Cover

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Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. i-vi

Contents

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pp. vii-viii

List of Illustrations

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pp. ix-x

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xi-xiv

John de Gruchy, Victoria J. Barnett, and Michael West made available the page proofs of volume 8 of the Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works (DBWE), Letters and Papers from Prison (Minneapolis, 2010). It was therefore possible for me to convert translations and references in my first draft, from the 1971 edition, which had become standard in...

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Chapter 1 The Birth of a Book

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pp. 1-30

An old photograph provides a glimpse into a dismal cell at a Nazi prison called Tegel. Wan light falls in from a tiny window that is too high for a prisoner to use to take in a landscape, but one who is alert and sensitive might glimpse the upper branches of a high tree or a low hanging cloud, and through that opening, hear a thrush. A standard-issue plank bed with a...

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Chapter 2 The “Gradual” Editor

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pp. 31-50

The reader of letters and papers that issue from the unpromising circumstances with which we are becoming familiar cannot fail to be curious about how the letters morphed into a book. Eberhard Bethge, who brought the book to life, devoted only the first pages of a preface to an enlarged edition in 1970 to detail the...

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Chapter 3 The Decisive Turns

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pp. 51-73

Readers who never would have bought books of systematic theology, for which there is a small market, may well have merely stumbled upon the book named Letters and Papers from Prison or had it recommended to them by a friend. It is likely that if they had opened and begun reading, they would very quickly have been drawn in to the human drama of...

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Chapter 4 Travels East

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pp. 74-102

The biography of the book Letters and Papers from Prison, like most biographies of humans, takes account of its subject’s travels. While the book has “gone global,” the story of several places where it received controversial responses will provide readers with material on the basis of which they can do their...

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Chapter 5 Travels West

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pp. 103-132

Biographies, life stories of humans, regularly deal with adolescence as a time of restlessness, rebellion, and the search for an identity. Biographies of books like Bonhoeffer’s Letter and Papers from Prison may by analogy follow similar trajectories and can represent parallel experiences in the same stage. The book enjoyed...

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Chapter 6 The Worlds of Two Strangers

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pp. 133-177

Eberhard Bethge, the producer of Letters and Papers from Prison, had to look on in frustration as Bonhoeffer’s late theology was subjected to what he called “creative misuse” by Marxists in East Germany and radicals in the Anglo-American world. By 1975 he and those of his outlook had outlasted both, so he could...

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Chapter 7 Travels around the World

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pp. 178-210

The biography of the book Letters and Papers from Prison quite naturally accents its travels. Librarians and booksellers catalog and remember it as one of the most traveled books in the field of religion. To discipline our tracking of the book’s biography, we have...

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Chapter 8 Continuity and Change

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pp. 211-246

Biographers look for turning points, basic decisions made, accidents, or other extraordinary events in the lives of their subjects. The biographers of classic books do not have to look for extraordinary events in the lives of such volumes. They present themselves, as if leaping out from the pages or the records of response...

Notes

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pp. 247-260

Index

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pp. 261-275