Dear Friend of The Dietrich Bonhoeffer Institute,
When a French nun, Sister André, the world’s oldest known person, died recently at the age of 118, time shrunk for me. A century and some years more feels so long ago, until it’s within one person’s lifetime. With this in mind, our namesake Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s 117th birthday, which would have been tomorrow February 4th, doesn’t seem so remote!
What’s sobering about this for me is that the proximity in time of Bonhoeffer’s life also indicates how relatively recent the events that shaped him are still so present for us:
The menace of a violent, fascistic, racialized political personality cult that turned murderous
The utter corruption of government actors and institutional systems in very short order
The political cooptation of churches and popular religious figures who aid and abet a leaders whom they believed to be chosen by God
Sound familiar? This is why I believe Dietrich Bonhoeffer is as relevant today as he was when he was alive. And it’s why TDBI, named in his memory, will host an unprecedented convening of church and social justice movement leaders next month, at Harris Manchester College in Oxford University in England, to take on the threat of racialized white Christian nationalism.
To honor our namesake’s 117th birthday, we invite you to make a special gift which will help us continue Bonhoeffer’s unfinished work. Like him, we seek to rid the world of the menace of hateful, violent, and morally corrupt ideologies that pervert religion, using it as a device to falsely validate their nefarious intentions.
Our work of curating and platforming the voices of ethically courageous religious influencers, our advising, encouraging, and providing them resources, and our strengthening them through bonds of friendship and fellowship, help fortify our collective resistance to the resurgent nationalism which threatens religious integrity, democratic institutions, and human flourishing.
Give today with a special tax-deductible Dietrich Bonhoeffer Birthday gift of $117!