Cover image for The cost of moral leadership : the spirituality of Dietrich Bonhoeffer
The cost of moral leadership : the spirituality of Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Kelly, Geffrey B.
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Grand Rapids, Mich. : W.B. Eerdmans Pub., [2003]

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xvii, 300 pages ; 24 cm
The life and martyrdom of Dietrich Bonhoeffer: a chapter from the modern acts of the apostles -- Compassion and action for justice: Bonhoeffer's Christocentric spirituality -- The holy spirit and Christian discipleship: the prophetic dimension of moral leadership -- Bonhoeffer's spirituality of liberation: solidarity with the oppressed -- The spirituality that dares peace: the great venture in moral leadership -- Discipleship and the cross: following Christ in Bonhoeffer's spirituality -- Christian community: strength for moral leadership -- Bonhoeffer's spirituality and God's vulnerability: compassion for those in suffering and sorrow -- Preaching the spiritual life: Bonhoeffer's sermons and insights on moral leadership -- Glimpses into the soul of a moral leader: Bonhoeffer's prayers and poems.
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BX4827.B57 K43 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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In exploring the spiritual dimensions of Dietrich Bonhoeffer's life and writings, this new book not only fills a crucial gap in Bonhoeffer studies but it also brings to the fore those aspects of his thought that can inform and inspire moral leadership today.

The Cost of Moral Leadership probes the spirituality of this modern Christian martyr and shows how his spiritual life formed him into an exceptional moral leader in a period known for grievous immorality. Geffrey Kelly and F. Burton Nelson explore Bonhoeffer's spirituality in the context of his life story, his work for social justice, his Christocentric theology, his emphasis on discipleship, his preaching, and his prolific writing.

Author Notes

Geffrey B. Kelly is professor of systematic theology and chairman of the Department of Religion at La Salle University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
F. Burton Nelson is research professor of Christian ethics at North Park Theological Seminary, Chicago, Illinois

Reviews 2

Library Journal Review

Protestant theologian Bonhoeffer was put to death in Nazi Germany for participating in an attempt to assassinate Adolf Hitler. A lifelong pacifist, Bonhoeffer came to the moral view that led to his decision only after much prayer and internal struggle. Kelly (religion, LaSalle Univ.) and Nelson (Christian ethics, North Park Theological Seminary), coeditors of A Testament to Freedom: The Essential Writings of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, offer a clear, concise treatment of Bonhoeffer's theology in the context of his life. At the same time, they relate Bonhoeffer's thought to current crises, most notably the war with Afghanistan. Their study reflects the complexity of Bonhoeffer's thought, which was not an unquestioned, absolute pacifism but one that responded to each crisis as it arose. The authors consider his Christocentric spirituality and the elements in his thought-e.g., compassion, solidarity with the oppressed, and community-that made him an effective Christian leader. Detailed questions are provided to facilitate use in discussion groups. This work, which focuses on the theologian's ideas of moral leadership, complements Eberhard Bethge's Dietrich Bonhoeffer: A Biography. Highly recommended for all libraries and an essential purchase for church and seminary libraries.-Augustine J. Curley, Newark Abbey, NJ (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

Dietrich Bonhoeffer still stands as a beacon of inspiration and discipleship for many Christians, including the authors of this text. His willingness to take a strong stand against Nazism, his participation in the plot to assassinate Hitler, his imprisonment, and his subsequent martyrdom--all while maintaining his deep spiritual integrity--provide a model of the cost of moral leadership. Kelly (La Salle Univ.) and Nelson (North Park Theological Seminary) lavish Bonhoeffer with adoration and adulation and easily "discover" why Bonhoeffer has become such an attractive figure among pastors, Christian communities, liberation theologians, and peace and justice activists. Only briefly do the authors apply Bonhoeffer's thought critically. They show the present-day relevance of a possible Bonhoeffer-like prophetic critique, offering fundamental challenges to American consumerism, unexamined patriotism, militarism, and even the impending war on Iraq. Here the real power of Bonhoeffer's prophetic voice is revealed. It is unfortunate that the authors do not do a harder-hitting analysis of the risk and "cost of moral leadership," which the title promises. This book includes provocative discussion questions for each chapter. Summing Up: Recommended. Professionals and practitioners primarily; also useful for general readers and lower-division undergraduates. P. K. Steinfeld Buena Vista University

Table of Contents

Renate Bethge
Forewordp. vii
Prefacep. xi
1. The Life and Martyrdom of Dietrich Bonhoeffer: A Chapter from the Modern Acts of the Apostlesp. 1
2. Compassion and Action for Justice: Bonhoeffer's Christocentric Spiritualityp. 36
3. The Holy Spirit and Christian Discipleship: The Prophetic Dimension of Moral Leadershipp. 51
4. Bonhoeffer's Spirituality of Liberation: Solidarity with the Oppressedp. 83
5. The Spirituality That Dares Peace: The Great Venture in Moral Leadershipp. 100
6. Discipleship and the Cross: Following Christ in Bonhoeffer's Spiritualityp. 129
7. Christian Community: Strength for Moral Leadershipp. 145
8. Bonhoeffer's Spirituality and God's Vulnerability: Compassion for Those in Suffering and Sorrowp. 173
9. Preaching the Spiritual Life: Bonhoeffer's Sermons and Insights on Moral Leadershipp. 187
10. Glimpses into the Soul of a Moral Leader: Bonhoeffer's Prayers and Poemsp. 226
Discussion Questionsp. 250
Bibliographyp. 264
Abbreviationsp. 268
Endnotesp. 271
Index of Namesp. 292
Index of Subjectsp. 296
Index of Scripture Referencesp. 299