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Bonhoeffer, Religion and Politics

4 th International Bonhoeffer Colloquium


Edited By Christiane Tietz and Jens Zimmermann

Bonhoeffer’s stance on political issues has been the focus of considerable research. Insufficient attention has been given, however, to the theoretical foundations of Bonhoeffer’s political theology, that is, to the fundamental elements and concepts that shape his understanding of religion’s relation to politics. This volume aims to redress this oversight in Bonhoeffer studies. The collected essays show how Bonhoeffer’s theological core convictions resulted in assumptions about the nature and goal of politics that remain relevant for today. The contributions to this volume document the 4 th International Bonhoeffer Colloquium which took place in Mainz, Germany, in 2010 and was funded by the Fritz-Thyssen-Foundation.


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Preface 7 1. Foundational Concepts for Understanding Politics 9 Clifford Green Christus in Mundo, Christus pro Mundo. Bonhoeffer’s Foundations for a New Christian Paradigm 11 Michael P. DeJonge Bonhoeffer’s Concept of the West 37 2. The Church’s Relation to Politics 53 Philip G. Ziegler Christ’s Lordship and Politics: Visser ‘t Hooft and Bonhoeffer 55 Barry Harvey The Path of the Church’s Decision: Bonhoeffer on Church, “Politics” and the State 81 3. Consequences for Political Action 99 Stefan Heuser Bonhoeffer on the Renewal of Political Practices 101 Gotlind Ulshöfer Bonhoeffer’s Understanding of Reality, Responsibility, and Happiness as an Orientation for the Relationship between Politics and Economics in a Time of Change 115 Eva Harasta Christ Becoming Pluralist: Bonhoeffer’s Public Theology as Inspiration for Inter-Religious Dialogue 133 Index 147 Appendix 149 Contributors 152 Editors of International Bonhoeffer Interpretations 155

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