Dietrich Bonhoeffer: A Biography

Fortress Press
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The authoritative biography of Bonhoeffer -- theologian, Christian, man for his times.
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Publisher
Fortress Press
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Pages
1048
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ISBN
9781451407426
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Philosophers
Biography & Autobiography / Religious
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This content is DRM protected.
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Hans Kung is undoubtedly one of the most important theologians of our time, but he has always been a controversial figure, and as the result of a much-publicized clash over papal infallibility had his permission to teach revoked by the Vatican. Yet at seventy-five years of age Kung is also something of a senior statesman, one of the -Group of Eminent Persons convened by United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan and a friend of heads of government like Britain's Tony Blair and President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt.

In this fascinating autobiography Kung gives a frank and outspoken account of the first four decades of his life. He tells of his youth in Switzerland and his decision to become a priest, of his doubts and struggles as he studied in Rome and Paris, and of his experiences as a professor in Tubingen, where he received a chair at the early age of thirty-one. Most importantly, as one of the last surviving eyewitnesses of Vatican II, Kung gives an authentic account of the conflicts behind the scenes. Here it becomes clear just how major an influence he was, to the point of shaping the Council's agenda and drafting speeches for bishops to deliver in plenary sessions.

Kung's book offers an acute analysis, compelling in its drama, of meetings with presidents like John F. Kennedy, popes like John XXIII and Paul VI, great theologians like Karl Barth and Karl Rahner, and journeys around the world. With its rich thought and vivid narrative, it paints a moving picture of Kung's personal convictions, including his relentless struggle for a Christianity characterized not by the domination of an official church but by Jesus.

A new comprehensive biography of this hugely important Christian martyr, 60 years after his execution at the hands of the Nazis
Bonhoeffer has gained a position as one of the most prominent Christian martyrs of the last century. His influence is so widespread that even 60 years after his execution by the Nazis, Bonhoeffer's life and work are still the subject of fresh and lively discussion. As a pastor and theologian, Bonhoeffer decided to resist the Nazis in Germany, but his resistance was not solely theological. He played a key leadership role in the Confessing Church, a major source of Christian opposition to Hitler and his anti-Semitism and was principal of the secret seminary at Finkenwalde in Pomerania.


It was here that he developed his theological visions of radical discipleship and communal life. In 1938, he joined the Wehrmacht's "Abwehr", the German Military Intelligence Office, in order to seek international support for the plot against Hitler. Following his inner calling and conscience meant that Bonhoeffer was continually forced to make decisions that separated him from his family, friends, and colleagues, and which ultimately led to his martyrdom in Flossenbürg concentration camp, less than a month before the Second World War came to an end. His letters and papers from prison movingly express the development of some of the most provocative and fascinating ideas of 20th century theology.


Sixty years after Bonhoeffer's death and forty years after the publication of Eberhard Bethge's ground breaking biography, Ferdinand Schlingensiepen offers a definitive new book on Bonhoeffer, for a new generation of readers. Schlingensiepen takes into account documents that have only been made accessible during the last few years - such as the letters between Bonhoeffer and his fiancée Maria von Wedemeyer. Schlingensiepen's careful narrative brings to life the historical events, as well as displaying the theological development of one of the most creative thinkers of the 20th century, who was to become one of its most tragic martyrs.
WHO BETTER TO FACE THE GREATEST EVIL OF THE 20TH CENTURY THAN A HUMBLE MAN OF FAITH?

As Adolf Hitler and the Nazis seduced a nation, bullied a continent, and attempted to exterminate the Jews of Europe, a small number of dissidents and saboteurs worked to dismantle the Third Reich from the inside. One of these was Dietrich Bonhoeffer—a pastor and author. In this New York Times best-selling biography, Eric Metaxas takes both strands of Bonhoeffer’s life—the theologian and the spy—and draws them together to tell a searing story of incredible moral courage in the face of monstrous evil. Metaxas presents the fullest accounting of Bonhoeffer’s heart-wrenching decision to leave the safe haven of America to return to Hitler’s Germany, and sheds new light on Bonhoeffer’s involvement in the famous Valkyrie plot and in “Operation 7,” the effort to smuggle Jews into neutral Switzerland. In a deeply moving narrative, Metaxas uses previously unavailable documents?including personal letters, detailed journal entries, and firsthand personal accounts?to reveal dimensions of Bonhoeffer's life and theology never before seen.

"Bonhoeffer is the story of a life framed by a passion for truth and a commitment to justice on behalf of those who face implacable evil. Includes Readers’ Guide “[A] beautifully constructed biography.”

—Alan Wolfe, The New Republic

“Metaxas tells Bonhoeffer’s story with passion and theological sophistication. . . .”

—Wall Street Journal

“[A] weighty, riveting analysis of the life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. . . .”

—Publishers Weekly

“Metaxas presents Bonhoeffer as a clear-headed, deeply convicted Christian who submitted to no one and nothing except God and his Word.”

—Christianity Today

“Metaxas has written a book that adds a new dimension to World War II, a new understanding of how evil can seize the soul of a nation and a man of faith can confront it. . . .”

—Thomas Fleming, author, The New Dealers’ War

“Metaxas has created a biography of uncommon power—intelligent, moving, well researched,vividly written, and rich in implication for our own lives. Or to put it another way: Buy this book. Read it. Then buy another copy and give it to a person you love. It’s that good.”

—Archbishop Charles Chaput, First Things

"A definitive Bonhoeffer biography for the 21st century."

—Kirkus Reviews

2011 ECPA Book of the Year2011 Canterbury Medal by the Becket Fund recognizing courage in the defense of religious liberty2011 Christopher Award winner highlighting the power of faith, courage, and action

"A definitive Bonhoeffer biography for the 21st century."

-Kirkus Reviews

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