Video: Bonhoeffer the Assassin?

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Bonhoeffer the Realist?

Bonhoeffer the Conscientious Objector?

Cover ArtAbout the Book: Most of us think we know the moving story of Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s life–a pacifist pastor turns anti-Hitler conspirator due to horrors encountered during World War II–but does the evidence really support this prevailing view? This pioneering work carefully examines the biographical and textual evidence and finds no support for the theory that Bonhoeffer abandoned his ethic of discipleship and was involved in plots to assassinate Hitler. In fact, Bonhoeffer consistently affirmed a strong stance of peacemaking from 1932 to the end of his life, and his commitment to peace was integrated with his theology as a whole.

“This extensively researched and passionately argued book will invariably provoke discussion in Bonhoeffer studies as it challenges misconceptions of his role as assassin and patriot. It persuasively reconciles Bonhoeffer’s pacifist writings with his political activities in the Abwehr, as well as themes of pacifist obedience with political responsibility often separated by Niebuhrian ‘political realist’ readings. This is an invaluable study of Bonhoeffer’s theological ethics that must be taken seriously.” – David Haddorff, St. John’s University

“If you mention Bonhoeffer, just about everyone thinks of his involvement in a conspiracy to kill Hitler. This becomes a major key–sometimes the key–to interpreting his writings. This fascinating book not only questions this assumption but also shows what happens when you read him without it. A thoroughly engaging book.” – Arne Rasmusson, University of Gothenburg

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