It is amazing how Dietrich Bonhoeffer has ended up on both sides of the debate concerning the rights of the LBGT. This seen in a letter to the editor in the Indy Star…

Don’t cite Dietrich Bonhoeffer in support of RFRA

The Rev. Ron Johnson Jr. of the Indiana Pastors Alliance claimed during his April 27 Statehouse rally that issues around the Religious Freedom Restoration Act had brought on a “Bonhoeffer moment.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a German Lutheran pastor who created an underground seminary in Nazi Germany to train pastors for courageous leadership in dangerous times.

However, Bonhoeffer would not have affirmed Johnson’s statement or actions in promoting legislation to allow discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Hoosiers. Homosexuals were one of the populations persecuted under Nazi rule, and Bonhoeffer’s teaching, beliefs and eventual decision to participate in an assassination attempt on Adolf Hitler were evidence that he believed in the dignity and worth of all.

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Liebe Interessentinnen und Interessenten,

wir freuen uns, Ihnen heute mit dem neuen Newsletter zum Dietrich Bonhoeffer Portal einen ersten Eindruck der wichtigsten Schwerpunkte, Termine und Events rund um die Jubiläumszeit zum 70. Todestag Bonhoeffers kurz vorzustellen. Auch im Portal hat sich einiges getan. So ist es jetzt möglich, innerhalb der Inhaltsverzeichnisse der Werkausgabe per Stichwortsuche zu recherchieren, und auch unsere Erinnerungsstätten und Gemeindeseiten haben sich nach und nach mit vielen neuen Inhalten gefüllt. Natürlich gilt es immer noch einige Lücken zu schließen. Wenn Ihre Bonhoeffer-Gemeinde, Schule oder Institution bei uns noch nicht oder nur als Adressinfo enthalten ist, zögern Sie nicht, uns zu kontaktieren, wir freuen uns über Ihre Neumeldungen und Ergänzungen!

Der Geburtstag Bonhoeffers am 4. Februar hat schon eine erste Welle an Terminen, Vorträgen und Referaten ausgelöst. Mehr Informationen erhalten Sie auf der Terminübersichtsseite:

Bonhoeffer Gedenkjahr 2015

Wir freuen uns, Sie weiterhin mit unseren Themen und Inhalten zu begeistern und danken allen, die zum Gelingen dieser Aufgabe mit eigenen Inhalten beitragen!

Herzliche Grüße Ihre
Anni Neumann
– Online-Redaktion –

“Wer bin ich” – Schülerwettbewerb: Einsendeschluss: 31.03.2015

„Wer bin ich?“ Dieser Frage begegnen Menschen immer wieder. Vielleicht sind besonders junge Menschen von dieser Frage betroffen, die – gerade wegen der Vielzahl an Angeboten und Möglichkeiten – auf der Suche nach ihrem Platz in der Gesellschaft sind.

Mit der Ausschreibung des Wettbewerbs „Wer bin ich?“ regt der Arbeitskreis „Dietrich Bonhoeffer in der Schule“ der Internationalen Bonhoeffer-Gesellschaft (ibg) Jugendliche dazu an, sich anlässlich seines 70.Todestages mit dem Theologen und Widerstandskämpfer Dietrich Bonhoeffer auseinander zu setzen und seine Aussagen aus dem Gedicht „Wer bin ich?“ mit ihrem eigenen Leben in Verbindung zu bringen.

Mehr Informationen zum Wettbewerb …

Call for Papers für den XII. Internationalen Bonhoeffer-Kongress 2016 in Basel

Die Vorbereitungsgruppe des XII. Internationalen Bonhoeffer-Kongresses, der vom 6. bis 10. Juli 2016 in Basel/Schweiz stattfinden wird, lädt herzlich zur Einsendung von Vorschlägen für Vorträge ein.
Der Kongress steht unter dem Thema Bonhoeffer in einer globalen Zeit: Christlicher Glaube, Zeugnis, Dienst.

Die Konferenz will klären, wie Bonhoeffers eigene Theologie durch Auslandserfahrungen und ökumenische Begegnungen geprägt wurde. Kann Bonhoeffers Theologie auch in unserer globalen Situation heute noch hilfreich sein? Und wie?
An den drei Arbeitstagen der Konferenz finden morgens Hauptvorträge und nachmittags Seminarreferate statt. Zu diesen Seminarreferaten erbitten wir Ihre Proposals. Die Themen der drei Arbeitstage finden Sie in unserem Artikel “Call for Papers …” unter:

Forschung aktuell, “Call for Papers …”

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“We are certainly not Christ; we are not called on to redeem the world by our own deeds and sufferings, and we need not try to assume such an impossible burden. We are not lords, but instruments in the hand of the Lord of history; and we can share in other people’s sufferings only to a very limited degree. We are not Christ, but if we want to be Christians, we must share in Christ’s large-heartedness by acting with responsibility and in freedom when the hour of danger comes, and by showing a real sympathy that springs, not from fear, but from the liberating and redeeming love of Christ for all who suffer. Mere waiting and looking on is not Christian behavior. The Christian is called to sympathy and action, not in the first place by his own sufferings, but by the sufferings of his brethren, for whose sake Christ suffered.”

~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer, After Ten Years in Letters & Papers From Prison, 14. 

Last Days of the Nazis

Last Days of the Nazis is a story that’s rarely been broadcast on television before. This is a dark and compelling history of Nazism from a different perspective – that of the Nazis themselves. In 1945, the Allies rounded up and interrogated thousands of ex-Nazis. The interrogations became a fascinating, but largely forgotten, part of the historical record. The Last Days of the Nazis uses these interrogations to dramatically bring to life accounts by Nazi death camp commandants, Nazi doctors, generals, architects, and members of the Hitler Youth. It is an inside look at the minds and motivations of the most evil regime in history. This is what the enemy told us.

Originally posted on Fletcher & Company LLC:

Two stories of heroes–each quite different, but both influential and long-lasting in their efforts–are publishing today.

The first is Eric Blehm‘s LEGEND (Crown), the unforgettable account of the courageous actions of the U.S. Army’s 240th Assault Helicopter Company and Green Beret staff sergeant Roy Benavidez, who risked everything to rescue a Special Forces team trapped behind enemy lines during the Vietnam War.

On May 2, 1968. a twelve-man Special Forces team had been covertly inserted into a small clearing in the jungles of neutral Cambodia—where U.S. forces were forbidden to operate.

When Special Forces staff sergeant Roy Benavidez heard the distress call, he jumped aboard the next helicopter bound for the combat zone without hesitation. What followed would become legend in the Special Operations community. Flown into the foray of battle by the courageous pilots and crew of the 240th Assault Helicop­ter Company, Benavidez jumped from the hovering aircraft and ran nearly 100 yards…

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Originally posted on The Alethiophile:

After several recommendations, I pushed this up my reading list, but that’s something I’m quite glad of. It’s now 5 years since I was first introduced to Bonhoeffer when I read The Cost of Discipleship whilst hiking around the Julian Alps of north-western Slovenia. Following up with Letters and Papers from Prison, probably no two books have had a greater influence on the direction of my discipleship in recent years.

This is a very short book, running to a little under 100 pages in the edition I read, made up of 5 chapters. From the off, as with The Cost of Discipleship and much of the later parts Letters and Papers from Prison, Bonhoeffer metaphorically picks up the reader by the lapels and gives them a firm shake. One of the difficulties with reading Bonhoeffer is that he writes quite concisely. Each sentence packs a lot into it…

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“I believe that God can and will bring good out of evil, even out of the greatest evil. For that purpose he needs men who make the best use of everything. I believe that God will give us all the strength we need to help us to resist in all the times of distress. But he never gives it in advance, lest we should rely on ourselves and not on him alone. A faith such as this should allay all our fears for the future.”

~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer, After Ten Years in Letters & Papers From Prison, 11. 

Originally posted on VOICE OF THE PERSECUTED:

egypt map

When Muslim neighbors got hold of the footage which Four Egyptian youth made fun of ISIS in a harmless video, they along with their teacher were charged of “insulting Islam” and now headed to trial.

Aged between 15 and 16, the youths could face up to five years in a youth detention center – while the teacher would serve any sentence he receives in prison – if the court finds them guilty of violating Egypt’s blasphemy law, Egypt-focused activists say.

Egyptian Christian and civil rights groups are leading calls for their release, but the five – members of the Coptic community that descends from the non-Arab people whose Pharaohs ruled ancient Egypt – have already spent weeks in police holding cells.

“They are some kids who decided to have fun in a private place,” Mina Thabet, a Coptic activist and researcher at the Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms, told from Cairo. READ…

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“To talk of going down fighting like heroes in the face of certain defeat is not really heroic at all, but merely a refusal to face the future. The ultimate question for a responsible man to ask is not how he is to extricate himself heroically from the affair, but how the coming generation is to live! It is only from this question, with the responsibility towards history, that fruitful solutions can come, even if for the time being they are very humiliating.”

~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer, After Ten Years in Letters & Papers From Prison, 7. 

Article by: KIRK O. KOLBO

The wise words of the theologian executed over a plot to kill Hitler still have resonance for us in today’s troubled times.

Seventy years ago Thursday, Lutheran theologian and pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer was hanged at the Flossenbürg concentration camp in Germany for participating in the conspiracy to kill Adolf Hitler.

There is no doubt that Bonhoeffer was “guilty” of being one of the conspirators. Although he had been in prison for two years at the time of his execution, beginning more than a year before the failed July 20,1944, Stauffenberg bomb attempt on Hitler’s life (Operation Valkyrie), Bonhoeffer had been a member of the conspiracy since 1940. He had been brought into it by his brother-in-law, Hans von Dohnanyi, a lawyer and official in the Abwehr, the military intelligence office and a center of resistance to Hitler.

Bonhoeffer was determined from his early teens to become a theologian. His first pastoral church assignment was to a German émigré congregation in Barcelona, Spain. In the early years of the Nazi regime, he had a similar position with a church in London. His biographers point, however, to a visit to the United States in 1930-31 as a turning point. Bonhoeffer came as an exchange student, studying at Union Theological Seminary in New York City. Among the friends he made there was an African-American student from Alabama who introduced Bonhoeffer to the Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem, where he was moved by the depth of conviction he witnessed in the preaching and worship.

Bonhoeffer also traveled to the South, where he was appalled at the racial injustices he observed. He wrote home that the segregated “conditions are really unbelievable … for example, when I wanted to eat in a small restaurant … with a Negro, I was refused service.” He had not previously given much thought to the issue of race and the church, “especially since we don’t really have an analogous situation in Germany.”

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May 2015
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