In the spring of 1935, Dietrich Bonhoeffer returned to Germany from Engkland to direct Finkenwalde, one of the confessing church's illegal seminaries. During the seminary's brief existence before the Gestapo closed it in 1937, Bonhoeffer produced some of his most significant theological work as he trained his seminarians for the ministry and its challenges in a difficult time. This volume includes Bible studies, sermons, and lectures on homiletics, pastoral care, and catechesis, giving a remarkable portrait of the Confessing Church in these crucial years-the same period during which Bonhoeffer wrote his classics Discipleship and Life Together.
The Finkenwalde years were marked by growing tension between the more radical voices in the Confessing Church and the governing church authorities. Bonhoeffer and his seminarians were under Gestapo surveillance; some of them were arrested and imprisoned. During this period, Bonhoeffer became a leading figure in the great debates about the direction that the Confessing Church should take. Theological Education at Finkenwalde: 1935-1937 includes extensive correspondence with European ecumenical leaders, German Church officials, and Bonhoeffer's allies in the confessing church. The documents presented here will be of interest to historians and theologians alike. They offer a moving and powerful portrait of Bonhoeffer at the height of his engagement in the Confessing Church and the German Church Struggle.