In the decades since his execution by the Nazis in 1945, Dietrich
Bonhoeffer, the German pastor, theologian, and anti-Hitler
conspirator, has become one of the most widely read and inspiring
Christian thinkers of our time. Now, drawing on extensive new
research, "Strange Glory" offers a definitive account, by turns
majestic and intimate, of this modern icon.
The scion of a grand family that rarely went to church, Dietrich
decided as a thirteen-year-old to become a theologian. By
twenty-one, the rather snobbish and awkward young man had already
written a dissertation hailed by Karl Barth as a "theological
miracle." But it was only the first step in a lifelong effort to
recover an authentic and orthodox Christianity from the dilutions
of liberal Protestantism and the modern idolatries of blood and
nation--which forces had left the German church completely helpless
against the onslaught of Nazism.
From the start, Bonhoeffer insisted that the essence of
Christianity was not its abstract precepts but the concrete reality
of the shared life in Christ. In 1930, his search for that true
fellowship led Bonhoeffer to America for ten fateful months in the
company of social reformers, Harlem churchmen, and public
intellectuals. Energized by the lived faith he had seen, he would
now begin to make what he later saw as his definitive "turn from
the phraseological to the real." He went home with renewed vocation
and took up ministry among Berlin's downtrodden while trying to
find his place in the hoary academic establishment increasingly
captive to nationalist fervor.
With the rise of Hitler, however, Bonhoeffer's journey took yet
another turn. The German church was Nazified, along with every
other state-sponsored institution. But it was the Nuremberg laws
that set Bonhoeffer's earthly life on an ineluctable path toward
destruction. His denunciation of the race statutes as heresy and
his insistence on the church's moral obligation to defend all
victims of state violence, regardless of race or religion,
alienated him from what would become the Reich church and even some
fellow resistors. Soon the twenty-seven-year-old pastor was one of
the most conspicuous dissidents in Germany. He would carry on
subverting the regime and bearing Christian witness, whether in the
pastorate he assumed in London, the Pomeranian monastery he
established to train dissenting ministers, or in the worldwide
ecumenical movement. Increasingly, though, Bonhoeffer would find
himself a voice crying in the wilderness, until, finally, he
understood that true moral responsibility obliged him to commit
treason, for which he would pay with his life.
Charles Marsh brings Bonhoeffer to life in his full complexity for
the first time. With a keen understanding of the multifaceted
writings, often misunderstood, as well as the imperfect man behind
the saintly image, here is a nuanced, exhilarating, and often
heartrending portrait that lays bare Bonhoeffer's flaws and inner
torment, as well as the friendships and the faith that sustained
and finally redeemed him. "Strange Glory" is a momentous
"From the Hardcover edition."
Knopf Publishing Group
|Country of origin:
||Electronic book text
Is the information for this product incomplete, wrong or inappropriate?
Let us know about it.
Does this product have an incorrect or missing image?
Send us a new image.
Is this product missing categories?
Add more categories.
Review This Product
No reviews yet - be the first to create one!