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In 9 April, 1945, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, aged thirty-nine, died at the hands of the Gestapo hangman in the concentration camp at Flossenburg. Bonhoeffer’s theological legacy is remarkably rich and extensive, despite the unsettled character of his life and his untimely death. Some of his books, notably The Cost of Discipleship, and his Letters and Papers from Prison, have become theological classics.
But these well-known writings are part of a much larger corpus of books, essays, lectures and sermons which have had a profound influence on the development of modern theology and the church.
Had he lived longer he might have dominated the theological scene in the second half of the twentieth century in succession to Karl Barth, Rudolf Bultmann, and Paul Tillich. As it was, he became a paradigmatic martyr-theologian for the twentieth century.
(John de Gruchy, Dietrich Bonhoeffer: Witness to Jesus Christ, 1).