Being Human, Becoming Human: Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Social Thought

Wipf and Stock Publishers
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Who are we? What does it mean to be human? What is the purpose of our existence? In our time these continue to be urgent questions. The German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer thought deeply about these questions out of a desire to understand the importance of Christ and the incarnation for modern culture. His conviction that Christ died for a new humanity is at the core of his theological anthropology. Bonhoeffer's Christ-centered, Trinitarian theology establishes the intrinsic sociality of humanity as made in the image of God.

Being Human, Becoming Human assembles a distinguished and international group of scholars to examine Bonhoeffer's understanding of human sociality. From the introduction of his dissertation, Sanctorum Communio, where he notes "the social intention of all the basic Christian concepts," to his final writings in prison, where he describes Christian faith as being for others, the theme of human sociality runs throughout Bonhoeffer's works. This theme links Bonhoeffer with contemporary concerns in theology, philosophy, cultural studies, and science regarding human reason, human nature, and their socio-cultural expressions.

Vital reading for Bonhoeffer scholars as well as for those invested in theological debates regarding the social nature of human being, the essays in this volume examine Bonhoeffer's rich resources for thinking about what it means to be human, to be the church, to be a disciple, and to be ethically responsible in our contemporary world.
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About the author

Jens Zimmermann holds a Canada Research Chair at Trinity Western University. He is author of Recovering Theological Hermeneutics (2004) and coauthor of The Passionate Intellect (2006). Brian Gregor holds a PhD in philosophy from Boston College. He is the author of several articles on philosophy of religion, ethics, and aesthetics, and the coeditor (with Jens Zimmermann) of Bonhoeffer and Continental Thought: Cruciform Philosophy (2009).
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Additional Information

Publisher
Wipf and Stock Publishers
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Published on
Aug 1, 2010
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Pages
258
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ISBN
9781608994205
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Best For
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Language
English
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Genres
Religion / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Jens Zimmermann
Endorsements: "This book is a careful, historical demonstration of the way in which hermeneutics was secularized yet continues to borrow on the capital of Christian theology. By exposing the problems inherent in secular hermeneutics and correcting the histories of philosophical hermeneutics on record, Zimmerman points a way forward beyond secular hermeneutics. This is a bold project that should be read not only by theologians but, more especially, by those philosophers working in the wake of Heidegger, Gadamer, Derrida, and Levinas. This book is an excellent addition to any course in philosophical hermeneutics." -- James K. A. Smith, author of The Fall of Interpretation "In Recovering Theological Hermeneutics, Zimmerman offers a compelling argument for the claim that hermeneutics must be theological if it is to be truly hermeneutical. Through a fair and careful reading of premodern and postmodern hermeneutical theorists, he shows their true kinship. Building appreciatively (though not uncritically) upon insights of Gadamer, Levinas, and Derrida, Zimmerman draws from Bonhoeffer and Balthasar to construct an incarnational hermeneutic. Zimmerman provides us with a deeply Christian view of human understanding--one that results in nether hermeneutical triumphalism nor hermeneutical despair but affirms understanding as relational, historical, and ultimately based on God's revelation." --Bruce Ellis Benson, author of Graven Ideologies: Nietzsche, Derrida, and Marion on Modern Idolatry "Recovering Theological Hermeneutics is an important contribution to hermeneutics. Zimmerman provides not only a detailed and convincing historical analysis but also an outline of theological hermeneutics that is ethical, incarnational, and thus, in the best sense of the word, truly evangelical. Far from naively idealizing a premodern point of view, Zimmerman convincingly works through modern and postmodern thought. In so doing, he shows the often-overlooked potential of the premodern Christian tradition without ignoring its difficulties and shortcomings--a challenge to both modern and postmodern theology and, indeed, philosophy." --Holder Zaborowsky, Albert-Ludwig University of Freiburg About the Contributor(s): Jens Zimmermann holds a Canada Research Chair at Trinity Western University. He is coauthor of The Passionate Intellect (2006), and coeditor of Being Human, Becoming Human: Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Social Thought (2010).
Richard Kearney
Contemporary conversations about religion and culture are framed by two reductive definitions of secularity. In one, multiple faiths and nonfaiths coexist free from a dominant belief in God. In the other, we deny the sacred altogether and exclude religion from rational thought and behavior. But is there a third way for those who wish to rediscover the sacred in a skeptical society? What kind of faith, if any, can be proclaimed after the ravages of the Holocaust and the many religion-based terrors since? Richard Kearney explores these questions with a host of philosophers known for their inclusive, forward-thinking work on the intersection of secularism, politics, and religion. An interreligious dialogue that refuses to paper over religious difference, these conversations locate the sacred within secular society and affirm a positive role for religion in human reflection and action. Drawing on his own philosophical formulations, literary analysis, and personal interreligious experiences, Kearney develops through these engagements a basic gesture of hospitality for approaching the question of God. His work facilitates a fresh encounter with our best-known voices in continental philosophy and their views on issues of importance to all spiritually minded individuals and skeptics: how to reconcile God’s goodness with human evil, how to believe in both God and natural science, how to talk about God without indulging in fundamentalist rhetoric, and how to balance God’s sovereignty with God’s love.
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