Review: Dietrich Bonhoeffer: An Introduction to His Thought

41rTZTDkfULSabine Dramm received a doctorate in education science from the University of Bonn in Bonn, Germany. She has studied evangelical theology and social science as well as philosophy and education. Dramm is the author of Dietrich Bonhoeffer and the Resistance (Fortress Press, 2009) and Dietrich Bonhoeffer Eine Einführung in sein Denken (Gütersloher Verlagshaus, 2001). The present volume, Dietrich Bonhoeffer: An Introduction to His Thought (Hendrickson Publishers, 2015), is a reprint (previously published in 2007 by Hendrickson Publishers and 2010 by Baker Publishing Group) of the English translation of Dramm’s latter mentioned title.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer: An Introduction to His Thought is a unique and important work for anyone looking to get better acquainted with the life and theology of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Those familiar with Bonhoeffer (which should be many given the success of the biography Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Eric Metaxas) will also find much to glean from Dramm’s work. The uniqueness of Dramm’s approach comes in the form of her unusual ability to intermingle a well-positioned introduction to Bonhoeffer’s thought (which encompasses Bonhoeffer’s sermons, letters, articles, and books) with a survey of his life story. Dramm not only captures Bonhoeffer’s theology with clarity, but she does it in a similar manner as Bonhoeffer did himself—integrating both life and theology.

There is much to be praised about Dramm’s work. For starters, she has meticulously documented her engagement and summation of Bonhoeffer’s work. The number of cross-references scattered throughout Dramm’s work is impressive. Unless otherwise mentioned, Dramm consistently references the official collection of Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Works published by Fortress Press. Still, Dramm has provided more than a mere overview of Bonhoeffer’s works. She has developed a pattern of Bonhoeffer’s thought throughout his numerous works, and uses that pattern as a platform to guide the reader through the depths of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Finally, Dramm is extremely lucid and readable. Dietrich Bonhoeffer: An Introduction to His Thought is easily one of the the most accessible and informative books on Bonhoeffer available today.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer has fascinated the hearts and minds of many in the twenty-first century. He is a symbol of courage and fortitude, with a passion for God’s people and a determination for the wellbeing of the Church. Bonhoeffer is a man of many mysteries and is often overlooked in the arena of theological rigor. Still, Dietrich Bonhoeffer: An Introduction to His Thought by Sabine Dramm will rightly ignite a newfound flame of passion in that arena, and open the doors to invite those in the streets on a tour. In fact, anyone with even the slightest interest in Bonhoeffer will do themselves a disservice if they overlook this book. It comes highly recommended

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