Bonhoeffer Reader’s Editions: Now Published, and a Look Inside

Bonhoeffer Reader's Editions
They’re here!

 

The Bonhoeffer Reader’s Editions are now available for public edification. Check out the details here.

The set covers four classics: Discipleship, Life Together, Ethics, and Letters and Papers from Prison.

Here is the full publisher’s description:

Using the acclaimed Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works English translation and adapted to a more accessible format, these new editions of Discipleship, Ethics, Letters and Papers from Prison, and Life Together feature the latest translations of Bonhoeffer’s works, supplemental material from Victoria J. Barnett, and insightful introductions by Geffrey B. Kelly, Clifford J. Green, and John W. de Gruchy.

Originally published in 1937, Discipleship soon became a classic exposition of what it means to follow Christ in a modern world beset by a dangerous and criminal government.

Life Together gathers Bonhoeffer’s 1938 reflections on the character of Christian community, based on the common life experienced at the Finkenwalde Seminary and in the “Brother’s House” there.

Ethics embodies the culmination of Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s theological and personal odyssey and is one of the most important works of Christian ethics of the last century.

Letters and Papers from Prison presents the full array of Bonhoeffer’s 1943–1945 prison letters and theological writings, introducing his novel ideas of religionless Christianity, his theological appraisal of Christian doctrines, and his sturdy faith in the face of uncertainty and doubt.

This four-volume set of Bonhoeffer’s classic works allows all readers to appreciate the cogency and relevance of his vision.

If you’re new to Bonhoeffer, I’ve got a collection of posts gathered here. The Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works is already a well-done series; the idea of an even more accessible, annotated Bonhoeffer is also appealing.

Check out more here, and when you click on the individual book images on the right side of the page, you can read samples from each of the volumes.

6 Most-Visited Posts at Words on the Word

It’s been a quiet week at Words on the Word. Don’t worry–I’ve been working on some future posts, not the least of which is a review of the new Caspian record. In the meantime, just for fun, here are the top six posts that keep people coming back to the blog, based on traffic, in increasing order.

6. First Look at Logos 6: New Features and Screenshots

5. How to Read and Understand the Göttingen Septuagint: A Short Primer, part 1

4. Why did Jesus tell the disciples not to tell anyone about him?

3. Review of Sony SRS-BTS50 Bluetooth Wireless Speaker

(I’ve got a review of Logitech’s new BOOM 2 coming soon….)

2. Bonhoeffer’s Last Words, Before He Was Hanged (70 Years Ago Today)

1. Which Bible software program should I buy? Comparison of BibleWorks, Accordance, and Logos

(This review is three years old, and could be updated to include the new versions of all three, but many of the comments still hold.)

More anon….

And Now… Bonhoeffer *Reader’s Editions*

Bonhoeffer Reader's Editions
Super-sweet image via Fortress Press (click to enlarge)

 

Big news for Bonhoeffer aficionados/as: Fortress Press, publishers of the 17-volume Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works (English edition), has just announced the Fall 2015 publication of Reader’s Edition volumes of DiscipleshipLife TogetherEthics, and Letters and Papers from Prison.

I haven’t seen a ton of information yet, but here’s the publisher’s description:

Featuring the acclaimed DBWE translation and adapted for a more accessible format, the new Reader’s Edition volumes include supplemental material from DBWE general editor, Victoria J. Barnett, as well as insightful introductions by Bonhoeffer scholars which clarify the theological meaning and importance of his work.

New to Bonhoeffer? I collected some reflections on his writings after spending much of one Lent reading him. All my Bonhoeffer posts are gathered here. I reviewed the amazing Life Together and Prayerbook of the Bible (DBWE 5) here.

It’s hard to imagine how the editors of the DBWE set could offer anything to improve upon those exceptional volumes, but I do like the idea of a more accessible, annotated Bonhoeffer. Check it all out here.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works for <$100 in Olive Tree

Bonhoeffer in Olive Tree

 

Right now you can find the Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works, English Edition (DBWE, 16 volumes) for just $99.99 in Olive Tree Bible software. A few more Bonhoeffer items are also listed at their sale here.

Olive Tree’s iOS and desktop apps are free, so if you like Bonhoeffer and have the cash, this is probably the best price for his complete works in English that one will ever find. (It does not yet include the just-released-in-print Volume 17.)

Bonhoeffer died 70 years ago today.

Bonhoeffer’s Last Words, Before He Was Hanged (70 Years Ago Today)

Source: German Federal Archive
Source: German Federal Archive

Dietrich Bonhoeffer was hanged in the Nazi concentration camp of Flossenbürg on April 9, 1945, just two weeks before the U.S. military came to liberate it.

John W. de Gruchy describes the lead-up to that day in his Editor’s Introduction to Letters and Papers from Prison (Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works, volume 8):

On October 8 [of 1944], Bonhoeffer was taken to the cellar of the Gestapo prison on Prinz-Albrecht-Straße, where he stayed until February 7, 1945. From then on, all correspondence came to an end, and contact between Bonhoeffer and the family and [Eberhard] Bethge was broken. From there Bonhoeffer was taken first to Buchenwald and then, via the village of Schönberg in Bavaria, to the Flossenbürg concentration camp, where he arrived on April 8. That evening he was tried by a hastily rigged court and condemned to death. Early the next morning Bonhoeffer was executed along with several other coconspirators.

He was hanged April 9. His family would not learn about it for several months.

The July before he had written to his trusted friend (and later biographer) Eberhard Bethge, one day after the failed assassination attempt on Hitler’s life. He wrote:

How should one become arrogant over successes or shaken by one’s failures when one shares in God’s suffering in the life of this world? You understand what I mean even when I put it so briefly. I am grateful that I have been allowed this insight, and I know that it is only on the path that I have finally taken that I was able to learn this. So I am thinking gratefully and with peace of mind about past as well as present things. …

May God lead us kindly through these times, but above all, may God lead us to himself.

His final recorded words before his hanging are especially appropriate in these days that follow Easter Sunday:

This is the end–for me the beginning of life.

 


 

This post is adapted from a post I wrote around this time last year, as part of the “Tuesdays in Lent with Bonhoeffer” I was doing. See other gathered posts here.

“Jonah” (A Poem by Bonhoeffer)

Source: German Federal Archive
Source: German Federal Archive

 

They screamed in the face of death, their frightened bodies clawing
at sodden rigging, tattered by the storm,
and horror-stricken gazes saw with dread
the sea now raging with abruptly unleashed powers.

“Ye gods, immortal, gracious, now severely angered,
help us, or give a sign, to mark for us
the one whose secret sin has roused your wrath,
the murderer, the perjurer, or vile blasphemer,

who’s bringing doom on us by hiding his misdeed
to save some paltry morsel of his pride!”
This was their plea. And Jonah spoke: “’Tis I!”
In God’s eyes I have sinned. Forfeited is my life.

“Away with me! The guilt is mine. God’s wrath’s for me.
The pious shall not perish with the sinner!”
They trembled much. But then, with their strong hands,
they cast the guilty one away. The sea stood still.

 

–“Jonah,” Dietrich Bonhoeffer, written from prison the year before his death

Bonhoeffer’s Black Jesus

I. Can’t. Wait. To. Read. This. Book.

So I’m simply going to post a picture, leave a few links, publish this post, and close the computer so I can get to reading. Here it is–it just came in the mail today:

 

Bonhoeffer's Black Jesus

 

Thank you to Baylor University Press and thank you already to Prof. Reggie L. Williams for writing what looks to be an awesome book. Its full title is–get ready–Bonhoeffer’s Black Jesus: Harlem Renaissance Theology and an Ethic of Resistance.

The first sentence is the best one-sentence summary I’ve read about why people like Bonhoeffer so much:

Dietrich Bonhoeffer championed a radical interpretation of Jesus and ethics that was validated by his resistance to the Nazis and his execution by them.

I’ll post a review of it (and of the also exciting Bonhoeffer as Youth Worker) before Christmas. Find Bonhoeffer’s Black Jesus here (Amazon) or here (Baylor).