I am excited about the brand new volume of Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Works, vol. 14. The collection of letters, papers, sermons, lectures, and essays come from the Finenwalde years, 1935-1937. This is no small volume with a total of over 12oo pages! It will take a good while to read through this book, but I’m looking forward to it. For those interested in theological education and spiritual formation in the English speaking world this new volume of the the German Dietrick Bonhoeffer Werke auf English will be a significant treasure trove. More immediately, I plan to begin reading the introduction to the English Edition and the Afterward to the German edition. Here’s a taste:
No period in Bonhoeffer’s life and work seems more inaccessible today or more inclined to put people off than does the Finkenwalde period. Indeed, in many readers it generates genuine opposition. The academic, ecumenical, political Bonhoeffer presents a more welcoming figure to may who turn to his work than does the Bonhoeffer we encounter in the present volume, namely, the Bonhoeffer who was confrontational and demanding in ecclesiastical matters, radically biblical, and rigorous in matters of piety (Jürgen Henkys’ Afterward, 972).
The truth of the matter is, despite this attitude, the writings of Bonhoeffer which emerged from this very period have been the most influential for the church, Discipleship and Life Together.
As H. Gaylon Barker puts it:
It is of no little account that the documents contained in this volume are important in providing insights into daily life at Finkenwalde, the historical context of the Church Struggle, and the theological reflections and foundations that became the basis for Bonhoeffer’s famous theological works and his life in the resistance (2)
I’ll be posting on this volume in the coming days.