The crown jewel of Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s body of work, Ethics is the culmination of his theological and personal odyssey. Based on careful reconstruction of the manuscripts, freshly and expertly translated and annotated, this new critical edition features an insightful Introduction by Clifford Green and an afterword from the German edition’s editors.
Though caught up in the vortex of momentous forces in the Nazi period, Bonhoeffer systematically envisioned a radically Christocentric, incarnational ethic for a postwar world, purposefully recasting Christians’ relation to history, politics, and public life. This edition allows scholars, theologians, ethicists, and serious Christians to appreciate the cogency and relevance of Bonhoeffer’s vision.
In the Logos edition, Ethics 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.
Bonhoeffer’s Ethics is one of the greatest works of twentieth-century theology, gripping in its capacity to go to the heart of living the Christian life, rich in generative concepts, and still powerfully relevant. This new translation of the authoritative German edition does full justice to a classic text, reads very well, and is superbly edited.
—David Ford, regius professor of divinity, University of Cambridge
All students of Bonhoeffer will relish this new translation and expanded edition of his indispensable Ethics. The power of Bonhoeffer’s words shines more brightly than ever.
—Jean Bethke Elshtain, Laura Spelman Rockefeller Professor of Social and Political Ethics, University of Chicago
Not only does this edition of the Ethics continue the superb scholarly production of Bonhoeffer’s works, but it also contains a wonderful Introduction and afterword by the editors that helps clarify how the Ethics stands in continuity with Bonhoeffer’s earlier work. Anyone interested in Bonhoeffer must own this volume. But just as important, anyone interested in continuing to think through what a Christian ethic is and how it should be done needs to read this book.
—Stanley Hauerwas, Gilbert T. Rowe Professor of Theological Ethics, Duke Divinity School
This new critical edition of Bonhoeffer’s Ethics is a masterful achievement. Based on a more accurate German text painstakingly reconstructed and rearranged, with extensive introductions, commentary notes and bibliography, the translation is fresh and highly readable. Ethics is the key to understanding Bonhoeffer’s theology as it unfolded towards the end of the Third Reich, and especially the key for understanding his involvement in the German resistance. Though never completed, it is one of the most significant and influential of all Christian theological ethics produced in the twentieth century. Many have waited with great anticipation for this new edition of the Ethics. None, I venture, will be disappointed.
—John W. de Gruchy, Robert Selby Taylor Professor of Christian Studies, University of Cape Town, South Africa
The book that Bonhoeffer considered his most important theological work is now available in a form that makes its meaning and its context clear to English-speaking readers. While Bonhoeffer was deeply engaged with the problems of Christian life in Hitler’s Germany, he anticipated our world in remarkable ways. The new translation, notes, and essays clarify Bonhoeffer’s ideas about his own situation and remind us again why his work is still central to the constructive task of Christian ethics today.
—Robin Lovin, Cary M. Maguire University Professor of Ethics, Southern Methodist University
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.
“So the church is not a religious community of those who revere Christ, but Christ who has taken form among human beings.” (Page 96)
“The subject matter of a Christian ethic is God’s reality revealed in Christ becoming real [Wirklichwerden] among God’s creatures, just as the subject matter of doctrinal theology is the truth of God’s reality revealed in Christ. The place that in all other ethics is marked by the antithesis between ought and is, idea and realization, motive and work, is occupied in Christian ethics by the relation between reality and becoming real, between past and present, between history and event (faith) or, to replace the many concepts with the simple name of the thing itself, the relation between Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.” (Pages 49–50)
“Christ and Christ’s adversary the devil are mutually exclusive opponents, but in such a way that even the devil, unwillingly, must serve Christ, and, willing evil, must ever again do good, so that the kingdom of the devil is always only under the feet of Christ.” (Page 65)
“Pacifism’ for Bonhoeffer did not mean adopting non-violence as an absolute principle in all circumstances. His ethic was not an ethic of principles.” (Pages 15–16)
“Human beings are indivisible wholes, not only as individuals in both their person and work, but also as members of the human and created community to which they belong.” (Page 53)