Cover image for Bonhoeffer : pastor, martyr, prophet, spy : a Righteous Gentile vs. the Third Reich
Bonhoeffer : pastor, martyr, prophet, spy : a Righteous Gentile vs. the Third Reich
Metaxas, Eric.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Nashville : Thomas Nelson, [2011]

Physical Description:
xvi, 608 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations, portraits ; 23 cm
"Bonhoeffer" presents a profoundly orthodox Christian theologian whose faith led him to boldly confront the greatest evil of the 20th century, and uncovers never-before-revealed facts, including the story of his passionate romance.
Family and childhood -- Tübingen, 1923 -- Roman holiday, 1924 -- Student in Berlin, 1924-1927 -- Barcelona, 1928 -- Berlin, 1929 -- Bonhoeffer in America, 1930-31 -- Berlin, 1931-32 -- The Führer principle, 1933 -- The church and the Jewish question -- Nazi theology -- The church struggle begins -- The Bethel confession -- Bonhoeffer in London, 1934-35 -- The church battle heats up -- The conference at Fanø -- The road to Zingst and Finkenwalde -- Zingst and Finkenwalde -- Scylla and Charybdis, 1935-36 -- Mars ascending, 1938 -- The great decision, 1939 -- The end of Germany -- From confession to conspiracy -- Plotting against Hitler -- Bonhoeffer scores a victory -- Bonhoeffer in love -- Killing Adolf Hitler -- Cell 92 at Tegel Prison -- Valkyrie and the Stauffenberg plot -- Buchenwald -- On the road to freedom.
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Material Type
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Item Holds
BX4827.B57 M48 2011 Adult Non-Fiction Biography

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As Adolf Hitler and the Nazis seduced a nation, bullied a continent, and attempted to exterminate the Jews of Europe, a small number of dissidents and saboteurs worked to dismantle the Third Reich from the inside. One of these was Dietrich Bonhoeffer--a pastor and author. In this New York Times best-selling biography, Eric Metaxas takes both strands of Bonhoeffer's life--the theologian and the spy--and draws them together to tell a searing story of incredible moral courage in the face of monstrous evil. Metaxas presents the fullest accounting of Bonhoeffer's heart-wrenching decision to leave the safe haven of America to return to Hitler's Germany, and sheds new light on Bonhoeffer's involvement in the famous Valkyrie plot and in "Operation 7," the effort to smuggle Jews into neutral Switzerland. In a deeply moving narrative, Metaxas uses previously unavailable documents'including personal letters, detailed journal entries, and firsthand personal accounts'to reveal dimensions of Bonhoeffer's life and theology never before seen.

"Bonhoeffer is the story of a life framed by a passion for truth and a commitment to justice on behalf of those who face implacable evil. Includes Readers' Guide "[A] beautifully constructed biography."

--Alan Wolfe, The New Republic

"Metaxas tells Bonhoeffer's story with passion and theological sophistication. . . ."

--Wall Street Journal

"[A] weighty, riveting analysis of the life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. . . ."

--Publishers Weekly

"Metaxas presents Bonhoeffer as a clear-headed, deeply convicted Christian who submitted to no one and nothing except God and his Word."

--Christianity Today

"Metaxas has written a book that adds a new dimension to World War II, a new understanding of how evil can seize the soul of a nation and a man of faith can confront it. . . ."

--Thomas Fleming, author, The New Dealers' War

"Metaxas has created a biography of uncommon power--intelligent, moving, well researched,vividly written, and rich in implication for our own lives. Or to put it another way: Buy this book. Read it. Then buy another copy and give it to a person you love. It's that good."

--Archbishop Charles Chaput, First Things

"A definitive Bonhoeffer biography for the 21st century."

--Kirkus Reviews

2011 ECPA Book of the Year 2011 Canterbury Medal by the Becket Fund recognizing courage in the defense of religious liberty 2011 Christopher Award winner highlighting the power of faith, courage, and action

"A definitive Bonhoeffer biography for the 21st century."

-Kirkus Reviews

Author Notes

Eric Metaxas was born in New York City in 1963, and grew up in Danbury, Connecticut. He graduated from Yale University, where he edited the Yale Record, America's oldest college humor magazine.

He has written several biographies, including Amazing Grace: William Wilberforce and the Heroic Campaign to End Slavery and the New York Times bestseller, Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet. His latest book is entitled, If You Can Keep It: The Forgotten Promise of American Liberty.

He has also written over 30 children's books, including It's Time to Sleep, My Love and Squanto and the Miracle of Thanksgiving.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

In this weighty, riveting analysis of the life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Metaxas (Amazing Grace) offers a comprehensive review of one of history's darkest eras, along with a fascinating exploration of the familial, cultural and religious influences that formed one of the world's greatest contemporary theologians. A passionate narrative voice combines with meticulous research to unpack the confluence of circumstances and personalities that led Germany from the defeat of WWI to the atrocities of WWII. Abundant source documentation (sermons, letters, journal entries, lectures, the Barman Declaration) brings to life the personalities and experiences that shaped Bonhoeffer: his highly intellectual, musical family; theologically liberal professors, pastoral colleagues and students; his extensive study, work, and travel abroad. Tracing Bonhoeffer's developing call to be a Jeremiah-like prophet in his own time and a growing understanding that the church was called "to speak for those who could not speak," Metaxas details Bonhoeffer's role in religious resistance to Nazism, and provides a compelling account of the faith journey that eventually involved the Lutheran pastor in unsuccessful attempts to assassinate Hitler. Insightful and illuminating, this tome makes a powerful contribution to biography, history and theology. (Apr.) Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.

Library Journal Review

Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-45) is high on any list of Protestant saints: a gifted pastor-theologian, he resisted Hitler's Nazification of the German Church, worked tirelessly to organize the dissenting Confessing Church, and was ultimately hanged following his involvement in a failed plot on Hitler's life. Despite these credentials, fundamentalists have traditionally warned students of the dangers of Bonhoeffer's liberalism. Metaxas (Amazing Grace: William Wilberforce and the Heroic Campaign To End Slavery) offers a moving, comprehensive, and engaging biography of the martyr's life, sensitively playing up those aspects of Bonhoeffer that will evoke evangelical sympathies, while dismissing radical theology's appropriation of Bonhoeffer as unjustified. Metaxas tells a compelling story, but his portrayal of theological issues is weak and slips into caricature. Nonetheless, his book will communicate with its intended evangelical audience. -VERDICT Recommended, but readers seeking more nuanced scholarship may prefer Ferdinand Schlingensiepen's Dietrich Bonhoeffer 1906-1945: Martyr, Thinker, Man of Resistance, due out in June. Those interested in Bonhoeffer's theology (especially his ethics) should turn to Larry Rasmussen's Dietrich Bonhoeffer: Reality and Resistance.-Steve Young, McHenry Cty. Coll., Crystal Lake, IL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Forewordp. xv
Prologuep. 1
Chapter 1 Family and Childhoodp. 5
Chapter 2 Tübingen, 1923p. 41
Chapter 3 Roman Holiday, 1924p. 49
Chapter 4 Student in Berlin, 1924-27p. 58
Chapter 5 Barcelona, 1928p. 69
Chapter 6 Berlin, 1929p. 88
Chapter 7 Bonhoeffer in America, 1930-31p. 99
Chapter 8 Berlin, 1931-32p. 119
Chapter 9 The Führer Principle, 1933p. 138
Chapter 10 The Church and the Jewish Questionp. 150
Chapter 11 Nazi Theologyp. 165
Chapter 12 The Church Struggle Beginsp. 176
Chapter 13 The Bethel Confessionp. 183
Chapter 14 Bonhoeffer in London, 1934-35p. 195
Chapter 15 The Church Battle Heats Upp. 204
Chapter 16 The Conference at Fanop. 234
Chapter 17 The Road to Zingst and Finkenwaldep. 246
Chapter 18 Zingst and Finkenwaldep. 261
Chapter 19 Scylla and Charybdis, 1935-36p. 278
Chapter 20 Mars Ascending, 1938p. 302
Chapter 21 The Great Decision, 1939p. 321
Chapter 22 The End of Germanyp. 347
Chapter 23 From Confession to Conspiracyp. 358
Chapter 24 Plotting Against Hitlerp. 380
Chapter 25 Bonhoeffer Scores a Victoryp. 394
Chapter 26 Bonhoeffer in Lovep. 405
Chapter 27 Killing Adolf Hitlerp. 423
Chapter 28 Cell 92 at Tegel Prisonp. 432
Chapter 29 Valkyrie and the Stauffenberg Plotp. 475
Chapter 30 Buchenwaldp. 504
Chapter 31 On the Road to Freedomp. 517
Afterword: The One Thing I Regret About My Bookp. 543
Notesp. 545
Bibliographyp. 567
About the Authorp. 571
Epilogue and Erratap. 575
Indexp. 577
Reading Group Guidep. 593