Saints are made, not born. They come from different faiths, homelands, and backgrounds to change the world for the better. We know these figures for the miracles they performed, the sacrifices they made, or the joy that they brought. But the transformations that turn ordinary people into saints are less well known. From Sin to Saint, the latest podcast from Patheos aims to change that. This series will explore the events and circumstances that transformed saints of all faiths from merely swimming in their cultural current to reshaping it for the better.
In each season of this series, we will look at the true story of redemption of a different historical religious figure, who is famous for their positive contributions to the world. People who, because of their faith, were inspired to write books, create organizations, or lead movements that made the world more just and eudaimonic. From Sin to Saint will help listeners understand the passions that drove these figures and the challenges they overcame on their journey. In conversation with historians, theologians, and ethicists, Patheos will do a deep dive into the life story of these figures, the evolution of their theology and faith, and their continued legacy today.
The first season From Sin to Saint focuses on the life and legacy of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Bonhoeffer was a German Lutheran theologian who is best known for his role in the resistance to Nazi rule and in a plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler, for which he was executed in a concentration camp on April 9, 1945. Bonhoeffer also wrote classics of religious literature such as The Cost of Discipleship and Life Together, which have inspired people of all faiths to live more dedicated and deliberate lives in service of God. His story has touched millions and inspired bestselling biographies.
In the decades since his death, Dietrich Bonhoeffer has become more myth than man. His name has been invoked both in the name of religious service and political violence. His legacy is often reduced to a story worthy of a Hollywood blockbuster: a radical, dissident pastor turned assassin, who risked it all to fight evil and injustice. This season of Sin to Saint aims to strip back the veneer of fame and tell you the complete story of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, from his origins as a proud child of the German elite, to his transformative year of worship at a historic Black church in Harlem, and finally to his work as the chaplain of the anti-Nazi resistance. It will also explore the complicated legacy of Bonhoeffer through to the present day.
In this season of From Sin to Saint, listeners will get to know the real Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Host, journalist, and historian Josh Lash sits down with Bonhoeffer scholars to parse through his complex life story, expansive body of work, and contested legacy to reveal the man behind the legend. This series will look at Bonhoeffer’s life in its totality to understand the significance of his story. It will look at the radical theologian as the imperfect human he was–his godliness and his worldliness, his virtues and his faults, his successes, and his failures. It’s only out of that full picture that we can understand the importance of his life and demands of his legacy.
There is something powerful in the story of Dietrich Bonhoeffer–his life and works have been studied for decades and celebrated by millions–this season of From Sin to Saint aims to understand what that power is. This four-part series will answer the critical question: What can we learn from the life and tragic death of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a saint whose legacy has never been more relevant?
From Sin to Saint launches May 16, 2022, and each episode in the series will be available here.
Josh Lash is a Brooklyn based historian and journalist with a deep interest in questions of faith. He has a degree in American Studies from Reed College, where he explored the role of Black churches in early American anti-facism, and a Master’s in Journalism from the Columbia University School of Journalism. He has worked as a producer on The Plot Thickens, the flagship podcast from Turner Classic Movies and as the producer and host of Challenge Accepted, a podcast from the Columbia School of Engineering.