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Letters and Papers from Prison. The Englarged Edition. [Hardcover]

Dietrich Bonhoeffer , Eberhard Bethge
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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Book Description

19 Oct 1971
One of the great classics of prison literature, Letters and Papers from Prison effectively serves as the last will and testament of the Lutheran theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer, executed by the Nazis after incarceration in Tegel Prison. Acute and subtle, warm and perceptive, yet also profoundly moving, the documents collectively tell a very human story of loss, of courage, and of hope. Now reissued with a new Preface, by one of his leading interpreters. Bonhoeffer's story seems as vitally relevant, as politically prophetic, and as theologically significant, as it did yesterday.
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.


Product details

  • Hardcover: 437 pages
  • Publisher: SCM Press; Revised edition edition (19 Oct 1971)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0334008891
  • ISBN-13: 978-0334008897
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,612,629 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

'With regard to composition there is hardly blemish of any kind: the grammar, the rhymes, the lucidity of expression, the consistency of style, the adaptation to various metres, the use of repition are all well-nigh prefectly formed...Very good valuer indeed!' Methodist Recorder, February 2007 --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Before his arrest by the Nazis in 1943 Dietrich Bonhoeffer was head of a seminary of the German 'Confessing Church' at Finkenwalde near Stettin. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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32 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Subtle, Challenging and Humane 1 April 2006
By R. Mann
Format:Paperback
Bonhoeffer's 'Letters and Papers' represents his final theological reflections and correspondence produced during his internment by the Nazis. It is, by its very nature, sketchy and tantalising, giving the reader both insights into the state of his mind and glimpses of exciting theological developments in his thought. There is something powerful and modern in Bonhoeffer's wrestling with the question of the status of Christianity in a 'world come of age'; at the same time, it is extremely moving and troubling to follow his journey towards execution at Flossenburg Concentration Camp in April 1945. Do not approach this work lightly; to read it seriously is to take the risk of being left uncomfortable, stretched and changed. In short, it is a work which explores both private and public questions as relevant today as they were in the 1940s.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sound, radical and thoroughly human 19 Jan 2011
Format:Paperback
I decided to read this as a follow-on from his excellent The Cost of Discipleship, which is in my opinion, one of the greatest works of Christian apologetics. Knowing Bonhoeffer's biography, it is obvious that this was his last work before he was murdered, and at times the retrospective knowledge that I had whilst reading it made me cry, especially when Bonhoeffer was hoping for a release in the not-too-distant future.

That said, the start is joyfully mundane, writing to his parents, requesting various reading material, how to keep fit in a prison cell and the joys of cigarettes. He moves on to more correspondence with his niece's husband, Eberhard Bethge, who later went on to be Bonhoeffer's biographer. There is a lot here which conveys much more of his humanity and compassion, along with recognitions of his own failings and foibles.

Some of the letters stand out more than others, and these tend to be when Bonhoeffer is questioning the status quo of christianity. He reveals that he was, in the true definition of the terms, a secular humanist, only without the atheistic connotations that we have come to associate with the phrase in recent years. His rejection of religiosity is something that his highly welcome although the evidence of this taking hold as popular thought until much later, with the likes of Rob Bell's Velvet Elvis being the modern expansion of this school of thought.

The only criticism I would have is in the translation. Bonhoeffer was fond of using latin phrases in his writings, but the translators have only included the english translation sporadically, so I had to keep looking up a lot of them, as they were not phrases in common use.

It is an immensely thought provoking collection and I cannot think of anyone I would not recommend this book to.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bonhoeffer's Letters from Prison 21 April 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
There is much to explore as one reads this book. I referred to his biography and the Bible due to his many references. The introduction was valuable to explain that his writing was censured before release. The importance of the little things in life were interesting - - the birds, the sky, the feel of fresh air. His persistence with a discipline daily - - prayer, Bible reading, exercise, were impressive.
A good book to read and read again.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent 10 April 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Excellent service and great quality product. Had a little difficulty tracking this book down for study purposes but Amazon to the rescue once more!
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