“A Theological Miracle”: The Awkward Brilliance of Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Sanctorum Communio (audio)

Posted on October 29, 2021 by PLT Staff

Lecture given by Charles Marsh at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, VA (September 29, 2021). Marsh discusses  the first of theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s two dissertations, Sanctorum Communio, which Karl Barth called “a theological miracle.” In his dissertation, 21-year-old Bonhoeffer states that the task of Christian theology is to explicate the church’s distinctive social practices and commitments. Marsh argues that Bonhoeffer, as the theologian of the concrete, shows how the doctrine of God comes to expression in lived social experience and only by this concept of revelation can the Christian concept of the church be uncovered. To find a listing of all our Occasional Lectures, click here.

Excerpt: “I find it really interesting when we want to parse Bonhoeffer’s way of thinking about the distinctive practices and shapes of Christian personhood…The move there is really profound, that he’s wanting to deconstruct this whole tradition of the modern identity as the self, world-constituting power, and to show our interdependence and interconnection to the other, and the primacy of the social relation, and the ‘I’ and ‘thou’ in the formation of individual identities.”

  • Audio Information
  • Date Recorded:September 29, 2021
  • Location Recorded:Charlottesville, VA
  • Audio File:Download File »
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