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Bonhoeffer, Dietrich (1906–45)

DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-K006-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 1998
Retrieved June 08, 2023, from

Article Summary

Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a twentieth-century Lutheran theologian who associated Christian belief and political action in an exemplary fashion. His part in the struggle of the Confessing Church and of the German resistance against the National-Socialist dictatorship cost him his life. Christocentric and ecclesiocentric, he stressed personal and collective piety and revived the idea of the imitation of Christ; the concepts of obedience and of the suffering God are central to his view. His Ethik (1949) was widely influential; in it, he argued that Christians should not retreat from the world, but have a duty to act within it. His answer to the secularization of the modern world was a ‘religionless Christianity’, a communocentric, pietistic, personal discipline.

Citing this article:
Seban, Jean-Loup. Bonhoeffer, Dietrich (1906–45), 1998, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-K006-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
Copyright © 1998-2023 Routledge.

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