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Theological Education Underground


By Dietrich Bonhoeffer; edited by Victoris J. Barnett; translated by Claudia D. Bergmann, Peter Frick and Scott A. Moore

Publication Year: 2011

With extensive commentary about their historical context and theological significance, this volume of writings covers a crucial time and an understudied period of Bonhoeffer's life. It begins during the final period of his illegal work in training Confessing Church seminarians and concludes as he begins his activities in the German resistance. Bridging these two periods is his brief journey to the United States in summer 1939, when he pondered and ultimately rejected a move to the safety of exile. Bonhoeffer's writings from this transitional period, particularly his New York diary, offer a rare and more deeply personal picture of Bonhoeffer in a time of great inner turmoil.

Published by: Augsburg Fortress Publishers

Series: Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works


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p. 1-1

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. 2-5


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pp. v-xiv

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General Editor’s Foreword to Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works

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pp. xv-xxii

The German theologian and pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer has become one of the most influential Christian thinkers of all time. Barely twenty-seven years of age when the Nazi regime came to power in Germany, Bonhoeffer emerged immediately as a radical Protestant voice against the ideological co-optation of his church. ...


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pp. xxiii-xxiv

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Editor’s Introduction to the English Edition

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pp. 1-16

This volume documents the course of Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s life and work from November 1937 to March 1940—a brief but decisive span of history that included the March 1938 Anschluß of Austria; the Evian refugee conference in France, at which thirty-two nations decided against easing immigration restrictions on Jewish refugees; ...

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Part 1: Letters and Documents, Diary

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pp. 17-304

In these days my thoughts go out especially to you all. At the very least, a Christmas letter should be the sign of our fellowship. It will reach you amid the fullness and joy of your work. Most of you are in parish work, and it is a great joy to me that letters from the various regions of our church in which you work have continued to reach us. ...

Part 2: Exercises, Lectures, and Essays

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A. Exercises

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pp. 307-385

Pastoral care occurs not primarily through proclaiming and hearing[4] but through the listening of the pastor and the speaking of the parishioner. Therefore a reversal: silence forbidden! Learning to hear is of immense importance. This is the very first and simplest act of love for one’s neighbor! ...

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B. Lectures and Essays

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pp. 386-462

The natural human being and the ethical human being cannot understand this prayer. The natural human being seeks the testing of his strength in adventure, struggle, and the encounter with the enemy. This is life. “If you never risk your life, you can never win life.”[4] Only life that is endangered[5] to the point of death is won. ...

Part 3: Sermons and Meditations

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A. Sermons and Drafts for Worship Services

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pp. 465-495

“Mercy has befallen me”[4]—as we just sang. The same hymn is sung by the entire Christian church-community on each new day. “Mercy has befallen me”—when I still closed my heart before God, when I walked on the path of my own sin, when I loved my sin more than God, when through my sin I lived in pity and misery, ...

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B. Meditations

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pp. 496-562

Whoever speaks this way presumes that the beginning has already occurred. He points out that the life with God consists not only and not essentially of ever-new beginnings. Therefore, the psalmist calls it a change, a walking in God’s law. Thus he confirms the beginning that has occurred, accepts it as valid, does not want to go back before it.[3] ...

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Editor’s Afterword to the German Edition

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pp. 563-584

In his 1937 Christmas letter to the former Finkenwalde candidates, Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote: “The balance sheet for this year is rather clear and unambiguous. Twenty-seven from your circle have been in prison; for some it lasted several months. Some are still detained at present and have spent the entire Advent in prison. ...

Appendix 1: Chronology of Theological Education Underground: 1937–1940

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pp. 585-591

Appendix 2: List of Candidates in the Collective Pastorates

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pp. 592-594

Appendix 3: Unpublished Material from Bonhoeffer’s Literary Estate, 1937–1940

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pp. 595-597

Appendix 4: Texts Published in Both Gesammelte Schriften and DBWE 15

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pp. 598-600


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pp. 601-626

Index of Scriptural References

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pp. 627-640

Index of Names

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pp. 641-694

Index of Subjects

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pp. 695-724

Editors and Translators

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pp. 725-726

E-ISBN-13: 9781451406832
E-ISBN-10: 1451406835
Print-ISBN-13: 9780800698157
Print-ISBN-10: 0800698150

Page Count: 750
Publication Year: 2011

Volume Title: Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works
Series Title: Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works