The Bonhoeffer Phenomenon: Portraits of a Protestant Saint - Slightly Imperfect  -     By: Stephen R. Haynes
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The Bonhoeffer Phenomenon: Portraits of a Protestant Saint - Slightly Imperfect

Fortress Press / 2003 / Paperback

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Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 280
Vendor: Fortress Press
Publication Date: 2003
Dimensions: 9 X 6 (inches)
ISBN: 080063652X
ISBN-13: 9780800636524
Availability: No longer available at CBD.
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Publisher's Weekly

In the last 20 years, various groups have petitioned Yad Vashem, the Holocaust remembrance authority in Jerusalem, to award Dietrich Bonhoeffer the designation of "Righteous Gentile," but so far all such requests have been denied. Many of these petitioners view Bonhoeffer as a model of the Christian church's resistance to the Nazi effort to rid Europe of Jewish people, and as a theologian for a post-Holocaust era. But Haynes, associate professor of religion at Rhodes College, argues effectively that the truth is more complicated than the simple and appealing image that scholars and the media have presented. Despite Bonhoeffer's deeds, which Haynes finds exemplary, his theology, when read as a whole, is troubling. At best, Haynes claims, it reveals a deep ambivalence about Jews, and at worst, the traditional Christian belief that the Jews, as "killers" of God, must suffer for that deed until they are, en masse, converted. Haynes concludes that a careful analysis of Bonhoeffer's praxis and theology does have significance for post-Holocaust Christians, but too many contemporary portraits of him are the result of "superficial reading, hopeful interpretation, and overactive speculation." Haynes's book, largely a review of Bonhoeffer scholarship, will find an audience primarily among academics and clergy. (Apr.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

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