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Title: Dietrich Bonhoeffer's Repudiation of Protestant German War Theology
Contributor(s): Moses, John (author)
Publication Date: 2006
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9809.2006.00498.x
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Abstract: Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a revolutionary in two senses. Obviously, his role in the conspiracy to overthrow Hitler, when it was discovered, stamped him as a political revolutionary. Beyond that, however, Bonhoeffer was a theological revolutionary in that he repudiated and refuted the prevailing Lutheran - Hegelian - Rankean 'Geschichtsbild', i.e., image of German history, that had become paradigmatic for his class, the so-called 'Bildungsbürgertum', the highly educated upper middle class. Central to this image was the idea of the Creator God as essentially a 'warrior' God who realized the history of salvation via the power struggles of nation states. Bonhoeffer, in his confrontation with the Third Reich, came to the conclusion that its evil triumph had a great deal to do with the image of history that underpinned it. This article traces the evolution of the doctrine of the Power State rooted as it was in Luther's doctrine of the two kingdoms or realms, and shows how Bonhoeffer via his reflections expressed in the fragments known as 'Ethics', overturned that doctrine and thereby wrought an intellectual-historical achievement of immense significance not only for Germany, but also for the modern world.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Journal of Religious History, 30(3), p. 354-370
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Asia
Place of Publication: Richmond, Victoria, Australia
ISSN: 0022-4227
Field of Research (FOR): 220405 Religion and Society
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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