return to religion-online

Encounter in Humanization: Insights for Christian-Marxist Dialogue and Cooperation by Paulose Mar Paulose

Bishop Paulose Mar Paulsoe prefers to call himself a "secular theologian" because he communicates the Christian faith in secular language. He received his Ph.D. from Princeton Theological Seminary for a dissertation on Bonhoeffer’s corrective of Karl Marx. He was a Bishop in the Chaldean Syrian Church in Kerala, India and served as President of the World Student Christian Federation. Published by Christava Sahitya Samithy (CSS), Tiruvalla-689 101, Kerala, S. India. This material was prepared for Religion Online by Ted and Winnie Brock.

Chapter 7: Bonhoeffer’s Concept of "World Come of Age"

Dietrich Bonhoeffer is such a fascinating theologian that he is being read and interpreted both in the East and the West, among Catholics and Protestants, liberals and conservatives, clergy and lay people, students of systematic theology and social action alike. The interest in Bonhoeffer’s writings, especially in his Letters and Papers from Prison, is reminiscent of what Engels said of Feuerbach’s Essence of Christianity:

Then came Feuerbach’s Essence of Christianity... One must oneself have experienced the liberating effect of this book to get an idea of it. Enthusiasm was general; we all became at once Feuerbachians.1

Indeed, the influence of Letters and Papers from Prison was so extraordinary that soon after its publication many became Bonhoefferians. As Henry Mottu has pointed out,

...everything suggests that Bonhoeffer was, and still is, the Feuerbach of what is called (not without exaggeration and a certain naivete) ‘the new theology"; that he is the "river of fire" through which we have passed with fear and delight, the ‘purgatory’ of our theological existence today.2

This does not mean, however, that Bonhoeffer is free from criticism. Among his readers, along with great admirers, there are bitter critics also. This is because, more than any other theologian of our time, he seems to have adopted modes of expression and types of questions which penetrate into the very heart of his readers. There is no doubt that, more than any other works of Bonhoeffer, his Letters and Papers from Prison has been the subject of severe criticism. This book was criticized even by those who praised his earlier works. Karl Barth who had praised Bonhoeffer’s earlier works, the Communion of Saints and the Cost of Discipleship was highly critical of his Letters and Papers from Prison.

Here a word or two has to be said in defence of Bonhoeffer’s Letters. Let us not forget that Bonhoeffer was not writing these letters from his comfortable study, but from the prison cell in the midst of bombing raids and anxieties about life. He was also not unmindful of the prison censors. He was always writing with the uneasy feeling that someone was reading it over his shoulder, And therefore we find in the letters only tantalizing hints of Bonhoeffer’s constructive thinking. In a letter to Eberhard Bethge, the chief recipient and later the editor of Bonhoeffer’s letters from prison, he said:

You now ask so many important questions on the subjects that have been occupying me lately, that I should be happy if I could answer them myself. But it is all very much in the early stages; and, as usual, I’m being led on more by an instinctive feeling for questions that will arise later than by any conclusions that I’ve already reached about them.3

It is clear from Bonhoeffer’s own words that his thinking never got beyond the initial stage. His early death at the hands of the Nazis in 1945 prevented him from adequately working out his ideas. And yet we have to be cautious about those who overemphasize the fragmentary character of Bonhoeffer’s prison writings. These writings were, sure incomplete; but they do not by any means lead us into total confusion. We must also not forget the dialectical element in the prison letters. These letters are by no means to be understood only through the more sensational passages; rather they are to be understood in the light of his whole theological work and as a stage which he reached in the development of that work. Then we will understand that Bonhoeffer leads us neither to the abandonment of God nor even to the abandonment of religion.

There are not many references to Marx in Bonhoeffer’s writings. However, it is hard to believe that Bonhoeffer was unfamiliar with Marxist philosophy. In the midst of the anti-communist attitude which prevailed in Germany during the Third Reich, probably Bonhoeffer might have thought of not creating an added suspicion in the mind of Hitler by references to Marxism in his writings. Moreover, the challenge of Nazism was more dominant in the 1930’s and early 1940’s than that of Marxism. Anyway, in our present study, the important point is that Bonhoeffer’s critique of religion has left an impression somewhat similar to that left by Marx’s critique. Like Marx, Bonhoeffer glorified in the powers of human being and dreaded the often disruptive and retarding effect of religion upon these powers. Like Marx, Bonhoeffer wanted to speak to human beings in their strength, in their wholehearted life and aspirations. This is why Bonhoeffer has been so popular among Christian theologians and Marxist philosophers in East Europe. What is important to note is that in spite of the similarities between Marx and Bonhoeffer there is a striking difference which is crucial for our enquiry: Bonhoeffer’s critique of religion grew from, and was directed toward, an extraordinary faith in Christ, Lord of the world. Without this faith such a critique would be impossible. The foundation for the Christian encounter with Marxism is found in Bonhoeffer’s theology in the more basic framework of the confrontation of Christ with the world. His thoughts will, therefore, help us to formulate and synthesize an adequate theological approach to Marxism.

When Bonhoeffer explains what he means by religion he connects it in his mind with such terms as ‘metaphysical’,’ ‘individualistic’, etc. A religious interpretation of Christianity would be a metaphysical or an individualistic one. This kind of interpretation is valid only as long as man is ‘religious’. But Bonhoeffer asks: what if man is no longer religious, no longer concerned with the answers given by a religious interpretation of things? What if man is not inherently religious? What happens if the religious a priori upon which Christian preaching and theology have rested for the last nineteen hundred years simply does not exist? Bonhoeffer is convinced that modern man cannot be religious even if he thinks he is and wants to be. If he describes himself as religious, it is obvious that he does not live up to it, or that he means something quite different. If religion is no more than a "garment of Christianity" which must now be cast aside because it has lost its meaning in a "world come of age", if the real problem facing Christianity today is not so much that of religionlessness, but precisely that of religion, then what does all this mean for the church?4 These are the questions Bonhoeffer poses before us.

Bonhoeffer maintains that if the church is to be relevant to our time it must be ready to criticize itself and re-examine its traditional beliefs and practices. The task of theology is to consider our traditional testimony of faith as a thing for which we must answer in the present. As Daniel Jenkins asserts, "the only way in which religion can be effectively criticized is from within. The reason for this is that the only criterion for the criticism is that provided by God himself in faith."5 This is exactly what Bonhoeffer does. He does not want to abolish religion. But he wishes to free Christianity from any necessary dependence upon "the religious premise". Our study will not be fruitful unless we clearly understand from the outset that Bonhoeffer’s concepts such as "world come of age", "non-religious interpretation", "religionless Christianity", etc. are no more, and no less, than a striving after a more adequate expression of faith working through love in maturity and freedom.

In the first part of the present study we learned that the world in which we live is in revolution, and that it was Marx’s prophetic function which gave this revolution its most radical and consistent expression in the secular world. The world has come of age in organizational, rational, and technical competence. Vast areas which once were left to the operation of natural forces are now under human control. The world has, thus, become non-religious in the sense that "God as working hypothesis in morals, politics, or science, has been surmounted and abolished." 6 The realm of inward experience of the soul, where the life of piety used to take place, that realm of conscience, of salvation, of eternal life, of communion with a transcendent Being beyond the bounds of this earth, has faded into the background of people’s consciousness. It seems no longer important. People are busy serving themselves or their neighbours with their technical reason. They don’t have time to worry about supposedly ultimate problems. The world has become mature in that it has dispensed with metaphysics, including religious metaphysics, and conducts its life on the basis of its own relative principles and knowledge, as if God did not exist.

Now, it is to Bonhoeffer that we owe the insight that the maturity of this world is a fact of God’s providence in our time. Revolutionary impulses and Christian apologetics alike reorganize this fact. Sooner or later everyone will have to accept this. Where is Christ in such a world as this? Christ reveals to us in God’s love, God’s being and act, Christ is in the middle of this mature world, reconciling it to Himself out of its sin and rebellion. It is the reality of Cod who has come into this world in Jesus Christ.

In Christ we are offered the possibility of partaking in the reality of God and in the reality of the world, but not in the one without the other. The reality of God discloses itself only by setting me entirely in the reality of the world, and when I encounter the reality of the world it is always already sustained, accepted and reconciled in the reality of God.7

This is the encounter with the secular, the mature world to which the Christian is called.

But what has been the reaction of the church to the development whereby the God of religion has been edged out of the world as the world has come to a self-assured adulthood? The whole movement has been viewed as "the great defection from God, from Christ."8 and the more that God and Christ have been invoked in opposition to the development, the more it has considered itself to be anti-Christian. Christian apologetics has tried to prove to the world that the world could not live without the tutelage of God, but it has been fighting a losing war surrendering one battlefield after another. Bonhoeffer considers the attack by Christian apologetics upon the adulthood of the world to be pointless, ignoble and unchristian:

Pointless, because it seems to me like an attempt to put a grown-up man back into adolescence, i.e., to make him dependent, as things as which he is in fact no longer dependent, and thrusting him into problems that are, in fact, no longer problems to him. Ignoble, because it amounts to an attempt to exploit man’s weakness for purposes that are alien to him and to which he has not freely assented. Unchristian, because it confuses Christ with the particular stage in man’s religiousness, i.e., with a human law.9

This apologia has been carried on by religious people, who have used God as a "stopgap for their incompleteness of knowledge." This insight gives rise to Bonhoeffer’s own reaction to religious and religionless people.

I often ask myself why a Christian instinct" often draws me more to the religionless people than to the religious, by which I don’t in the least mean with any evangelizing intention, but, I might almost say, "in brotherhood". While I am often reluctant to mention God by name to religious people—because that name somehow seems to me here not to ring true, and I feel myself to be slightly dishonest (it’s particularly bad when others start to talk in religious jargon; I then dry up almost completely and feel awkward and uncomfortable) to people with no religion I can on occasion mention him by name quite calmly and as a matter of course. Religious people speak of God when human knowledge (perhaps simply because they are too lazy to think) has come to an end, or when human resources fail -- in fact it is always the deus ex machina that they bring on to the scene, either for the apparent solution of insoluble problems, or as strength in human failure -- always, that is to say, exploiting human weakness or human boundaries.10

Even though God is driven out of the world by the surrender of the church in one area after another, there seems to be one sphere in which religious answers remained secure, and that is the sphere of the so-called ultimate questions (death, suffering, guilt, etc.) i.e., the sphere of man’s inner life. If God alone can furnish an answer to the ultimate questions, then at least there is some reason why God and the church and the pastor are needed. Here again Bonhoeffer asks, if we can talk of God only on the "borders of human existence, in the "boundary situations", are we not in the final analysis trying to make room for God in the world? Are we not assigning Him his place in the world? Even in these areas, Bonhoeffer reminds us, answers are to be found nowadays that leave God right out of the picture. It is not true that only Christianity has the answers". In fact, it is Bonhoeffer’s opinion that the Christian answers are no more conclusive or compelling than any of the others.11

Here the church that clung to its religious interpretation and has restricted God to the private life of the human being comes face to face with what Bonhoeffer calls "the secularized offshoots of Christian theology, namely existentialist philosophy and the psychotherapists."12 They, too, have the answer to life’s problems, the solution to its distresses and conflicts, and their answer does not depend on God. They, too, enter into the secret recesses of man’s inner, personal life and try to demonstrate to secure, happy, contented mankind that he is really unhappy and desperate, that his health is sickness, his vigour and vitality are despair. This sort of "secular methodism" has its ecclesiastical counterpart in the clergy’s "priestly sniffing around" in the lives of men to bring to light their sins of weakness. Bonhoeffer believes that there is a two-fold theological error here: first, the notion that human beings can be addressed as sinners only on the basis of their weakness; second, the idea that one’s essential nature consists of one’s inner life. Jesus did not make every person a sinner first; he called people out of their sin, not into it. Again, the Bible does not recognize our distinction between ‘outer’ and ‘inner’, but is concerned with the whole person in relation to God. Bonhoeffer believes it is imperative that the church give up all "clerical tricks" and stop regarding psychotherapy and existentialism as "God’s pioneers".13 The church must take an entirely different approach to a world come of age. And therefore Bonhoeffer says:

I should like to speak of God not on the boundaries but at the centre, not in weakness but in strength; and therefore not in death and guilt but in man’s life and goodness. As to the boundaries, it seems to me better to be silent and leave the insoluble unsolved... God is beyond in the midst of our life. The church stands, not at the boundaries where human powers give out, but in the middle of the village.14

We shall now examine what Bonhoeffer actually meant by the phrase "the world come of age". When Bonhoeffer speaks of the maturity of the world come of age, he does not mean the "adult maturity of the wise old sage".15 Rather he gives the description of a situation. Maturity marks the time of responsibility. Man come of age is in no sense a perfect man or man who does not commit sin. He is a man accepting responsibility. By the use of his reason man has gradually discovered the laws by which the world lives and is regulated, not only in science, but also in social and political affairs, art, ethics and religion, and in the name of intellectual honesty he no longer uses God as a working hypothesis. Man has been left with the world on his hands. Man’s attention has been turned away from worlds beyond, and toward this world and this time. It is in this sense that he is living in a world come of age. In the childhood of humanity men thought of God as the deus ex machina. Now that man has come of age, he thinks and lives independent of God. The premises of the religion of the childhood of humanity have disappeared. If the church can be no more in the modern world than a sort of "religious drugstore" or "religious comfort station" Bonhoeffer believes, its fate is already sealed.

Bonhoeffer speaks of the world come of age only m the context of a world which no longer needs the religious premise which has long characterized Christian preaching, devotion and self-understanding. The man come of age is one whose work, family, education, and awareness of the world have made daily recourse to God unnecessary. Bonhoeffer would have us think of the world come of age as revealing God’s gift of freedom and of the world to man.

Thus the world’s coming of age is no longer an occasion for polemics and apologetics, but is now really better understood than it understands itself, namely on the basis of the gospel and in the light of Christ.16

The man of age affirms the temporal, this-worldly character of existence. There is, for him, only this world; there is no other world. He is concerned with the tasks and problems of this world. He is disturbed to notice that the religious man is more interested in eternity and the otherworldly. Because the mind of the religious man is taken up with the ‘world to come" and with the desire to attain salvation in that world, he is said to have neglected the problems of this world. For him praying, worshipping, singing hymns, fasting, meditating, going on retreats and such are the most important activities of life. But for the man come of age such practices seem shadowy and unreal by comparison with our secular activities. He is critical of the time that the religious man spends in prayer and worship.

This is why Bonhoeffer insists that we must love God in our lives:

I believe that we ought so to love and trust God in our lives, and in all the good things that he sends us, that when the time comes (but not before) we may go to him with love, trust, and joy... We ought to find and love God in what he actually gives us; if it pleases him to allow us to enjoy some overwhelming earthly happiness, we must not try to be more pious than God himself and allow our happiness to be corrupted by presumption and arrogance, and by unbridled religious fantasy which is never satisfied with what God gives.17

We have to accept gratefully the earthly affections, pleasures, health, achievements and knowledge as the blessings of God. Bonhoeffer repeatedly speaks of the natural, the earthly, the human, because Christ is the "new Man", the "True Humanity." This helps us to recognize the world come of age. Bonhoeffer would have us stop thinking of world come of age primarily as a turning away from God, for he is not speaking of atheism, and would not describe himself as an atheist. Rather he believes that, since man has ceased to be religious and since the laws which he has discovered have their origin and essence in Jesus Christ, today’s godless, secular man is ripe for Christian message that Jesus Christ is the Lord of the world, that the world stands ever before God, the one who is Creator, Reconciler and Redeemer and who refuses to be a deus ex machina. This is what Bonhoeffer means when he asserts that "the world that has come of age is more godless, and perhaps for that very reason nearer to God, than the world before its coming of age."18 This is no sanctioning of the world’s godlessness, but rather a recognition that it is a hopeful godlessness. "Our coming of age", says Bonhoeffer, "leads us to a true recognition of our situation before God".19 It is by this reasoning, namely, by a bold effort to answer the question of how Jesus Christ can become Lord even of the religionless, that Bonhoeffer arrived at his conclusion that the church should work out and proclaim a "non-religious" interpretation of Biblical and theological concepts.

Bonhoeffer proclaimed the world’s coming of age in the name of the crucified and risen Christ and saw it as a necessary part of his Christology. It was the crucified and risen Christ who made possible the coming of age. Bonhoeffer found that the recognition of the world’s autonomy is neither philosophy nor phenomenology, but the knowledge of God which seeks to follow God where He has already preceded us. That is why Bonhoeffer’s statement about the world come of age is first and last a theological statement. A curse or blessing is always pronounced over something that has come into being, determining its future progress. It was hitherto the case that the church not only did not bless the autonomously evolving world, but condemned it and called it godless. If the church makes no declaration that the world has come of age, then the world itself must declare its autonomy.

Bonhoeffer says further that the knowledge of the world’s coming of age can help us to a better understanding of the Gospel.

To that extent we may say that the development towards the world’s coming of age outlined above, which has done away with a false conception of God, opens up a way of seeing the God of the Bible, who wins power and space in the world by his weakness.20

The lordship of Christ corresponds to worldliness, and discipleship to a sharing in this world; the natural, the profane, the rational and the humane are placed not against but with this Christ -- this is what Bonhoeffer means by the phrase "world come of age."

The implications of Bonhoeffer’s concept of "world come of age" are significant for our encounter with Marxism. We can understand it better in the light of the ongoing debate on secularization and secularism. Secularization is the result of the self-understanding of man. Science and technology, of course, have played a vital role in this changed outlook of man. Man perceives himself as a creative subject. He becomes aware that he is an agent of history, responsible for his own destiny. This new self-understanding of man necessarily brings in its wake a different way of conceiving his relationship with God. As Gustavo Gutierrez observes, secularization is a process which not only coincides perfectly with a Christian vision of man, of history, and of the cosmos; it also favours a more complete fulfillment of Christian life insofar as it offers man the possibility of being more fully human.21 He adds:

Biblical faith does indeed affirm the existence of creation as distinct from the Creator; it is the proper sphere of man, whom God himself has proclaimed lord of this creation. Worldliness, therefore, is a must, a necessary condition for an authentic relationship between man and nature, of men among themselves, and finally, between man and God.22

Secularism, on the other hand, refers to the more rigid attitude of those who hold that only through science is any trustworthy knowledge to be attained and that only the tangible and human affairs of this world are worthy of attention.

Worth mentioning here is the excellent study made by Friedrich Gogarten on the distinction between secularization and secularism. According to him, secularization refers to the historical process itself which we described above. Secularism, on the contrary, is an ideology which tends to contain this process within a framework which excludes all religious values.23

It is easy to understand from this description of Gogarten that Bonhoeffer’s concept of world come of age falls under the category of secularization and that Marx’s description of world’s autonomy falls under the ideology of secularism. Bonhoeffer’s radical acceptance of secularization does not at all rule out a life which is lived in an arcane discipline (Arkandisziplin) of prayer and meditation, of study, worship and silence. While his invitation to affirm the world’s coming of age has all the marks of a new theological version of the Enlightenment, he also urges Christians to be disciplined, to avoid "the shallow and banal this worldliness of the enlightened (Aufgeklarten)".24 At the same time he wants us to turn from God’s beyond to the world’s here and now, from church to world. Here it is not simply a matter of abandoning God’s beyond, of passing from church to world, from prayer to work, but of rethinking transcendence as the centre of our lives. "God is beyond in the midst of our life."25 The world come of age is not nearer to God than to the world of tutelage; indeed, it is more godless, "and perhaps for that very reason nearer to God."26 This dialectical tension found in Bonhoeffer’s thought is significant that it remains a solid Christian response to the autonomy of the world Marx proclaims. Living wholeheartedly m the world is neither an abandonment of God nor a revolt against God; rather it is accepting the freedom given by God with a sense of responsibility. Bonhoeffer is certain that if faith is to have any chance at all of being non-religious, it must ultimately be not so much a candidacy for the next world but rather a complete acceptance of responsibility for the world. He takes freedom and responsibility seriously in the light of the scripture:

In the language of the Bible, freedom is not something man has for himself but something he has for others... Freedom is not a quality of man, nor is it an ability, a capacity, a kind of being that somehow flares up in him... In truth, freedom is a relationship between two persons. Being free means "being free for the other", because the other has bound me to him. Only in relationship with the other am I free.27

Bonhoeffer maintains that the freedom and responsibility to which we are called presupposes the going out of ourself and the breaking down of our selfishness. The fullness of the world come of age is communion with others. "Thus the autonomy of ‘the world come of age’, of which he (Bonhoeffer) now begins to speak, is not to be understood as the freedom of a Titan, but rather a freedom born of humility." 28

Before we proceed to the necessary non-religious interpretation, we shall now consider what the implications of the world come of age are for the contemporary church. The autonomy of the world come of age which Bonhoeffer speaks is to be understood as a realization born of humility. We must confess that we are disturbed when we realize that human hope and the world’s coming of age are inescapably connected. One of our shortcomings is that, when particular areas of life which once were under direct ecclesiastical control become autonomous, we assume that this represents a victory for faithless secularism. It is true that this autonomy can be achieved in such a way as to deny God’s lordship. But at the same time we must admit the possibility that it can be achieved in such a way as to express true Christian maturity in freedom. This admission will help us to evaluate our encounter with Marxism and will show us a new vista of strategy to fulfil our tasks in relation to secular institutions.

The guiding principle for Christians in this realm is that of identification with the world. "The only way to follow Jesus was by living in the world."29 We are part of the world Christ came to save and we cannot participate in his saving act unless we do so at those places in the world where we live alongside fellow human beings, whether or not they bear a Christian name. We Christians must try to discover the will of God not in the life of the church but also in the various spheres of our secular calling. Christ meets us in the Bible, in the preaching, in the sacraments and in the fellowship of the church; but he also meets us no less in the spirit at all places where we have to make a decision. As Daniel Jenkins stated, the primary task of the church is not to safeguard her earthly form as one institution among many, but

to make manifest the transforming power of Christ in the life of mankind every day, through the institutions of the family, the school, the state, the industrial organization and all others which make up the fabric of the life of mankind.30

God called Israel, and calls us, not for the sake of any special worthiness or favour, but for the sake of the world. In other words, the Church is called to the service of humankind and of the world. This is election not to privilege, but to engagement in servanthood. The church lives in order that the world may know its true being. God calls us in order to send us back into the world as His witness. This means that the church has a mission; that is to say, the church is sent by God for a special purpose. Her purpose, her special concern, is not just to convert individuals into church members, but to make a whole approach to society and to all parts of life.

So to sum up Bonhoeffer’s thoughts on "world come of age": obviously, by this phrase he means two things. First, the large measure of control given man over nature by the discovery of the scientific method. Second, the awareness that the modern man is no longer under either the tutelage or the control of ‘god’, but is called to freedom and responsibility. He does not need religion in the limited sense nor is he able to live for long on the basis of behaviour dictated by institutions for which he holds uncritical reverence. He is compelled now to live with his freedom. He is heir to the Messianic Kingdom and has been compelled to enter into some of the privileges and responsibilities of his heritage.31 The coming of age of man means that he cannot live any longer under the ‘gods’. He can only find the fulfillment of his freedom in the bond service of Christ.

Bonhoeffer is increasingly aware that there is a radical disparity between the world into which he was born and the world of the second world war. This new world is one in which there is no traditional culture or faith as a ground beneath one’s feet. It is a world in which "the great masquerade of evil" is manifest, and in which rationalism, moral fanaticism, conscience, and duty have failed. Who can face this world?

Only the man whose final standard is not his reason, his principles, his conscience, his freedom, or his virtue, but who is ready to sacrifice all this when he is called to obedient and responsible action in faith and in exclusive allegiance to God -- the responsible man, who tries to make his whole life an answer to the question and call of God.32

How is it possible to be obedient and responsible people with exclusive allegiance to God? Certainly not by confining ourselves within the walls of the church, but by our serving presence in the world. But the religion of the childhood of humanity has always been an obstacle for this serving presence, and now the modern men and women have realized that they can get along quite well without such a religion. Observing that the death of religion is an established fact and is a historic liberating force for the world Bonhoeffer can accept a world built upon and daily guided by secular hopes. He finds the religionless condition of the twentieth century person to be the foundation for the new from Christianity. By this he does not mean new institutional patterns, but rather a drastic change in the church’s inner self-awareness. He finds the guidelines for this new understanding of the church in what he calls "non-religious interpretation" of Biblical and theological concepts.



1. Engels, "Ludwig Feuerbach and the End of Classical German Philosophy," On Religion, op. cit., p. 224.

2. Henry Mottu, "Feuerbach and Bonhoeffer: Criticism of Religion and the Last Period of Bonhoeffer’s Thought," Union Seminary Quarterly Review. Vol. XXV, No. 1, 1969, p. ff. Mottu’s statement echoes the advice Marx gave to the speculative theologians and philosophers of his time.

3. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Letters and Papers from Prison, ed. by Eberhard Bethge, trans. by Reginald Fuller & others (New York: The Macmillan Co., 1972), p. 325 (8 June 1944), cited hereafter as ‘LPP’

4. Cf. LPP, op. cit., pp. 279 ff. (30 April 1944).

5. Daniel Jenkins, Beyond Religion: The Truth and Error in ‘Religionless Christianity’ (London: SCM Press, 1962), p. 17.

6. LPP, op. cit., p.360 (16 July 1944)

7. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Ethics, ed. by Eberhard Bethge, trans. by Neville Horton Smith (New York: The Macmillan Co.,1969), p.195

8. LPP, op. cit., p. 326 (8 June 1944)

9. LPP, op. cit., p.327( 8 June l944).

10. LPP, op. cit., pp. 281f ( 30 April 1944). ‘deux ex machina’ (Greek) means ‘god from machinery’ in Greek and Roman drama, a god brought on to save a seemingly impossible situation.

11. LPP, op. cit.., pp 311f (29 May 1944)

12. LPP, op. cit., p.326 (8 June 1944).

13. LPP, op. cit., p.346 (8 July 1944).

14. LPP, op. cit., p.282 (30 April 1944).

15. John D. Godsey, "Reading Bonhoeffer in English Translation", Bonhoeffer in a World Come of Age, ed. by Peter Vorkink II (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1968), p.123.

16. LPP, op. cit., p.329 (8 June 1944).

17. LPP, op. cit., p.168 (18 December 1943).

18. LPP, op. cit., p.362 (18 July 1944).

19. LPP, op. cit., p.360 (16 July 1944).

20. LPP, op. cit., p.261 (16 July 1944).

21. Cf. Gustavo Guiterrez, A Theology of Liberation, op. cit., p.67.

22. Ibid.

23. Cf. Frederich Gogarten, Despair and I-lope for Our Time, trans. by Thomas Wieser (Philadelphia: Pilgrim Press, 1970), pp. 102 ff.

24. LPP, op. cit., p.369 (21 July 1944).

25. LPP, op. cit., p.282 (30 April 1944).

26. LPP, op. cit., p.362 (18 July 1944).

27. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Creation and Fall: A Theological Interpretation of Genesis 1-3, trans. by John C. Fletcher (New York: The Macmillan Co., 1969), p.37

28. Eberhard Bethge, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, op.cit., p.757f

29. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship, trans. by R.H. Fuller (New York: The Macmillan Co., l968),p.5l

30. Daniel Jenkins, op.cit., p.82.

31. Cf. Friedrich Gogarten, The Reality of Faith: The Problem of Subjectivism in Theology, trans. by Carl Michalson & others (Philadelphia: The Westminister Press, MCMLIX), pp. 55ff.

32. LPP, op. cit., p.5 ( "After ten Years: A Reckoning Made at New Year 1943").

Viewed 109549 times.