Bonhoeffer's Theological Formation: Berlin, Barth, and Protestant Theology  -     By: Michael P. DeJonge
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Bonhoeffer's Theological Formation: Berlin, Barth, and Protestant Theology

Oxford University Press / 2012 / Hardcover

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Dietrich Bonhoeffer's dramatic biography, a son of privilege who suffered imprisonment and execution after involving himself in a conspiracy to kill Hitler and overthrow the Third Reich, has helped make him one of the most influential figures of the twentieth century. But before he was known as a martyr or a hero, he was a student and teacher of theology.

Bonhoeffer's Theological Formation: Berlin, Barth, and Protestant Theology examines the academic formation of Dietrich Bonhoeffer theology, arguing that the young Bonhoeffer reinterpreted for a modern intellectual context the Lutheran understanding of the 'person' Jesus Christ. In the process, Bonhoeffer not only distinguished himself from both Karl Barth and Karl Holl, whose dialectical theology and Lutheran interpretation respectively were two of the most important post-World War I theological movements, but also established the basic character of his own 'personal-theology.'

Product Information

Format: Hardcover
Number of Pages: 208
Vendor: Oxford University Press
Publication Date: 2012
ISBN: 0199639787
ISBN-13: 9780199639786
Availability: Usually ships in 24-48 hours.

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Publisher's Description

Dietrich Bonhoeffer's dramatic biography, a son of privilege who suffered imprisonment and execution after involving himself in a conspiracy to kill Hitler and overthrow the Third Reich, has helped make him one of the most influential Christian figures of the twentieth century. But before he was known as a martyr or a hero, he was a student and teacher of theology. This book examines the academic formation of Dietrich Bonhoeffer's theology, arguing that the young Bonhoeffer reinterpreted for a modern intellectual context the Lutheran understanding of the 'person' of Jesus Christ. In the process, Bonhoeffer not only distinguished himself from both Karl Barth and Karl Holl, whose dialectical theology and Luther interpretation respectively were two of the most important post-World War I theological movements, but also established the basic character of his own 'person-theology.'

Barth convinces Bonhoeffer that theology must understand revelation as originating outside the human self in God's freedom. But whereas Barth understands revelation as the act of an eternal divine subject, Bonhoeffer treats revelation as the act and being of the historical person of Jesus Christ. On the basis of this person-concept of revelation, Bonhoeffer rejects Barth's dialectical thought, designed to respect the distinction between God and world, for a hermeneutical way of thinking that begins with the reconciliation of God and world in the person of Christ. Here Bonhoeffer mines a Lutheran understanding of the incarnation as God's unreserved entry into history, and the person of Christ as the resulting historical reconciliation of opposites. This also distinguishes Bonhoeffer's Lutheranism from that of Karl Holl, one of Bonhoeffer's teachers in Berlin, whose location of justification in the conscience renders the presence of Christ superfluous. Against this, Bonhoeffer emphasizes the present person of Christ as the precondition of justification. Through these critical conversations, Bonhoeffer develops the features of his person-theology --- a person-concept of revelation and a hermeneutical way of thinking --- which remain constant despite the sometimes radical changes in his thought.

Endorsements

This book is the first detailed study in English on Bonhoeffer's habilitation thesis Act and Being which has been neglected in Bonhoeffer scholarship for a ling time. The study convincingly demonstrates the confessional shape of Bonhoeffer's theory of knowledge and of revelation and at the same time sheds new light on the often disputed issue of continuity in Bonhoeffer's thinking.
-Christine Tietz,
Chair of the International Bonhoeffer Society

This book immediately takes its place in the top rank of Bonhoeffer studies...it makes an essential contribution to the intellectual history of Protestant theology in the twentieth century by providing the most penetrating and persuasive analysis we have of the relationship between the theologies of Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Karl Barth.
-Clifford Green,
Excutive Director of Dietrich Bonhoeffer's Works

Editorial Reviews


"This is a welcome and profound monograph in Bonhoeffer studies because it addresses an oft-neglected, yet very important, piece of Bonhoeffer's theological legacy... While perhaps requiring a seat belt, journeying with DeJonge in this book, like Act and Being itself, is worth every ounce of energy and courage." --Lutheran Quarterly


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