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Posted November 12, 2009

Book: Bonhoeffer and Continental Thought: Cruciform Philosophy
Edited by Brian Gregor and Jens Zimmermann
Indiana University Press, Bloomington, IN. 2009. Pp. 252

An Excerpt from the Jacket:

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, best known for his movement in the anti-Nazi resistance, was one of the twentieth century’s most important theologians. His ethics have been a source of guidance and inspiration for men and women in the face of evil. Today, Bonhoeffer’s theology is being read by Continental thinkers who value his contributions to the recent “religious turn” in philosophy. In this volume, an international group of scholars presents Bonheoffer’s thought as a model of Christian thinking that can help shape a distinctly religious philosophy. They examine the philosophical influences on Bonhoeffer and explore the new perspectives his work brings to the perennial challenges of faith and reason, philosophy and theology, and the problem of evil. These essays add Bonhoeffer’s voice to important contemporary debates in the philosophy of religion.

An Excerpt from the Book:

Several times there is the word “prayer.” What does that cover?

Certainly not the prayer of demands, this begging of the weak, but very certainly, for Bonhoeffer, the recognition of being alive, or if you like, a way of remaining “before God,” as he often says. It is an expression that returns without ceasing: “Being before God, as if God did not exist.” it is again an extraordinary paradox, this “being before God.” It doesn’t necessarily mean that one mumbles sentences. But it may be a psychological, educational support to be before God. Prayer doesn’t simply turn itself back into giving a little speech to God.

Table of Contents:


Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Cruciform Philosophy

1. Bonhoeffer on the limits of philosophy

2. Bonhoeffer vis-a-vis Nietzsche and Heidegger

3. Regarding “religionless Christianity

4. Bonhoeffer on ethics and the eschaton