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Letters and Papers from Prison (Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works, Vol. 8) Hardcover – June 1, 2010

4.9 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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The bestselling author of "Encyclopedia an Ordinary Life" returns with a literary experience that is unprecedented, unforgettable, and explosively human. Hardcover | Kindle book
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  • Letters and Papers from Prison (Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works, Vol. 8)
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About the Author

Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906— 1945) was a German pastor and theologian whose striking theological journey and public witness against the Nazi regime led to worldwide fame after his death in 1945.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 800 pages
  • Publisher: Fortress Press (June 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0800697030
  • ISBN-13: 978-0800697037
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 2.3 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #254,312 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It's really hard to know how to review such a poignant correspondence fairly or objectively. It's the kind of book where, when you finish it, you are simply overwhelmed, speechless, because the one whose correspondence you have been reading is made speechless by a violent act, executed just months before the end of the Second World War.

Eberhard Bethge, who originally collected and published this material under the title "Widerstand und Erbegung," knew how important and powerful this collection of letters were, but was also understandably humble about publishing a collection in which he himself figures so prominently. So he focused on publishing Bonhoeffer's ethics first, only later issuing this collection. Ever since it was published, it has caused a stir in Bonhoeffer studies, because it forces readers to re-think much of what they think they know of Bonhoeffer, especially through is most popular works like Discipleship (Cost of Discipleship) and Life Together.

Central to this re-appraisal is the concept he is developing of "religionless Christianity." Here's a very important passage:

"A few more words about "religionlessness." You probably remember Bultmann's essay on "demythologizing the New Testament." My opinion of it today would be that he went not "too far," as most people thought, but rather not far enough. It's not only "mythological" concepts like miracles, ascension, and so on (which in principle can't be separated from concepts of God, faith, etc.!) that are problematic, but "religious" concepts as such. You can't separate God from the miracles (as Bultmann thinks); instead, you must be able to interpret and proclaim them both "nonreligiously.
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Format: Hardcover
While it is tempting to purchase - and read - earlier, shorter, and less-expensive editions of Bonhoeffer's Letters and Papers from Prison, this critical edition of 800+ pages by Fortress Press (part of the sixteen-volume Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works) is the most complete and accurate translation, with critical apparatus and scholarly introductions by those who know Bonhoeffer's legacy best. One can simply read the "letters and papers" by Bonhoeffer, or one can fill-in the contextual, historical details, making it a rich and rewarding experience. I highly recommend the purchase of this volume of the DBWE as an investment that will provide long-lasting reward and inspiration.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
L&P is my favorite of the Bonhoeffer works because we get to walk along side him. The intimacy makes his struggles so real. My subject comment is my frustration that such a large book would be easily accessed in Kindle format, but it is hard to justify the price for a second copy.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Letters and Papers of Dietrich Bonhoeffer written while he was imprisoned by the Nazis has been a classic for decades. Amazing new insights on the worldliness of Christianity, religionless Christianity, poems such as Who Am I, interpretations of Scripture passages he's just read. A favorite is his comparison of John the Baptist as the religious man to Jesus as the real man. All the familiar materials in a new translation but included are many letters not in earlier editions: letters from parents, relatives, others to Bonhoeffer all in their chronological order give new insight to familiar Bonhoeffer writings. Together these help us appreciate the horrors of Nazi imprisonment.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Unique commentary of a courageous man in a morally debased historical moment. His writing are voluminous and I've only made my way through the early part of his imprisonment, but I expect to read it slowly over an extended period of time.
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