On the Lived Theology Reading List: Bonhoeffer’s Reception of Luther

Bonhoeffer's Reception of LutherOn Bonhoeffer’s Two-Kingdoms Thinking

In Bonhoeffer’s Reception of Luther, author Michael P. DeJonge presents Bonhoeffer’s Lutheran theology of justification focused on the interpersonal presence of Christ in word, sacrament, and church.  DeJonge argues that the widespread failure to connect Bonhoeffer with the Lutheran two-kingdoms tradition has presented a serious obstacle in interpretation, and shows how this tradition informs Bonhoeffer’s reflections on war and peace, as well as his understanding of resistance to political authority. In all of this, DeJonge also argues that an appreciation of Luther’s ubiquity in Bonhoeffer’s corpus sheds light on his thinking, lends it coherence, and makes sense of otherwise difficult interpretive problems.

Reviews and endorsements of the publication include:

Bonhoeffer’s Reception of Luther is an excellent work, worthy of close reading and engagement. It promises to open up new vistas for better and more responsible understandings of Bonhoeffer s life, work, and ongoing significance. DeJonge shows convincingly how deeply Bonhoeffer was steeped in and in critical dialogue with Luther s thought and legacy, and likewise how recognition of this reality presents great opportunity for improved engagement with Bonhoeffer himself.”—Reading Religion

“This work will be essential for anyone interested in the development of Bonhoeffer’s theology. Michael DeJonge writes with remarkable clarity about some of the more complex and contested aspects of Bonhoeffer’s thought, offering provocative new insights into Bonhoeffer’s approach to the two kingdoms, Christian pacifism, and the challenges of resistance. Without ignoring the other theological influences on Bonhoeffer’s thought, this book makes a convincing case that to understand Bonhoeffer we must examine his reading and interpretation of Luther.”—Victoria J. Barnett, General Editor, Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works English Edition

“In this new work, rising star Michael DeJonge executes a lucid, patient and in the end devastating critique of North American readings of Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s theological legacy. That alone is worth the price of admission. Even better is the extraordinary retrieval he makes of Bonhoeffer’s core Lutheranism. DeJonge understands Luther better than many a Lutheran and Bonhoeffer better than any other North American interpreter. Tolle lege.”—Paul R. Hinlicky, Tise Professor of Lutheran Studies, Univerzita Komenskeho, Slovakia

For more information on the publication, click here.

Michael P. DeJonge is an Associate Professor of Religious Studies at the University of South Florida, and teaches in the areas of the history of Christian thought, theories and methods in religious studies, and modern religious thought. His research has focused on the twentieth-century German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and he sits on the board of the International Bonhoeffer Society and is a co-editor of the journal, Dietrich Bonhoeffer Yearbook.

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