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One of the great classics of prison literature, Letters and Papers from Prison effectively serves as the last will and testament of the Lutheran theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a young German pastor who was executed by the Nazis in 1945 for his part in the “officers’ plot” to assassinate Adolf Hitler. 
      This expanded version of Letters and Papers from Prison shifts the emphasis of earlier editions of Bonhoeffer’s theological reflections to the private sphere of his life. His letters appear in greater detail and show his daily concerns. Letters from Bonhoeffer’s parents, siblings, and other relatives have also been added, in addition to previously inaccessible letters and legal papers referring to his trial.
     Acute and subtle, warm and perceptive, yet also profoundly moving, the documents collectively tell a very human story of loss, of courage, and of hope. Bonhoeffer’s story seems as vitally relevant, as politically prophetic, and as theologically significant today, as it did yesterday.
Published: Touchstone on May 10, 2011
ISBN: 9781451650532
List price: $14.99
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What does it mean to be a Christian in a post-Christian world? How does a person worship God in a world where the a priori basis of being "religious" doesn't even exist. The theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer thoughtfully and, at times, heart wrenchingly, faces these questions through letters to family and friends while imprisoned in Nazi Germany during WWII. Ever imperfect, in a very imperfect world, Bonhoeffer shows a thoughtful theologian grappling with tragedy, sorrow and horror.read more
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Letters and Papers from Prison is a collection of notes and correspondence covering the period from Dietrich Bonhoeffer's arrest in 1943 to his execution by the Gestapo in 1945. The book is probably most famous, and most important, for its idea of "religionless Christianity"--an idea Bonhoeffer did not live long enough fully to develop, but whose timeliness only increases as the lines between secular and ecclesial life blur. Bonhoeffer's first mention of "religionless Christianity" came in a letter in 1944: What is bothering me incessantly is the question what Christianity really is, or indeed who Christ really is, for us today. The time when people could be told everything by means of words, whether theological or pious, is over, and so is the time of inwardness and conscience--and that means the time of religion in general. We are moving towards a completely religionless time; people as they are now simply cannot be religious any more. Even those who honestly describe themselves as "religious" do not in the least act up to it, and so they presumably mean something quite different by "religious."The pleasures of Letters and Papers from Prison, however are not all so profound. Occasionally, Bonhoeffer's letters burst into song--sometimes with actual musical notations, other times with unforgettable phrases. Looking forward to seeing his best friend, Bonhoeffer writes, "To meet again is a God." --Michael Joseph Grossread more
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Bonhoeffer writes to his fiance, family, and friends with a deep sense of hope even when his days were getting darker.He mentioned at one point that the Nazi government's horrible crimes served as proof for the need of a theocracy. Bonhoeffer died as a supporter of the church and as a believer in the reign of God over and against evil.read more
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What does it mean to be a Christian in a post-Christian world? How does a person worship God in a world where the a priori basis of being "religious" doesn't even exist. The theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer thoughtfully and, at times, heart wrenchingly, faces these questions through letters to family and friends while imprisoned in Nazi Germany during WWII. Ever imperfect, in a very imperfect world, Bonhoeffer shows a thoughtful theologian grappling with tragedy, sorrow and horror.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Letters and Papers from Prison is a collection of notes and correspondence covering the period from Dietrich Bonhoeffer's arrest in 1943 to his execution by the Gestapo in 1945. The book is probably most famous, and most important, for its idea of "religionless Christianity"--an idea Bonhoeffer did not live long enough fully to develop, but whose timeliness only increases as the lines between secular and ecclesial life blur. Bonhoeffer's first mention of "religionless Christianity" came in a letter in 1944: What is bothering me incessantly is the question what Christianity really is, or indeed who Christ really is, for us today. The time when people could be told everything by means of words, whether theological or pious, is over, and so is the time of inwardness and conscience--and that means the time of religion in general. We are moving towards a completely religionless time; people as they are now simply cannot be religious any more. Even those who honestly describe themselves as "religious" do not in the least act up to it, and so they presumably mean something quite different by "religious."The pleasures of Letters and Papers from Prison, however are not all so profound. Occasionally, Bonhoeffer's letters burst into song--sometimes with actual musical notations, other times with unforgettable phrases. Looking forward to seeing his best friend, Bonhoeffer writes, "To meet again is a God." --Michael Joseph Gross
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Bonhoeffer writes to his fiance, family, and friends with a deep sense of hope even when his days were getting darker.He mentioned at one point that the Nazi government's horrible crimes served as proof for the need of a theocracy. Bonhoeffer died as a supporter of the church and as a believer in the reign of God over and against evil.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
A seminal work. What happens when irresistable martyr meets immovable dictatorship. Notable for subsequent use and misuse by all ends of the theological spectrum.
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A very difficult work to get through emotionally, especially if you know the background of the circumstances. Bonhoeffer was part of a conspiracy against Hitler and was imprisoned in April 1943 on unrelated charges. This book represents the correspondence between Bonhoeffer and his family and friends, especially Eberhard Bethge, to whom he sent letters illegally. The book tells the story of Bonhoeffer's hopes and dreams along with this theological reflections in his circumstance.The personal information is quite interesting. Anyone who expects the book to be mostly about theology will be rather disappointed; nevertheless, the thoughts that Bonhoeffer does put down are quite good and worthy of consideration, especially in regards to the Christian's relationship to the Old Testament and what it means to be a Christian in a "post-God" world. A book worth reading if one has a good understanding of Bonhoeffer through other works.
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