On April 9, 1945, Dietrich Bonhoeffer was executed by the Nazi regime in Germany just two weeks before Allied forces liberated the camp where he was hanged—70 years ago this week. Bonhoeffer was a German Lutheran pastor and theologian. Leading up to his death at the age of 44, Bonhoeffer spent two years held captive in Tegel prison due to his role in the German resistance movement. During his time in prison he wrote a number of letters to friends and loved ones which were gathered together after his death and published in a book called Letters and Papers from Prison. The book touched on pressing questions about the place of Christianity in an increasingly secular world and it established Bonhoeffer as one of the leading Protestant thinkers of the twentieth century.
In this episode, Martin E. Marty discusses the biography he recently published on Bonhoeffer’s Letters and Papers from Prison.
Special Episodes: “Lives of Great Religious Books”
This ongoing series of MIPodcast episodes features interviews with authors of volumes in Princeton University Press’s impressive “Lives of Great Religious Books” series. Leading experts examine the origins of books like the Book of Mormon, the Bhagavad Gita, and Augustine’s Confessions. They trace shifts in the reception, influence, and interpretation of these landmark texts. As the Maxwell Institute’s mission statement suggests, we perform scholarly study of religious texts and traditions in order to deepen understanding and nurture discipleship among Latter-day Saints and to promote mutual respect and goodwill among people of all faiths. By looking at other religious texts from a variety of perspectives—worthwhile in their own right—we come to understand other faiths better, as well as our own.
About Martin E. Marty
Martin E. Marty is professor emeritus of religious history at the University of Chicago. He is the winner of the National Book Award and the author of over fifty books, including his recent titles Martin Luther: A Life and The Christian World: A Global History.
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