Bonhoeffer mindmap

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  • BONHOEFFER
    • WHO WAS HE?
      • (1906-1945)
      • German Christian minister in 1931
      • Rumors he was apart of a plot to assassinate Hitler- sent to a concentration camp and was executed on 9 April 1945
      • Fired from working at a university and banned from public lectures because he raised objections to Nazism
      • Criticised the confessing church for not being strong enough when standing up to Hitler
      • Called Hitler the anti-Christ
      • Worked for German military intelligence and used church meetings to smuggle information. He disguised Jews as military intelligence and smuggled them to safety in Switzerland
      • Wrote to friend Neibuhr that the nation had to be defeated to save Christianity, or they win and lose Christian civilization- Christians had to make active challenges against injustice
      • Challenged Nazism- saw them as cult-like, criticised their distortion of the Christian call to discipleship and their persecution of the Jews
    • GERMAN CHURCH AT THE TIME OF HITLER
      • 1930 German Protestant Churches were divided
        • Some (Bonhoeffer) joined ‘Confessing church’ (1934) as they broke away from national Reich Church - rejected Nazism and it called Christians to confess their faith, be true to their calling to discipleship
        • Some joined Nazi Party- believed Hitler was embodiment of Christian Values, prohibited ministers with Jewish ancestry, chruch groups joined with Hitler Youth, some tried to remove Old Testament as it is holy scripture of Judaism, Nazi ideology gained a strong hold on the German church
    • OBEDIENCE AND DISCIPLESHIP
      •    Based on gospels, all Christians are called to discipleship- to be followers of Jesus (leave old life and enter unknown with all other authority abandoned)
      •   Controversy for Bonhoeffer- Christians do not have to follow other laws, such as the land- opened possibility of civil obedience (refusal to obey laws by government)
      • He believes Christianity demands immediate and single-minded obedience to Jesus as duty to God=more important than to state
      • Jesus’s first followers responded to his authority obediently and immediately- example to all Christians who have to choose which leader to obey
    • ROLE OF THE CHURCH
      • Community of believers as a source of spiritual discipline
      • Sermon on the Mount = Followers of jesus must be like 'salt' 9christians need to add flavour to a community) and 'light' (christians must be  leading example for others- visible community)
      • Wrote of 'Religiousless Christianity', time after the war when christians wpuld focis on their call to discipleship rather than being 'religious'
    • FINKENWALDE
      • 1935 He was asked to run a secret training school, or seminary in Finkenwalde, for new pastors (illegal as didn't apply 'Aryan restrictions')
      • He advocated a life at the seminary whixh was monastic where trainees prayed, studided Bible and relected (Bonhoeffer thought it was essential new generation listeneed to God)
      • Thought christian comunity should be a source of spiritual renewal and refuge for those persecuted- caring service under the word of God
      • 1937 The Gestapo under Himmler discovered Finkenwalde seminary and arrested forer students
    • COST OF DISCIPLESHIP
      • Cheap grace- freely given gifts of God, recieved without any change in the recipient (they thought they were off the hook as Jesus paid the price for sin), relience of cheap grace made the world seclar, willing to take the beliefs of the modern world
        • Bonhoeffer wrote of "millions of spiritual corpses", "deadly enemy of the church"
      • Costly grace- Grace of God worth sacrificing everything for (like God sacrificed his Son to save people from sin), followed by obedience to God's command and discipleship
        • Being Christian = life of suffering for Christ, to be in a relationship with God through living for others (allows Christian to participate in the being of Jesus)
    • SOLIDARITY
      • 'Exisiting for others' - closely linked to idea of discipleship - Bonhoeffer could have stayed in London and learnt from Gandhi about principles of on-violence but chose to run the Finkenwalde seminary. He escaped in the USA but returned to Germany to share the suffering
      • For Bonhoeffur solidarity led him to Resistence movement in Germanyy against the Nazis

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