Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Intro to Dietrich Bonhoeffer

German pastor and theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer unreservedly engaged the moral dilemmas faced by German citizens in the 1930s and paid for his beliefs and activism with his life when he was murdered in a concentration camp by the Nazi regime.

Bonhoeffer wrote, taught and lived his extraordinary life based on the idea that the foundation of ethical behavior is how the reality of the world and the reality of God are reconciled. To share in a moral reality is to become a responsible person; a person who performs actions in accordance with reality and the fulfilled will of God.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer offers a body of work and a compelling life story that appeal to people across religious and philosophical spectrums. His insights on the gospel, and the challenges and demands of a moral life speak directly to persons of faith and conservative religious convictions while his ecumenism and expansive humanism speak to liberal Christians and social progressives.

Bonhoeffer showed a deep respect for all ethical religions – and even for atheists – attracting the attention of many non-Christian and non-religious people.