Theology of Bonhoeffer - SYST7102

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Professor

Randall D. EngleAdjunct Professor

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, author, political critic and Lutheran minister, stands as one of the great theologians and ethicists of the twentieth century. With courage even to the point of death, he acted with conviction to counter the rise and power of Nazi Germany. Indeed, he is aptly called the “prophet of the holocaust.” He devoted his life to the cause of justice and peace and ultimately risked his life in an assassination plot against Adolf Hitler, an action for which he was apprehended and executed. This intensive traces his life, times, ethical vision and moral lessons. As we explore central themes of his life experience, theology and ethics such as ‘religionless Christianity’ and ‘costly grace’ though lecture, documentary, and discussion, we will apply these lessons to our current world situation and the demands of ministry. The course focuses on Bonhoeffer’s own words and writing including The Cost of Discipleship and selections from his Letters from Prison. Christiane Tietz’s Theologian of Resistance: The Life and Thought of Dietrich Bonhoeffer provides biographical context.