Bonhoeffer, Religion and Politics: 4th International by Christiane Tietz, Jens Zimmermann

By Christiane Tietz, Jens Zimmermann

Bonhoeffer’s stance on political concerns has been the focal point of substantial examine. inadequate realization has been given, in spite of the fact that, to the theoretical foundations of Bonhoeffer’s political theology, that's, to the elemental components and ideas that form his figuring out of religion’s relation to politics. This quantity goals to redress this oversight in Bonhoeffer stories. The accumulated essays exhibit how Bonhoeffer’s theological middle convictions ended in assumptions concerning the nature and aim of politics that stay correct for this present day. The contributions to this quantity rfile the 4th overseas Bonhoeffer Colloquium which came about in Mainz, Germany, in 2010 and was once funded through the Fritz-Thyssen-Foundation.

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27 In contrasting the German notion of freedom with that of its western neighbors, Bonhoeffer again stood solidly in the German tradition. Since Germans understood themselves to have taken a different path through European history, they also arrived at different understandings of supposedly shared European values. Values such as freedom were not, as Huntington and Paton present them, points of unity. Rather, they were points of contrast and potential contention. ” According to Meinecke, the west (der Westen) – France, Britain, and the USA – understand freedom as the absence of constraint, freedom that lacks determinative content and therefore applies in the same way to every person.

Germany and its western neighbors share in the guilt and the task of the Abendland. But I don’t want to finish on too balanced a note. Bonhoeffer is not an equal opportunity critic of Germany and its western neighbors. 55 In these and other ways, Bonhoeffer gives the impression that while both Germany and its western neighbors fall from the true form of the Abendland, the western nations fall a bit further. But more than that, Bonhoeffer is more sympathetic to the German tradition because his proposed solutions have their intellectual roots there.

Bonhoeffer understands these two kingdoms to be distinct yet related: “God rules the world by the office of the word and the office of the sword. ” The two kingdoms are related in that God governs them both. And they are distinct in the modes of God’s government; God rules the spiritual kingdom through the word and the worldly kingdom through the sword. , 107. 34 Cf. Plichta, “Reich – Europa – Abendland,” 62. Guido Müller / Venessa Plich- ta, “Zwischen Rhein und Donau. 2) 1999, 17. Plichta and Müller treat “Abendland” as an almost exclusively Catholic ideal.

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