Title Page, Copyright

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Contents

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pp. v-vi

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General Editor’s Foreword to Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works

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pp. vii-xii

Since the time that the writings of Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906–45) first began to be available in English after World War II, they have been eagerly read both by scholars and by a wide general audience. The story of his life is compelling, set in the midst of historic events that shaped a century. ...

Abbreviations

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pp. xiii-xiv

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Editor’s Introduction to the English Edition

Clifford J. Green

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pp. 1-44

The Ethics is Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s magnum opus. Although the work is incomplete and was published posthumously, it is nevertheless the rich result of mature reflection during a decade of Christian resistance to National Socialism. ...

Ethics: Manuscripts in a Reconstructed Writing Sequence

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pp. 45-46

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Christ, Reality, and Good. Christ, Church, and World

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pp. 47-75

Those who wish even to focus on the problem of a Christian ethic are faced with an outrageous demand—from the outset they must give up, as inappropriate to this topic, the very two questions that led them to deal with the ethical problem: “How can I be good?” and “How can I do something good?” ...

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Ethics as Formation

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pp. 76-102

Seldom has a generation been as uninterested as ours in any kind of ethical theory or program. The academic question about an ethical system seems to be the most superfluous of all questions. This does not come from any ethical indifference in our times, but rather the reverse, from the pressure of a reality filled with concrete, ethical problems ...

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Heritage and Decay

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pp. 103-133

One can only speak of historical heritage in the Christian West. To be sure, there are also traditions in Asia that are much older than ours. But they share in the timelessness of existence there; and even in Japan, which has established the closest connection with the Western world, history retains a mythological character.[2] ...

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Guilt, Justification, Renewal

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pp. 134-145

The issue is the process by which Christ takes form among us. Therefore the issue is the real, judged, and renewed human being. The real, the judged, and the renewed human being exists only in the form of Jesus Christ and therefore in being conformed to Christ. ...

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Ultimate and Penultimate Things

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pp. 146-170

The origin and essence of all Christian life are consummated in the one event that the Reformation has called the justification of the sinner by grace alone. It is not what a person is per se, but what a person is in this event, that gives us insight into the Christian life. ...

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Natural Life

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pp. 171-218

The concept of the natural has fallen into disrepute in Protestant ethics.[2] For some theologians it was completely lost in the darkness of general sinfulness, whereas for others it took on the brightness of the primal creation.[3] ...

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History and Good [1]

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pp. 219-245

All that has been said thus far[2] implies that we have abandoned the abstract notion, largely dominant in ethical thought, of an isolated individual who has available an absolute criterion by which to choose continually and exclusively between a clearly recognized good and a clearly recognized evil.[3] ...

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History and Good [2]

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pp. 246-298

The question about the good always finds us already in an irreversible situation: we are living. This means, in any case, that we can no longer ask and respond to the question about the good as if we first had to create life new and good. We ask about the good not as creators but as creatures. ...

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God’s Love and the Disintegration of the World

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pp. 299-338

The knowledge of good and evil appears to be the goal of all ethical reflection.1 The first task of Christian ethics is to supersede that knowledge. This attack on the presuppositions of all other ethics is so unique that it is questionable whether it even makes sense to speak of Christian ethics at all. ...

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Church and World I

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pp. 339-351

We begin this section[2] by calling attention to one of the most astounding experiences we have had during the years of trial for all that was Christian. Whenever, in the face of the deification of the irrational powers of blood, of instinct, of the predator within human beings,[3] ...

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On the Possibility of the Church’s Message to the World

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pp. 352-362

What is behind the desire, which is awakening in Christendom throughout the world, to hear a message from the church to the world that offers solutions? It is essentially the following ideas: the social, economic, and political, etc., problems of the world are out of hand; ...

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The “Ethical” and the “Christian” as a Topic

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pp. 363-387

A Christian ethic will have to begin with the question of whether and to what extent the “ethical” and the “Christian” can be treated as a topic at all.[2] This is not at all as self-evident as one might assume, given the confidence with which this has repeatedly been done and continues to be done. ...

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The Concrete Commandment and the Divine Mandates

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pp. 388-408

The commandment of God revealed in Jesus Christ embraces in its unity all of human life. Its claim on human beings and the world through the reconciling love of God is all-encompassing. This commandment encounters us concretely in four different forms that find their unity only in the commandment itself, ...

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Editors’ Afterword to the German Edition

Ilse Tödt, Heinz Eduard Tödt, Ernst Feil, Clifford Green

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pp. 409-449

The point of departure for Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s concrete ethics is the theological question of how the reality of God revealed in Jesus Christ can take form in human life in the world. Bonhoeffer’s ethical reflection tries to understand God’s will and the world’s reality here and now, together, the one not without the other. ...

Appendix 1: Chronology of Ethics

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pp. 450-466

Appendix 2: Preparing the German Edition of Ethics

Ilse Tödt

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pp. 467-476

Appendix 3: Arrangements of Ethics

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p. 477

Appendix 4: Facsimile Pages, “Heritage and Decay”

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pp. 478-480

Bibliography

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pp. 481-526

Index of Scriptural References

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pp. 527-530

Index of Names

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pp. 531-560

Index of Subjects

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pp. 561-590

Editors and Translators

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pp. 591-594