School of Theology and Seminary Graduate Papers/Theses

Date of Award


Document Type

Graduate Paper

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Theology


School of Theology and Seminary

Subject Categories

History of Religions of Western Origin | Religion


The decade of the 1920’s for the German people was marked by political, social, and economic turmoil. This trend continued with the rise of Adolph Hitler and his Nazi party to power in Germany. It is with this turmoil in mind that Dietrich Bonhoeffer lived. Most of his adult life would be spent fighting against Hitler and his Nazi party. Seeing the church in his day being hijacked by Hitler and his Nazi party led Bonhoeffer to the belief that a radical break with society similar to the fiery preaching of John the Baptist and John of Patmos would prevent the church from becoming a mere play thing in the hands of secular leaders. True to his Lutheran roots, Bonhoeffer sees the church’s complete separation from the secular government as a way to return to an apostolic model of the church. Through his writings Bonhoeffer sounded the prophet’s call as he criticized the current status quo and to energized the people for a new future. His convictions ran so deep that he endured what many consider to be a martyr’s death.



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