You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘dietrich bonhoeffer’ tag.

“Sin demands to have a man by himself. The more isolated a person is, the more destructive will be the power of sin over him.”

~Dietrich Bonhoeffer

The rich world of  his ancestors set the standards for Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s own life. It gave him a certainty of judgement and manner that cannot be acquired in a single generation. He grew up in a family that believed that the essence of learning lay not in a formal education but in the deeply rooted obligation to be guardians of a great historical obligation and intellectual tradition. To Dietrich Bonhoeffer, this meant learning to understand and respect the ideas and experiences of earlier generations It could also lead him to decisions and actions that conflicted with those of his ancestors–and, precisely  in this way, to honor them. Ultimately, it might even mean voluntarily accepting history’s inevitable judgement on the world of his ancestors–while not allowing this to distract from delight in its amicable representatives.   

~ Eberhard Bethge, Dietrich Bonhoeffer: A Biography (Revised Edition); Chapter 1: Childhood and Youth: 1906-1923, 13.

“If I sit next to a madman as he drives a car into a group of innocent bystanders, I can’t, as a Christian, simply wait for the catastrophe, then comfort the wounded and bury the dead. I must try to wrestle the steering wheel out of the hands of the driver.”

Julie Tafel (Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Grandmother)…had inherited the alert critical sensibilities of  her ancestors. She actively participated in discussions on women’s issues and devoted herself to practical and organizational matters, like establishing a home for older women or vocational centers for girls.   

~ Eberhard Bethge, Dietrich Bonhoeffer: A Biography (Revised Edition); Chapter 1: Childhood and Youth: 1906-1923, 12.

“ACTION SPRINGS NOT FROM THOUGHT, BUT FROM A READINESS FOR RESPONSIBILITY.”

Mission & Values

Men of Bonhoeffer strive to persevere in righteousness, grow in integrity, live and die with conviction and serve with courage, steadfastly upholding a Christ-like community dedicated to these ideals.

The House of Bonhoeffer is about excellence and community. Throughout the past ten years, men of Bonhoeffer have risen to prominence as men of achievement; founding clubs, leading the school, and serving throughout New York. But the individuals of Bonhoeffer are not merely known for their achievements. The men of Bonhoeffer remain outstanding individuals, marked by their pursuance of life together.

The House of Bonhoeffer is a community where individuals of integrity can pursue life together; a community which strives to emulate the devotion to God seen in Dietrich Bonhoeffer; a community comprised of excellent writers, entrepreneurs, future statesmen, journalists, philosophers, filmmakers, policy analysts, philanthropists, and more.

“This community of men who seek God and lives of integrity means a lot to me, and I’m proud to call myself a man of Bonhoeffer.” John Sailer, ‘15

“I love the House on Bonhoeffer, because of the men who gave me greater perspective. Coming to NYC, I had very few answers for my future and was in need of wisdom of those who went before me. In my house, the upperclassmen took the time to show me how to succeed in school, gave me opportunities in work, and mentored me on how to be a more confident leader. For this, I love the House of Bonhoeffer.” James Bentson, ‘16.

“The House of Bonhoeffer isn’t simply a group of college guys who have to deal with each other; we’re a tightly-knit group of men who strive to help each other out in all realms of life. Personally, I’ve learned to love myself for who I am because of the support that my Bonhoeffer brothers have given me. Just imagining going through my college experience without the support and love of these men depresses and scares me.” Fermin Villalpando, ‘17.

For the rest of the post…

Bonhoeffer, who joined his brother-in-law Hans von Dohnanyi in a resistance group led by Maj. Gen. Hans Oster, was hanged April 9, 1945, at the Flossenbürg concentration camp, weeks before World War II formally ended. He had been linked to the failed attack on Hitler that took place July 20, 1944, by documents the Gestapo found after the event. Ironically, Bonhoeffer was in prison at the time, following his arrest for “undermining the military” 14 months earlier.

According to the German state broadcasting organization Deutsche Welle, “Bonhoeffer’s Christian theology influenced the post-war period like no other of his generation,” adding the cleric “preached the presence of Christ in the world and laid the foundations for an interdenominational church image to which today both conservative and progressive theologian profess.”

A paradox of Bonhoeffer’s life is that he had an “out” from being involved in a Germany ruled by National Socialism. In 1939, as war broke out in Europe, Bonhoeffer was a student at Union Theological Seminary in New York City. He could have remained in the United States, but told his American friends, “I must live through this difficult period of our national history with the Christian people of Germany,” according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

Yet, his New York experience left its mark, Deutsche Welle said. While in Manhattan, Bonhoeffer’s “faith shifted. He became profoundly fixated on, and influenced by, the famous Sermon on the Mount and the notion of living in Christ’s image. Bonhoeffer later wrote that ‘until New York I was a theologian but not yet a Christian.'”

Writing in Leadership Journal, Chris Nye, a pastor in Portland, Oregon, notes, “Bonhoeffer was a paradoxical figure. He was non-violent, but participated in a plot to kill Hitler. He was cosmopolitan (he loved music, the theater and literature of all kinds) and yet he was a monastic thinker who led students in solitude.”

For the rest of the post…

Dietrich Bonhoeffer and the Confessing Church
by Wendy McElroy

A destructive myth haunts World War II. It is that a flaw within the German character allowed the rise of Hitler and Nazism. How else can you explain the Holocaust coming from one of the world’s most cultured nations? Oddly, no one seems to consider Mussolini to indicate a flaw within Italians or view Stalin as proof of a Russian defect.

The ‘German character flaw’ is a destructive myth because it deflects attention from the crucial task of analyzing the dynamics that allowed Nazism to rise. It permits other nations to believe “it could never happen here.” But totalitarianism can happen anywhere, to any nationality. Understanding the evolution of totalitarianism involves institutional analysis, especially of the interrelation between institutions that were active or complicit in creating tyranny.

Two institutions are commonplace and powerful around the globe: the state and the church. In Hitler’s Germany, most churches went along with the Nazis. Some did so reluctantly, many were enthusiastic. But there was also dramatic resistance by churches and religious leaders who opposed Hitler at great personal risk. For example, the German Protestant Church became a battleground between the majority who supported the Nazis, either explicitly or implicitly, and a minority who resisted them. At the core of the conflict was the question of how the church should respond to the “Jewish question.”

No man spoke more eloquently on behalf of the civil liberties of Jews than the Protestant pastor and theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer. He became a prominent voice in ‘the Confessing Church’ that was founded when approximately 3,000 Protestant pastors broke off from the main religious body in protest.(Konfession is German for denomination.) Bonhoeffer reminds us that there are people of conscience and moral courage in every nation. He is also a window into the institutional dynamics of church and state that both facilitated and hindered Hitler.

For the rest of the post…

“We must be ready to allow ourselves to be interrupted by God.” 

~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Politically, (grandfather) Friedrich Bonhoeffer was conservative, but he disdained the local Württemberg patriotism. In 1862 he already wagered that Germany would be united under Prussian leadership.  

~ Eberhard Bethge, Dietrich Bonhoeffer: A Biography (Revised Edition); Chapter 1: Childhood and Youth: 1906-1923, 10.

June 2017
S M T W T F S
« May    
 123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
252627282930  

Twitter Updates

Error: Please make sure the Twitter account is public.