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Though Dietrich Bonhoeffer wasn’t impressed with the depth of theology at Union Theological Seminary in New York, he still was influenced by his friends there…

In addition to Frank Fisher, three New York friends–Paul Lehmann, Erwin Sutz, and Jean Lasserre–had a lasting impact on Bonhoeffer.

Sutz, the Swiss national with whom he traveled to Cuba at Christmastime would introduce Dietrich to Karl Barth in the summer of 1931.

Lasserre, the French pacifist who became his companion on a cross-country trip to Mexico, challenged Bonhoeffer with a perspective on the Sermon on the mount that made Jesus’ peace commandment inescapable.

Lehmann was a tutor in systematic theology at Union who understood Bonhoeffer better than any American he encountered and, with his wife Marion, formed a surrogate family for the foreign student (Stephen R. Haynes and Lori Brandt Hale, Bonhoeffer for Armchair Theologians, 22).

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