Bonhoeffer's Theological Formation: Berlin, Barth, and Protestant Theology
Bonhoeffer's Theological Formation: Berlin, Barth, and Protestant Theology  -     By: Michael P. Dejonge
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Oxford University Press, USA / 2018 / Paperback
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Bonhoeffer's Theological Formation: Berlin, Barth, and Protestant Theology

Oxford University Press, USA / 2018 / Paperback

This product will be released on 06/26/18
Email me when this product is available.
Stock No: WW827134


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Product Information

Format: Paperback
Vendor: Oxford University Press, USA
Publication Date: 2018
ISBN: 019882713X
ISBN-13: 9780198827139

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.

Author Bio


Michael P. DeJonge is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at the University of South Florida, where he teaches on the history of Christian theology and topics in modern religious thought. His publications include Bonhoeffer on Resistance: The Word Against the Wheel (2018), Bonhoeffer's Reception of Luther (2017), and The Bonhoeffer Reader (co-edited with Clifford J. Green; 2014).

Editorial Reviews


". . . a welcome examination of Bonhoeffer's habilitation thesis, Act and Being. Before this slim volume was published in 2012, no thorough reading and interpretation of this piece of Bonhoeffer's oeuvre had appeared . . . a volume tackling Act and Being has therefore been much needed, and Dejonge successfully makes his case about why this is so."--Preston D. S. Parsons, Anglican Theological Review


"This relatively short addition to the ever-expanding literature on Dietrich Bonhoeffer's legacy is amongst the best. Not only is it an excellent account of Bonhoeffer's theological relationship with Karl Barth and of his own critical interpretation of the Lutheran confessional tradition of which he was so much a part, but it also locates him so well within 20th century Protestant theology . . . DeJonge's finely balanced and well-written discussion of these issues makes them within the reach of anyone keen to understand Bonhoeffer's contribution to resolving them, and so to understanding his theological legacy."--John W. de Gruchy, Journal of Theology for Southern Africa


"An insightful and compelling reading of Dietrich Bonhoeffer s early theology...Bonhoeffer s Theological Formation is one of the best books that has been written on Bonhoeffer s theology. It makes a significant contribution to scholarly literature and is likely to be at the centre of debates about Bonhoeffer s early theology for quite some time. It should be read carefully by all those with interests in Bonhoeffer, Barth, Lutheran theology andmodern theology more broadly."--Scottish Journal of Theology


"This is a significant and insightful reading of Dietrich Bonhoeffer's theological development...the book deserves careful study by those interested in assessing Bonhoeffer's theology and its viability in the ongoing theological tasks."--Logia


"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



"Overall, Dejonge's impressive survey succeeds in showing how Bonhoeffer's theology of discipleship - and ultimately of martyrdom - was rooted in an understanding of the person of Jesus Christ that he developed early in his career."-- The Journal of Ecclesiastical History


"In Bonhoeffers Theological Formation, Michael DeJonge presents students of Bonhoeffer with a crucial resource. Those familiar with Bonhoeffers theology will appreciate the discipline and the clarity with which DeJonge engages Bonhoeffers Habilitationschrift, Act and Being ... Few secondary resources on Bonhoeffer offer as much as does DeJonge's Bonhoeffers Theological Formation."--Regent's Review


"DeJonge helps us to see how Bonhoeffer went beyond Barths early theology and, in showing this, also clarifies how Bonhoeffer was able to articulate a theological ethic with deep resonances with Barth while moving beyond him in specific ways."--Studies in Christian Ethics


"This is an excellent contribution to Bonhoeffer studies... DeJonge does a superb job of clearly presenting complex ideas in their historical and theological contexts. All those interested in the theology of Bonhoeffer, as well as the relationship between the theologies of Bonhoeffer and Barth will want to spend some time with this book."--Reviews in Religion & Theology


"Michael P. DeJonge has offered an insightful and exciting study focussed on Bonhoeffer's second dissertation in view of Systematic Theology in historical perspective. The clarity and precision with which DeJonge engages in his theological argument is matched by a keen awareness that any systematic claim has to ground itself in a clear understanding of its historical situation and critical reflection of its methodology a highly commendable text."--Literature and Theology


"This patient investigation of Bonhoeffers early work is welcome, not least because it forces us to rethink Barths early work afresh."--Journal of Theological Studies


"This book will help readers understand Bonhoeffer's early theological thinking and formation, and ways that that thinking was carried into his later works such as Discipleship and his unfinished Ethics. Students of Bonhoeffer will find this an important contribution to understanding the influences that inform both his early and later works."--Religious Studies Review


"DeJonge has convincingly sketched the basi contours of the debate that animate Bonhoeffer's early theological development as a student and later lecturer at the University of Berlin."Calvin Theological Journal


"Dejonge presents a first-class interpretation of Dietricht Bonhoeffer's complex thesis Act and Being."--European Journal of Theology


"DeJonge's exposition of Bonhoeffer is clear and compelling. It is essential reading for anyone wishing to understand Act and Being better."--The Center for Barth Studies


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