By Martin E. Marty
For fascination, effect, notion, and controversy, Dietrich Bonhoeffer's Letters and Papers from legal is unrivaled through the other e-book of Christian mirrored image written within the 20th century. A Lutheran pastor and theologian, Bonhoeffer spent years in Nazi prisons prior to being done at age thirty-nine, only a month earlier than the German give up, for his position within the plot to kill Hitler. The posthumous Letters and Papers from felony has had a big effect on either Christian and secular suggestion because it used to be first released in 1951, and has helped determine Bonhoeffer's acceptance as probably the most very important Protestant thinkers of the 20th century. during this, the 1st background of the book's striking international occupation, nationwide e-book Award-winning writer Martin Marty tells how and why Letters and Papers from felony has been learn and utilized in such dramatically alternative ways, from the chilly conflict to today.
In his past due letters, Bonhoeffer raised tantalizing questions on the position of Christianity and the church in an more and more secular international. Marty tells the tale of ways, within the Sixties and the next a long time, those provocative principles stirred a variety of thinkers and activists, together with civil rights and antiapartheid campaigners, "death-of-God" theologians, and East German Marxists.
In the method of tracing the eventful and contested background of Bonhoeffer's e-book, Marty presents a compelling new standpoint on non secular and secular existence within the postwar period.
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Extra resources for Dietrich Bonhoeffer's Letters and Papers from Prison: A Biography (Lives of Great Religious Books)
In this case the biography of a book can serve where face-to-face encounters are not possible. On Bonhoeffer’s pages one does not learn how to conspire against the life of a dictator or how to survive in prison, but one might learn more about the world in which one lives today. ” moments can occur. Letters and Papers from Prison is highly personal, including raw material that might have been in use had Bonhoeffer written a memoir. ” The details of the life of a reader in a cozy study or a library will not begin to match those of Bonhoeffer, but this book, which has its own life, can serve the reader, who brings her own life to the reading, to experience change.
For a quick illustration, I point to the fact that Bonhoeffer had a twin sister, Sabine, who was very important to him and who appears on twenty pages of Bethge’s biography. She would go unmentioned here, had the writer of the letters not referred to her five times and had she not been married to a Jew, a lawyer, 22 Chapter 1 with whom she took refuge in England. Since the reception of Letters and Papers from Prison in Great Britain and among Jews is at least a small part of the biography of the book, it is the two or three allusions or slight references to her in the letters from her imprisoned brother that would draw notice.
This, then, is the story of Letters and Papers from Prison by Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Though, of course, the author had a life of his own, in the form of experiences that reach far beyond the margins and covers in this book, it is his letters that give life to the biography and merit notice in new generations. 20 Chapter 1 To this point we have conjured up a reader who came across the book and took it home because she was at least mildly interested in prison literature. We further picture that, if she is patient after opening her purchase and the book is compelling, she finds it speaking to her out of a world unfamiliar to her.