definitive point of reference from here forward. It supersedes all previously published Bonhoeffer documents and adds new ones as well.
—Larry Rasmussen, Reinhold Niebuhr Professor Emeritus of Ethics, Union Theological Seminary
Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906–1945), a German theologian, pastor, and ecumenist, was a professor in Berlin, an uncompromising teacher in the Confessing Church, and a consistent opponent of National Socialism. Executed by Hitler at the end of World War II, his influence continues today as one of the most important theologians of the twentieth century.
“It would behoove the Christian churches of the West not to overlook the Confessing Church’s experience that a church without a confession is a defenseless and forsaken church, and that a church with the proper confession possesses the only weapon that will not shatter.” (Page 405)
“The meaning is not a justification of Christianity to the present but a justification of the present to the Christian message. Here contemporizing means that the present is put before the forum of the Christian message; in other words, one asks the question of the substance, of the ‘What?’27 of the Christian message, whereas the false concept of contemporization asked about the ‘What?’ of the present. True contemporization is found in the question of substance. One puts one’s confidence in the substance itself, trusting that wherever it genuinely comes to expression, it is indeed—in and of itself—the most contemporary element; there is then no longer any need for any special act of contemporizing; that contemporizing takes place in the substance itself.” (Pages 416–417)
“If now the oecumenical movement, and in particular the Faith and Order Movement were complying with that decisive question and taking the challenge seriously in obedience towards Jesus Christ and His Word, an inward regeneration and a new unification might well [be] bestowed upon all Christendom—however great the difficulties are and however painful the way of obedience appears to be.” (Page 73)
“Wherever the question of contemporizing is taken as the theme of theology, however, we can be sure that the substance has already been betrayed and sold away.” (Pages 415–416)