Dietrich Bonhoeffer  Table

Dietrich Bonhoeffer  Table


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 Dietrich Bonheoffer Table



Books by Bonheoffer

No Rusty Swords / The Cost of Discipleship / Letters and Papers from Prison  /  Sanctorum Communio

A Testament to Freedom: The Essential Writings  /  Psalms: The Prayer Book of the Bible Ethics  

No Difference in the Fare: Dietrich Bonheoffer and the Problem of Racism

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Dietrich Bonheoffer was a theologian, a pastor, a spiritual writer, a musician, and an author of fiction and poetry. The integrity of his Christian faith and life, and the international appeal of his writings, have received broad  recognition and admiration, all of which has led to a consensus that he is one of the theologians of his time whose theological reflections might lead future generations of Christians into creating a new more spiritual and responsible millennium. Bio & Chronology 

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“It’s a queer feeling to be so utterly dependent on the help of others, but at least it teaches one to be grateful, a lesson I hope I shall never forget. In normal life we hardly realize how much more we receive than we give, and life cannot be rich without such gratitude. It is so easy to overestimate the importance of our own achievements compared with what we owe to the help of others.” Letters and Papers from Prison

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The most influential contribution made by the Negro to American Christianity lies in the “Negro Spirituals,” in which the distress and delivery of the people of Israel (“Go down, Moses . . .”), the misery and consolation of the human heart (“Nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen”), and the love of the Redeemer and longing for the kingdom of heaven (“Swing low, sweet chariot . . .”) find moving expression. Every white American knows, sings and loves these songs. It is barely understandable that great Negro singers can sing these songs before packed concert audiences of whites, to tumultuous applause, while at the same time these same men and women are still denied access to the white community through social discrimination. The Negro Church

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Bio & Chronology 

The Death of Moses


Letters & Papers from Prison 

The Negro Church  

The Negro Connection  

Prayers for Fellow Prisoners 

Powers of Good 

Religion & Mythology

Sorrow & Joy   

Thoughts on the Baptism of D.W.R.

Ultimate Questions

Who Am I? 

Related files

Baltimore Page 

Black Prayer 1  

Black Prayer 2   

 Black Prayer 3 

The Black Religious Crisis

Cornel West: An Editorial 

Cornel West Moves to Princeton 

Du Bois and Negro Church

God of the Oppressed 

Guest Poets

Howard Thurman

Literature & Arts

Mahalia Jackson

Negro Spirituals and American Culture

Opium and Heroin

Pass the Mic  Responses to Pass the Mic

Religion & Politics

A  Prayer by Martin Luther King

The Second Time Around 

Sermon on the Mount   

Seven Last Words of Jesus  

The Spiritual and the Blues  

The Tavis Smiley Presidential Forum

West Cites Reason For Quitting    



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“At Abyssinian, Bonhoeffer sat under the ministry of Powell almost weekly for over six months. Powell’s culturally engaged sermons blended the artful rhetoric and congregational, noncreedal style of the black Baptist church with the best of American social pragmatism. Powell had learned to appreciate John Dewey through their work together at the NAACP. We have recently learned through the research of Ralph Garlin Clingan that some of Bonhoeffer’s theological vocabulary was borrowed from the pulpit work Pastor Adam Clayton Powell, Sr. For example, Powell complained that the problem of the Euro-American church was ‘cheap grace’.” Ralph Garlin Clingan, “Against Cheap Grace in a World Come of Age: A Study in the Hermeneutics of Adam Clayton Powell, 1865-1953, in His Intellectual Context.” A Drew University Ph.D. dissertation (UMI Microfilm 9732791, Ann Arbor, Mich. 1997)First We Take Manhattan

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Barth was the first theologian to begin the criticism of religion,-and that remains his really great merit-but he set in its place the positivist doctrine of revelation which says in effect, “Take it or leave it”: Virgin Birth, Trinity or anything else, every-thing which is an equally significant and necessary part of the whole, which latter has to be swallowed as a whole or not at all. That is not in accordance with the Bible. There are degrees of perception and degrees of significance, i.e. a secret discipline must be re-established whereby the mysteries of the Christian faith are preserved from profanation. The positivist doctrine of revelation makes it too easy for itself, setting up, as in the ultimate analysis it does, a law of faith, and mutilating what is, by the incarnation of Christ, a gift for us. The place of religion is taken by the Church-that is, in itself, as the Bible teaches it should be-but the world is made to depend upon itself and left to its own devices, and that is all wrong.  May 5th 1944

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Even though there has been surrender on all secular problems, there still remain the so-called ultimate questions—death, guilt—on which only “God” can furnish an answer, and which are the reason why God and the Church and the pastor are needed. Thus we live, to some extent, by these ultimate questions of humanity. But what if one day they no longer exist as such, if they too can be answered without “God”? We have of course the secularized off-shoots of Christian theology, the existentialist philosophers and the psychotherapists, who demonstrate to secure, contented, happy mankind that it is really unhappy and desperate, and merely unwilling to realize that it is in severe straits it knows nothing at all about, from which only they can rescue it. June 8th letter

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1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created

By Charles C. Mann

I’m a big fan of Charles Mann’s previous book 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus, in which he provides a sweeping and provocative examination of North and South America prior to the arrival of Christopher Columbus. It’s exhaustively researched but so wonderfully written that it’s anything but exhausting to read. With his follow-up, 1493, Mann has taken it to a new, truly global level. Building on the groundbreaking work of Alfred Crosby (author of The Columbian Exchange and, I’m proud to say, a fellow Nantucketer), Mann has written nothing less than the story of our world: how a planet of what were once several autonomous continents is quickly becoming a single, “globalized” entity.

Mann not only talked to countless scientists and researchers; he visited the places he writes about, and as a consequence, the book has a marvelously wide-ranging yet personal feel as we follow Mann from one far-flung corner of the world to the next. And always, the prose is masterful. In telling the improbable story of how Spanish and Chinese cultures collided in the Philippines in the sixteenth century, he takes us to the island of Mindoro whose “southern coast consists of a number of small bays, one next to another like tooth marks in an apple.” We learn how the spread of malaria, the potato, tobacco, guano, rubber plants, and sugar cane have disrupted and convulsed the planet and will continue to do so until we are finally living on one integrated or at least close-to-integrated Earth. Whether or not the human instigators of all this remarkable change will survive the process they helped to initiate more than five hundred years ago remains, Mann suggests in this monumental and revelatory book, an open question.

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Forged: Writing in the Name of God

Why the Bible’s Authors Are Not Who We Think They Are

By Bart D. Ehrman

The evocative title tells it all and hints at the tone of sensationalism that pervades this book. Those familiar with the earlier work of Ehrman, a distinguished professor of religious studies at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and author of more than 20 books including Misquoting Jesus, will not be surprised at the content of this one. Written in a manner accessible to nonspecialists, Ehrman argues that many books of the New Testament are not simply written by people other than the ones to whom they are attributed, but that they are deliberate forgeries. The word itself connotes scandal and crime, and it appears on nearly every page. Indeed, this book takes on an idea widely accepted by biblical scholars: that writing in someone else’s name was common practice and perfectly okay in ancient times. Ehrman argues that it was not even then considered acceptable—hence, a forgery. While many readers may wish for more evidence of the charge, Ehrman’s introduction to the arguments and debates among different religious communities during the first few centuries and among the early Christians themselves, though not the book’s main point, is especially valuablePublishers Weekly  / Forged Bart Ehrman’s New Salvo (Witherington)

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The White Masters of the World

From The World and Africa, 1965

By W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Bois’ Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization (Fletcher)

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Ancient African Nations

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The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan  The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll  Only a Pawn in Their Game

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for Slavery /

George Jackson  / Hurricane Carter

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The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg

The Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804  / January 1, 1804 — The Founding of Haiti 

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update 23 June 2008





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