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Ethics Hardcover – November 1, 1955


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Hardcover, November 1, 1955
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Product Details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Scribner; First British Edition edition (November 1, 1955)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0025130404
  • ISBN-13: 978-0025130401
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.4 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,201,953 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Steven H Propp TOP 100 REVIEWER on May 14, 2012
Format: Unknown Binding
Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945) was a German Lutheran pastor and theologian, as well as a participant in the German Resistance movement against Nazism. He was hung for his part in a plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler. This book contains the chapters of the systematic book of ethics that Bonhoeffer was PLANNING to write, and was able to conceal from the Gestapo when he was arrested in 1943.

It begins by stating that "the knowledge of good and evil shows that (we are) no longer at one with this origin." (Pg. 17) Conscience is even "farther from the origin than shame, it presupposes disunion with God and with man." (Pg. 24) By contrast, the Christian's freedom in Jesus "is not the arbitrary choice of one amongst innumerable possibilities; it consists on the contrary precisely in the complete simplicity of His actions, which is never confronted by a plurality of possibilities." (Pg. 30) Ultimately, he concludes, "Faith alone is certainty. Everything but faith is subject to doubt." (Pg. 121)

He suggests that "The point of departure for Christian ethics is the body of Christ, the form of Christ in the form of the Church, and the formation of the Church in conformity with the form of Christ." (Pg. 84) In a section on confession (Pg. 113-115), he acknowledges that the Church "has not striven forcefully enough against the misuse of this name for an evil purpose," "has not raised her voice on behalf of the victims," "has witnessed in silence the spoilation and exploitation of the poor," etc. Later, he states that "The problem of Christian ethics is the realization among God's creatures of the revelational reality of God in Christ." (Pg. 190)

He observes that "even when it is set free in Jesus Christ conscience still confronts responsible action with the law..." (Pg.
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