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DM2/3/9026S

Dietrich Bonhoeffer: On Ego, Power and Freedom in Ministry and Mission

Second or third level unit for undergraduates
Elective unit for postgraduates

Content:

This unit considers the life and written work of Dietrich Bonhoeffer who has been variously described as theologian, pastor, pastor-theologian, writer, activist, pacifist and martyr. In the face of such diversity we attend to the continuities in Bonhoeffer’s thought and practice.

More specifically, this unit will posit a personal quest undertaken by Bonhoeffer to understand the plight of ego and power and their solution in the notion of freedom.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer offers a notion of ministry practice and discipleship whereby the follower of Jesus can embrace undefended leadership, the appropriate use of power and a degree of self-determination

Learning outcomes: Upon successful completion of this unit, it is expected that students will be able to:

Undergraduate

  1. Use primary sources as tools for shaping contemporary ministry & mission practice.
  2. Evaluate the impact that theological method can have on subsequent decision-making in real life contexts.
  3. Describe ways in which scholars have sought to understand and appropriate Bonhoeffer for today.
  4. (and at level 3) Articulate ways in which Bonhoeffer informs pastoral ministry and mission service for today.

Postgraduate

  1. Use primary sources as tools for shaping contemporary ministry & mission practice.
  2. Evaluate the impact that theological method can have on subsequent decision-making in real life contexts.
  3. Analyse ways in which scholars have sought to understand and appropriate Bonhoeffer for today.
  4. Critically explore Bonhoeffer’s life and thought in conversation with psychology and sociology.
  5. Learn how best Bonhoeffer informs pastoral ministry and mission service for today.

Prerequisites:

Level 2 – At least 30 points of Foundational Units including 15 points in Field D.

Level 3 – At least 45 points of Foundational Units including 15 points in Field D.

Postgraduate – At least 30 points of Foundational Units including 15 points in Field D.

This unit is primarily oriented to the professional theological development of a cohort representing alumni, ministry and Christian service vocations.

Faculty: Michael Duncan

Offered: as an intensive in second semester 2019

Assessment:

Level 2
Essay (biographical) (1000 words) 30%
Essay (topical) (2000 words) 40%
Essay (application) (1000 words) 30%

Level 3
Essay (biographical) (1500 words) 30%
Essay (topical) (2000 words) 40%
Essay (application) (1500 words) 30%

Postgraduate
Essay (biographical) (2500 words) 30%
Essay (topical) (3000 words) 40%
Essay (application) (2500 words) 30%

Bibliography:

Primary Sources:

Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works, English Edition

Sanctorum Communio, (DBWE 1). Edited by Clifford J. Green. Translated by Reinhard and Nancy Lukens. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1998.

Act and Being, (DBWE 2). Edited by Wayne Whitson Floyd, Jr. Translated by H. Martin Rumscheidt. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1996.

Creation and Fall, (DBWE 3). Edited by John W. deGruchy. Translated by Douglas Stephen Bax. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1997.

Discipleship, (DBWE 4). Edited by Geffrey B. Kelly and John D. Godsey. Translated by Barbara Green and Reinhard Krauss. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2003.

Life Together. The Prayer Book of the Bible, (DBWE 5). Edited by Geffrey B. Kelly. Translated by Daniel W. Bloesch and James H. Burtness. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1996.

Ethics, (DBWE 6). Edited by Clifford J. Green. Translated by Reinhard Krauss, Charles C. West, and Douglas W. Stott. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2009.

Other Editions and Translations of Bonhoeffer’s Writings:

Creation and Fall & Temptation: Two Biblical Studies. CREATION AND FALL, translated from SCHSCHOPFUNG UND FALL, published by Chr. Kaiser Verlag, Munich, 1937. Translation by John C. Fletcher, revised by the editorial staff of the SCM Press. TEMPTATION, edited by Eberhard Bethge, first published by Chr. Kaiser Verlag, Munich, 1953, English Translation by Kathleen Downham. New York: Touchstone, 1997.

Letters and Papers from Prison. Edited by Eberhard Bethge. Translated by Christian Kaiser Verlag. London: SCM Press Ltd., 1971.

A Testament to Freedom: The Essential Writings of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Edited by Geffrey B. Kelly and F. Burton Nelson. New York: Harper Collins Publishers, 1995.

Secondary Literature:

Green, Clifford J. Bonhoeffer: A Theology of Sociality. Revised Edition. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1999.

Schlingensiepen, Ferdinand. Dietrich Bonhoeffer 1906 – 1945: Martyr, Thinker, Man of Resistance. London: Bloomsbury T & T Clark, 2012.