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Reclaiming Dietrich Bonhoeffer: The Promise of His Theology [Hardcover]

Charles Marsh


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July 1994
Reclaiming Dietrich Bonhoeffer is certain to inspire a new consideration of Bonhoeffer's place in contemporary theology. In this groundbreaking study, Charles Marsh offers a new way of reading the theology of Dietrich Bonhoeffer--a Christian theologian who was executed for his role in the resistance against Hitler and the Nazis. Focusing on Bonhoeffer's substantial philosophical interests, Marsh examines his work in the context of the German philosophical tradition, from Kant through Hegel to Heidegger. With an eye on the contemporary debate about the sources of the self, Marsh argues that Bonhoeffer's description of human identity offers a compelling alternative to post-Kantian conceptions of selfhood. By evaluating Bonhoeffer's writings against the background of modern German philosophy, Marsh shows that Bonhoeffer, while working within the boundaries of Barth's theology, provides both a powerful critique and an innovative redescription of the tradition of transcendental subjectivity. Attentive to past scholarly endeavors as well as to recent conversations in critical theory, philosophical hermeneutics, and systematic theology, this fresh and original study of Bonhoeffer will undoubtedly provoke important discussion not only in the theological academy and the church, but also in the broader forums of intellectual life.

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Review

This is without doubt the most important book on Bonhoeffer's theology which has appeared for many years. Those of us who are engaged in Bonhoeffer studies will be grateful for the careful study by Charles Marsh of this particular context of Bonhoeffer's theology. (Edwin Robertson, Church of England Newspaper)

will mean, for many, seeing Jesus in a more wonderful light. All power to Professor Charles Marsh. (Amos Cresswell, Methodist Recorder)

a careful and detailed reading of everything Bonhoeffer wrote. His theological analysis of these writings, few published in his lifetime, is meticulous... The whole book is well documented throughout and the notes are full and helpful. (Edwin Robertson, Theology, March/April 1995)

excellent...It is a scholarly, although accessible work...the achievement of this book is impressive and amply delivers on its stated goal of `Reclaiming Dietrich Bonhoeffer'. I hope that it will renew interest in Bonhoeffer's theology and become a sure guide for those eager to make their way into the complexities of his thought. (Reviews in Religion and Theology)

He does not allow the fascinating story of Bonhoeffer's life and his many involvements...to distract him from a careful and detailed reading of everything Bonhoeffer wrote. His theological analysis of these writings, few published in his lifetime, is meticulous...It is beautifully written. (theology, March/April 1995)

Marsh writes vigorously, relishing his words. His argument is lean, his theological reasoning never fleshed out with unnecessary prattle. Marsh is well versed in the philosophy and theology he builds into the structure of his argument, and like Bonhoeffer, Marsh is brilliant. This is a brilliant book. In the field of Bonhoeffer studies it is the most original sustained contribution by an individual in the last ten years. As such it is of great importance. (The Revd. Dr. Stephen Plant, Modern Believing)

It has very considerable scholarship which does justice to Bonhoeffer's profundities not only in terms of his own time, but for our own very different times since. (ANVIL)

Charles Marsh's study is the most technical discussion of Bonhoeffer's theological writings to have appeared for some time. The social nature of the human person, both in relation to God and to others, is explored and provides a helpful contrast to the distortions of Cartesian and Kantian treatments of the subject ... it is a fresh and rewarding appraisal of Bonhoeffer's theology. It reveals again the compelling force of a theological contribution set within a life of martyrdom. (David Fergusson, Journal of Theological Studies, Vol. 47, No. 1, Apr '96) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Bonhoeffer discovered Karl Barth's theology sometime between his visit to Rome in the winter of 1924 and the beginning of work on Sanctorum Communio in the summer months of 1925. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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