Theologian, Nazi Dissident Bonhoeffer Focus of New Course

Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a German Lutheran pastor, theologian, strong opponent of the Hitler regime, and key founding member of the Confessing Church. His writings on Christianity's role in the secular world have become widely influential, and his book The Cost of Discipleship is considered a modern classic. 

A new course, offered in partnership between Christian Theological Seminary and the Indiana-Kentucky Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, will bring together seminarians, pastors and laity in order to consider the theology and witness of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Course readings will be primary texts from Bonhoeffer, including Life Together, Ethics, Discipleship, and Letters and Papers from Prison, as well as biographical sources.

The course will be taught by Dr. Rob Saler, CTS Research Fellow and Director of the Lilly Endowment Clergy Renewal Programs, and will focus on how Bonhoeffer’s theology might inform the tasks of ministry, vocation, and Christian discipleship in the 21st century. Bishop William Gafkjen of the Indiana-Kentucky synod (ELCA) will also be a guest lecturer. Students taking the course for seminary credit will complete a series of reflection papers as well as a 10-15 page final paper.

T883 Bonhoeffer

When: Thursdays, 6:30 - 9:30 pm, starting Sept. 4, 2014

Where:  Christ the Savior Lutheran Church, Fishers
10500 E. 126th Street, Fishers, IN 46038

Cost:  $200 (non-credit); those wishing to take the course for seminary credit
should consult with the CTS Registrar.
                                           
Registration: https://christiantheologicalseminary14608.thankyou4caring.org/bonhoeffer
Seminary students must register through the CTS Registrar.

Apart from his theological writings, Bonhoeffer became known for his persistent resistance to Nazism, including vocal opposition to Hitler's euthanasia program and genocidal persecution of the Jews. Allegedly involved in the plot to assassinate Hitler by members of the Abwehr (German Military Intelligence), he was arrested in April 1943 by the Gestapo and imprisoned at Tegel prison. After a year and a half, Bonhoeffer was moved to Flossenburg concentration camp where he was executed by hanging on April 9, 1945, just two weeks before Allied forces liberated the camp and three weeks before Hitler's suicide.

Bonhoeffer's life as a pastor and theologian of great intellect and spirituality who lived as he preached — and his martyrdom in opposition to Nazism —influenced and inspired Christians across broad denominations and ideologies, including Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement in America, the anti-communist democratic movement in Eastern Europe during the Cold War, and the anti-Apartheid movement in South Africa.

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