Bonhoeffer on Truth and Politics

Posted on May 7, 2015 by PLT Staff

Paper given by Stanley Hauerwas during the Conference on Lived Theology and Civil Courage in Charlottesville, Virginia. Hauerwas discusses the value Dietrich Bonhoeffer attached to the truth, his ideas about what constitutes truth, and how this need for truth influenced his opinions about the responsibilities of the church as well as the importance of bringing Christian truth to politics.

Excerpt: “I suspect most of us think there to be a great distance between the sign in the greengrocer’s window and the rise of National Socialism in Germany. Yet I think Bonhoeffer rightly saw that the Christian acceptance that truth does not matter in such small matters prepared the ground for the terrible lie that was Hitler. In order to expose the small as well as the big lies a community must exist that has learned to speak truthfully to one another.”

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