Dietrich Bonhoeffer's Christian Humanism

ISBN : 9780198832560

Jens Zimmermann
400 ページ
153 x 234 mm

Jens Zimmermann locates Bonhoeffer within the Christian humanist tradition extending back to patristic theology. He begins by explaining Bonhoeffer's own use of the term humanism (and Christian humanism), and considering how his criticism of liberal Protestant theology prevents him from articulating his own theology rhetorically as a Christian humanism. He then provides an in-depth portrayal of Bonhoeffer's theological anthropology and establishes that Bonhoeffer's Christology and attendant anthropology closely resemble patristic teaching. The volume also considers Bonhoeffer's mature anthropology, focusing in particular on the Christian self. It introduces the hermeneutic quality of Bonhoeffer's theology as a further important feature of his Christian humanism. In contrast to secular and religious fundamentalisms, Bonhoeffer offers a hermeneutic understanding of truth as participation in the Christ event that makes interpretation central to human knowing. Having established the hermeneutical structure of his theology, and his personalist configuration of reality, Zimmermann outlines Bonhoeffer's ethics as 'Christformation'. Building on the hermeneutic theology and participatory ethics of the previous chapters, he then shows how a major part of Bonhoeffer's life and theology, namely his dedication to the Bible as God's word, is also consistent with his Christian humanism.


1 Bonhoeffer and the Idea of Christian Humanism
2 Bonhoeffer's Theological Anthropology and the Greater Tradition I
3 Bonhoeffer's Theological Anthropology and the Greater Tradition II
4 In God's Image: From Sicut Dei to Imago Dei
5 Bonhoeffer's Hermeneutic Theology
6 Living Freely Before God: Christian Humanist Ethics
7 The Vulnerability of the Word: Bonhoeffer's Biblical Hermeneutics
8 Recovering the Natural: Humanizing Politics
9 Conclusion: The Continuing Relevance of Bonhoeffer's Christian Humanism


Jens Zimmermann was born and raised in Germany. He holds a PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of British Columbia, Canada, and a PhD in Philosophy from the Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz, Germany. He currently occupies the position of Canada Research Chair in Interpretation, Religion and Culture, and is Professor of English at Trinity Western University (TWU) in Langley, British Columbia, Canada. His publications include Humanism and Religion: A Call for the Renewal of Western Culture (2012).