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Dietrich Bonhoeffer Foto
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Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Geburtstag: 4. Februar 1906
Todesdatum: 9. April 1945
Andere Namen:Дитрих Бонхеффер

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Dietrich Bonhoeffer war ein lutherischer Theologe, profilierter Vertreter der Bekennenden Kirche und am deutschen Widerstand gegen den Nationalsozialismus beteiligt.

Mit 24 Jahren habilitiert, wurde Bonhoeffer nach Auslandsaufenthalten Privatdozent für Evangelische Theologie in Berlin sowie Jugendreferent in der Vorgängerorganisation des Ökumenischen Rates der Kirchen. Ab April 1933 nahm er öffentlich Stellung gegen die nationalsozialistische Judenverfolgung und engagierte sich im Kirchenkampf gegen die Deutschen Christen und den Arierparagraphen. Ab 1935 leitete er das Predigerseminar der Bekennenden Kirche in Finkenwalde, das, später illegal, bis 1940 bestand. Etwa ab 1938 schloss er sich dem Widerstand um Wilhelm Franz Canaris an. 1940 erhielt er Redeverbot und 1941 Schreibverbot. Am 5. April 1943 wurde er verhaftet und zwei Jahre später auf ausdrücklichen Befehl Adolf Hitlers als einer der letzten NS-Gegner, die mit dem Attentat vom 20. Juli 1944 in Verbindung gebracht wurden, hingerichtet.

Als gegenüber seinen Lehrern eigenständiger Theologe betonte Bonhoeffer die Gegenwart Jesu Christi in der weltweiten Gemeinschaft der Christen, die Bedeutung der Bergpredigt und Nachfolge Jesu und die Übereinstimmung von Glauben und Handeln, die er persönlich vorlebte, insbesondere in der Zeit des Nationalsozialismus. In seinen Gefängnisbriefen entwickelte er einflussreiche, wenn auch fragmentarische Gedanken für eine künftige Ausrichtung der Kirche nach außen in Solidarität mit den Bedürftigen und zu einer nichtreligiösen Interpretation von Bibel, kirchlicher Tradition und Gottesdienst.

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Zitate Dietrich Bonhoeffer

„Das ist das Ende. Für mich der Beginn des Lebens.“

— Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Letzte Worte, 9. April 1945, überliefert durch Payne Best an Bischof George Bell, DBW 16, S. 468.

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„Calling and freedom were to him two sides of the same thing. But in this he misjudged the world; he did not realize that his submissiveness and self-sacrifice could be exploited for evil ends.“

— Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Context: What lies behind the complaint about the dearth of civil courage? In recent years we have seen a great deal of bravery and self-sacrifice, but civil courage hardly anywhere, even among ourselves. To attribute this simply to personal cowardice would be too facile a psychology; its background is quite different. In a long history, we Germans have had to learn the need for and the strength of obedience. In the subordination of all personal wishes and ideas to the tasks to which we have been called, we have seen the meaning and greatness of our lives. We have looked upwards, not in servile fear, but in free trust, seeing in our tasks a call, and in our call a vocation. This readiness to follow a command from "above" rather than our own private opinions and wishes was a sign of legitimate self-distrust. Who would deny that in obedience, in their task and calling, the Germans have again and again shown the utmost bravery and self-sacrifice? But the German has kept his freedom — and what nation has talked more passionately of freedom than the Germans, from Luther to the idealist philosophers? — by seeking deliverance from self-will through service to the community. Calling and freedom were to him two sides of the same thing. But in this he misjudged the world; he did not realize that his submissiveness and self-sacrifice could be exploited for evil ends. When that happened, the exercise of the calling itself became questionable, and all the moral principles of the German were bound to totter. The fact could not be escaped that the Germans still lacked something fundamental: he could not see the need for free and responsible action, even in opposition to the task and his calling; in its place there appeared on the one hand an irresponsible lack of scruple, and on the other a self-tormenting punctiliousness that never led to action. Civil courage, in fact, can grow only out of the free responsibility of free men. Only now are the Germans beginning to discover the meaning of free responsibility. It depends on a God who demands responsible action in a bold venture of faith, and who promises forgiveness and consolation to the man who becomes a sinner in that venture. p. 5.

„The antithesis between the Christian life and the life of bourgeois respectability is at an end. The Christian life comes to mean nothing more than living in the world and as the world“

— Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Context: The antithesis between the Christian life and the life of bourgeois respectability is at an end. The Christian life comes to mean nothing more than living in the world and as the world, in being no different from the world, in fact, in being prohibited from being different from the world for the sake of grace. The upshot of it all is that my only duty as a Christian is to leave the world for an hour or so on a Sunday morning and go to church to be assured that my sins are all forgiven. I need no longer try to follow Christ, for cheap grace, the bitterest foe of discipleship, which true discipleship must loathe and detest, has freed me from that. translated as The Cost of Discipleship (1959), p. 51.

„There remains an experience of incomparable value.“

— Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Context: There remains an experience of incomparable value. We have for once learned to see the great events of world history from below, from the perspective of the outcasts, the suspects, the maltreated — in short, from the perspective of those who suffer. Mere waiting and looking on is not Christian behavior. Christians are called to compassion and to action. p. 17

„Patient endurance of evil does not mean a recognition of its rights. That is sheer sentimentality, and Jesus will have nothing to do with it.“

— Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Context: Jesus bluntly calls the evil person evil. If I am assailed, I am not to condone or justify aggression. Patient endurance of evil does not mean a recognition of its rights. That is sheer sentimentality, and Jesus will have nothing to do with it. The shameful assault, the deed of violence and the act of exploitation are still evil. … The very fact that the evil which assaults him is unjustifiable makes it imperative that he should not resist it, but play it out and overcome it by patiently enduring the evil person. Suffering willingly endured is stronger than evil, it spells death to evil. p. 142.

„An intellectual assent to that idea is held to be of itself sufficient to secure remission of sins.“

— Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Context: Cheap grace means grace as a doctrine, a principle, a system. It means forgiveness of sins proclaimed as a general truth, the love of God taught as the Christian "conception" of God. An intellectual assent to that idea is held to be of itself sufficient to secure remission of sins. The church which holds the correct doctrine of grace has, it is supposed, ipso facto a part of that grace. In such a Church the world finds a cheap covering for its sins; no contrition is required, still less any real desire to be delivered from sin. Cheap grace therefore amounts to a denial of the living Word of God, in fact, a denial of the Incarnation of the Word of God. Cheap grace means the justification of sin without the justification of the sinner. Grace alone does everything, they say, and so everything can remain as it was before. Costly Grace, p 43.

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„Mere waiting and looking on is not Christian behavior. Christians are called to compassion and to action.“

— Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Context: There remains an experience of incomparable value. We have for once learned to see the great events of world history from below, from the perspective of the outcasts, the suspects, the maltreated — in short, from the perspective of those who suffer. Mere waiting and looking on is not Christian behavior. Christians are called to compassion and to action. p. 17

„It is costly because it costs a man his life, and it is grace because it gives a man the only true life.“

— Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Context: Costly grace is the gospel which must be sought again and again, the gift which must be asked for, the door at which a man must knock. Such grace is costly because it calls us to follow, and it is grace because it calls us to follow Jesus Christ. It is costly because it costs a man his life, and it is grace because it gives a man the only true life. It is costly because it condemns sin, and grace because it justifies the sinner. p. 45.

„When holy scripture speaks of following Jesus, it proclaims that people are free from all human rules, from everything which presumes, burdens, or causes worry and torment of conscience.“

— Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Context: Should the church be trying to erect a spiritual reign of terror over people by threatening earthly and eternal punishment on its own authority and commanding everything a person must believe and do to be saved? Should the church's word bring new tyranny and violent abuse to human souls? It may be that some people yearn for such servitude. But could the church ever serve such a longing? When holy scripture speaks of following Jesus, it proclaims that people are free from all human rules, from everything which presumes, burdens, or causes worry and torment of conscience. In following Jesus, people are released from the hard yoke of their own laws to be under the gentle yoke of Jesus Christ. … Jesus' commandment never wishes to destroy life, but rather to preserve, strengthen, and heal life. "Preface", as translated by Barbara Green and Reihhard Krauss (2001). <!-- Edited by Geffrey B. Kelly and John D. Godsey -->

„The cross is not random suffering, but necessary suffering. The cross is not suffering that stems from natural existence; it is the suffering that comes from being Christian.“

— Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Context: The cross is not random suffering, but necessary suffering. The cross is not suffering that stems from natural existence; it is the suffering that comes from being Christian. … A Christianity that no longer took discipleship seriously remade the gospel into only the solace of cheap grace. Moreover, it drew no line between natural and Christian existence. Such a Christianity had to understand the cross as one's daily misfortune, as the predicament and anxiety of our daily life. Here it has been forgotten that the cross also means being rejected, that the cross includes the shame of suffering. Being shunned, despised, and deserted by people, as in the psalmists unending lament, is an essential feature of the suffering of the cross, which cannot be comprehended by a Christianity that is unable to differentiate between a citizen's ordinary existence and a Christian existence. The cross is suffering with Christ. p. 86.

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„Jesus is no draughtsman of political blueprints, he is the one who vanquished evil through suffering. It looked as though evil had triumphed on the cross, but the real victory belonged to Jesus.“

— Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Context: Jesus is no draughtsman of political blueprints, he is the one who vanquished evil through suffering. It looked as though evil had triumphed on the cross, but the real victory belonged to Jesus. And the cross is the only justification for the precept of non-violence, for it alone can kindle a faith in the victory over evil which will enable men to obey that precept. And only such obedience is blessed with the promise that we shall be partakers of Christ's victory as well as his sufferings. p. 142.

„Are we still of any use? What we shall need is not geniuses, or cynics, or misanthropes, or clever tacticians, but plain, honest, straightforward men. Will our inward power of resistance be strong enough, and our honesty with ourselves remoreseless enough, for us to find our way back to simplicity and straightforwardness?“

— Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Context: We have been silent witnesses of evil deeds: we have been drenched by many storms; we have learnt the arts of equivocation and pretence; experience has made us suspicious of others and kept us from being truthful and open; intolerable conflicts have worn us down and even made us cynical. Are we still of any use? What we shall need is not geniuses, or cynics, or misanthropes, or clever tacticians, but plain, honest, straightforward men. Will our inward power of resistance be strong enough, and our honesty with ourselves remoreseless enough, for us to find our way back to simplicity and straightforwardness? p. 16.

„When the spirit touches
man's heart and brow
with thoughts that are lofty, bold, serene,
so that with clear eyes he will face the world
as a free man may“

— Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Context: When the spirit touches man's heart and brow with thoughts that are lofty, bold, serene, so that with clear eyes he will face the world as a free man may; when the spirit gives birth to action by which alone we stand or fall; when from the sane and resolute action rises the workd that gives a a man's life content and meaning — then would that many, lonely and actively working, know of the spirit that grasps and befriends him...

„Jesus bluntly calls the evil person evil.“

— Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Context: Jesus bluntly calls the evil person evil. If I am assailed, I am not to condone or justify aggression. Patient endurance of evil does not mean a recognition of its rights. That is sheer sentimentality, and Jesus will have nothing to do with it. The shameful assault, the deed of violence and the act of exploitation are still evil. … The very fact that the evil which assaults him is unjustifiable makes it imperative that he should not resist it, but play it out and overcome it by patiently enduring the evil person. Suffering willingly endured is stronger than evil, it spells death to evil. p. 142.

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