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142 BOOK REVIEWS philosopher F. H. Jacobi, with whom he conducted a large and important correspondence, and J. G. Herder, his life-long disciple. At the end of his life he was invited by the Princess· Amalia von Gallitzin to visit her and the "Miinster Circle" (Hemsterhuis was a member) in Westphalia. It was here that he died in June, 1788, and was buried in the garden of the townhouse of the Princess. Goethe, whom Herder introduced to Hamann's writings, retained a lifelong admiration for the Magus. Hegel respected him greatly, and the passionately anti-Hegelian Kierkegaard revered him as he hardly revered any other thinker. Surely, then, he merits our notice. ROBERT M. BROWNING Hamilton College Clinton, New York A Bonhoeffer Legacy: Essays In Understanding. Edited by A. J. KLASSEN. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmanns, 1981. Pp. 382. $18.95. At the time of its publication, A. J. Klassen's A Bon'ho6'fler Legacy was the third major collection of essays on the life and work of Dietrich Bonhoeffer to appear in English. The first such collection, edited and introduced by Martin Marty, was published in 1962. The Place of Bonhoeffer presented critical expositions of Bonhoeffer's major writings with the twofold aim of introducing Bonhoeffer to the English-speaking world and indicating the "problems and possibilities in his thought." Then in 1967 Ronald Gregor Smith's World Come of Age featured a predominantly European forum on Bonhoeffer's theology. Here the implicit issue was whether Bonhoeffer was at bottom a Barthian or a Bultmannian. During these same years, a new generation of scholars was beginning to delve more deeply into Bonhoeffer, moved by a critical interest in determining what he actually thought before assigning him a place amidst the prevailing theological currents and camps. There has emerged from this work a portrait, still unfinished, of an original figure in twentiethcentury theology. Although Bonhoeffer was a student of many, he remained to the end a disciple of none. Now some of the leading figures of this new generation have been gathered together in one volume by Klassen. Long known to Bonhoeffer specialists, all the authors represented in this collection have written dissertations , books, or significant articles on some aspect of Bonhoe:ffer's thought. In many cases, their contributions are either drawn directly from or based upon those works. Along with essays by North American, BOOK REVIEWS 143 French, Swiss, and English writers, the volume includes English-language debuts by such notable German Bonhoeffer interpreters as Ernst Feil, Hans Pfeifer, Rainer Mayer, and Tierno Rainer Peters. If the list of twenty-three contributors represents a veritable "Who's Who" of the International Bonhoeffer Society, the themes they treat provide a good indication of the substantial range of recent work on Bonhoeffer. For these reasons A Bonhoeffer Legacy could be viewed as a compendium of the most noteworthy trends and developments during the past two decades of Bonhoeffer research. The golden thread that unites these diverse papers may be glimpsed in the concluding words of Eberhard Bethge's introductory essay, significantly entitled " Bonhoeffer's Assertion of Religionless ChristianityWas He Mistaken~ " Already in this title Bethge raises the question concerning the shape and durability of Bonhoeffer's legacy. His conclusion is suggestive: " It may be, then, that Bonhoeffer's analyses-or those that others after him have developed and modernized-are not behind us but still before us" (11). Many of the pieces included in this book could be said to confirni Bethge's hypothesis. Indeed, that is why they are called "essays in understanding." To understand Bonhoeffer's legacy requires more than the effort to identify the formal contours and conceptual pillars of his theological work. In addition, it involves an appreciation (or even personal appropriation) of a posture for doing theology, a posture shaped by the confluence of inherited doctrine, the present historical situation, and attentive listening to God's Word. It is the exemplary quality of Bonhoeffer's theological posture, more than any particular methods, phrases, or insights, that constitutes the real heart of his legacy. Thus, despite the considerable divergence of views advanced in these pages regarding the most salient features of Bonhoeffer's legacy...

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Additional Information

ISSN
2473-3725
Print ISSN
0040-6325
Pages
pp. 142-146
Launched on MUSE
2017-05-15
Open Access
No
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