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Dietrich Bonhoeffer Called by God

by Elizabeth Raum

Dietrich Bonhoeffer Called by God Synopsis

Nazi Germany produced an unusual group of Christian martyrs--among them, the nun philosopher Edith Stein, the mystical philosopher Simone Weil, and the peasant conscientious objector Hans JSgerstatter--but perhaps none so complex as the Lutheran theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Born into a large upper-middle-class, professional family that was not particularly devout or observant (his father was one of the leading psychiatrists in Germany), Dietrich early in life decided he wanted to be a Christian theologian. Yet his family background and connections insured that he wouldn't be one in the narrow mold of so many of his colleagues. Opportunities for travel-to Spain, North Africa. Mexico, Cuba, America (twice), and England (often)-gave him a broad horizon of possibilities. The greatest thing about America for him was his experiences in Harlem and his friendships with African Americans. His great regret was that he missed an opportunity to travel to India to meet Gandhi. He was one of the few German churchmen who spoke forthrightly against the persecution of Jews as Jews and not merely of Christians of Jewish descent. (How much of this was due to his beloved, 90-year-old grandmother Sophie, who defied the Nazi ban on shopping in Jewish stores? I buy the things I need where I like. ) His family connections drew him into a dangerous double game. His employment as a member of the Counterintelligence Office of the High Command of the Armed Forces enabled him to continue work as a pastor and seminary director. It allowed him to travel abroad, where he worked for a negotiated peace. And it eventually drew him into the plot to kill Hitler-an ethical stand which many German Christians of his generation couldn't understand or forgive. He was executed on 9 April 1945, three weeks before Hitler committed suicide. He was thirty-nine years old.The life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer has been told at great length and in magnificent detail by his younger colleague, Eberhard Bethge. It's a biography that will never be surpassed but which only the most devoted will have the perseverance to read. Elizabeth Raum has retold the story concisely and readably for a whole new generation of readers.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer Called by God Press Reviews

this biography is well-written and well-rounded. WTBF (Troy Broadcasting Corporation), 2/4/05 This new biography presents Bohnoeffer's life in a less formidable account [than previous biographies], designed for less sophisticated readers. The author was greatly helped by Bethge himself and Bethge's sister-in-law Dorothee Bracher, Bonhoeffer's nice, who read and critiqued the manuscript. -Theology Digest, Summer 2003 Dietrich Bonhoeffer: Called by God provides an excellent introduction to the life of a twentieth-century Christian martyr whose spirit has risen from the ashes of the Flossenburg Nazi Concentration Camp. I believe this 'concise and readable' book is a valuable contribution for future generations. I commend it as a wonderful introduction to the life of a modern martyr to the Christian faith. -John W. Matthews, Spectrum The family of Dietrich Bonhoeffer is pleased to commend Elizabeth Raum's Dietrich Bonhoeffer: Called By God to a new generation of readers. It is short and quite readable, and covers the main features of Dietrich Bonhoeffer's life and witness. Dorothee Bracher

Book Information

ISBN: 9780826415547
Publication date: 1st October 2003
Author: Elizabeth Raum
Publisher: Continuum International Publishing Group Ltd. an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Format: Paperback / softback
Pagination: 200 pages
Categories: Christian theology, Biography: general, European history, Second World War,

About Elizabeth Raum

Elizabeth Raum is Director of the Carl B. Ylvisaker Library at Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota. She is the author of two books for children.

More About Elizabeth Raum

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