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Philosophy & Religious Studies   >   Christian Moral Action – Dietrich Bonhoeffer

The Life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer

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Christian Moral Action – Dietrich Bonhoeffer

In this course Dr Stephen Plant (University of Cambridge) explores the life and work of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. In the first module, we look at the life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and the historical context in which his theology emerged. In the second module, we delve closer into Bonhoeffer’s theology in an increasingly secular society, and his response to other theologians of his day. In the third module we examine Bonhoeffer’s emphasis on the cost of discipleship, in the context of changing dynamics between the church and Nazi state. In the fourth module, we explore Christian ethics in emergency, before turning to Bonhoeffer’s relevance today in the fifth module. In the sixth and final module, we investigate the role Bonhoeffer played in an assassination attempt on Adolf Hitler, and explore the ethics of his involvement, with note to the relevance of hindsight.

The Life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer

In this module, we focus on the biography and historical context of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, focusing in particular on (i) Bonhoeffer’s early life and education (ii) Bonhoeffer’s preparations for ordination in Barcelona and Union Theological Seminary in New York (iii) the changing landscape in Germany following the election of Adolf Hitler as Chancellor in 1933 (iv) the formation of the Confessing Church (v) Bonhoeffer’s short ministry and return from New York (vi) Bonhoeffer’s recruitment into an anti-Nazi resistance hub in German military intelligence (vii) Bonhoeffer’s link with the July bomb plot, and the lead up to his execution.

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Plant, S. (2022, May 16). Christian Moral Action – Dietrich Bonhoeffer - The Life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Plant, S. "Christian Moral Action – Dietrich Bonhoeffer – The Life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 16 May 2022,

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Dr Stephen Plant

University of Cambridge