Sanctorum Communio: A Theological Study of the Sociology of the Church, available for the first time in its entirety in English, includes all material omitted from the original 1930 German publication. Bonhoeffer’s doctoral dissertation sets out the theology of sociality that informed all his work, engaging social philosophy and sociology to interpret the church as “Christ existing as church-community.” Here are the roots of his commitment to the confessing church and the ecumenical movement, and of his actions in the resistance movement for the sake of peace and Germany’s future.
In the Logos edition, Sanctorum Communio is enhanced by amazing functionality. Scripture citations link directly to English translations, and important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Perform powerful searches to find exactly what you’re looking for. Take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.
More instructive and stimulating and illuminating and genuinely edifying reading today than many of the more famous works which have since been written on the problem of the church.
—Karl Barth, Swiss Reformed Theologian
Here may be found the fundamental, fertile premises held by the later Bonhoeffer. . . . Sanctorum Communio is a sovereign creation . . . full of restless, fertile ideas for the empiricist and the theorist, the historian, the systematic theologian, and the sociologist.
—Andrew Chandler, director, George Bell Institute, University of Chichester
The student of Bonhoeffer who wishes to know the sources of his ‘religionless interpretation of biblical concepts in a world come of age,’ the worldly Christianity of the letters from prison, will have to turn to Bonhoeffer’s early writings.
—Eberhard Bethge, Bonhoeffer’s student, editor, and biographer
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.
“In summary, the person is willed by God, in concrete vitality, wholeness, and uniqueness as an ultimate unity. Social relations must be understood, then, as purely interpersonal and building on the uniqueness and separateness of persons.” (Page 55)
“Every concept of community is essentially related to a concept of person. It is impossible to say what constitutes community without asking what constitutes a person.” (Page 34)
“Hence our purpose is to understand the structure of the given reality of a church of Christ, as revealed in Christ, from the perspective of social philosophy and sociology. But the nature of the church can only be understood from within, cum ira et studio [with passionate zeal], never by nonparticipants. Only those who take the claim of the church seriously—not relativizing it in relation to other similar claims or their own rationality, but viewing it from the standpoint of the gospel—can possibly glimpse something of its true nature. Our subject will thus be approached from two, or even three, directions: theology, social philosophy, and sociology.” (Page 33)
“For Christian philosophy, the human person originates only in relation to the divine; the divine person transcends the human person, who both resists and is overwhelmed by the divine. Idealist individualism’s notion of spirit as being-for-itself [Fürsichsein] is unchristian, as it involves attributing to the human spirit absolute value that can only be ascribed to divine spirit. The Christian person originates only in the absolute duality of God and humanity; only in experiencing the barrier does the awareness of oneself as ethical person arise.” (Page 49)