Sunday, April 09, 2006

Bonhoeffer

On this day, 9 April 1945, in a German concentration camp, the great German Lutheran theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer was murdered, hanged naked alongside comrades with whom he had conspired to kill Adolf Hitler.

All these issues of "faith" and "belief". Your author has often been accused of reducing his ideas about theology and philosophy to "ethics." If, by the latter, one means action which is kind to people, and doesn't harm them, "GUILTY! GUILTY! GUILTY!"

This post will undoubtedly be revised and expanded, for DB has meant much in the life of your author, and the latter is still sorting it all out, which is what we should all be doing all of the time. ["The unexamined life is not worth living."] [Of course, all life is worth living, because change and growth is always possible.]

Perhaps your author's favourite passage from DB: "There is hardly anything that can make one happier than to feel than one counts for something with other people. ... People are more important than anything else in life." [DB wrote this in a Berlin prison, while awaiting execution.]

Peace.

3 Comments:

Blogger RtR said...

I often consider "the unexamined life is not worth living" statement in view of a statement (whether accurate or not) that in a generalized native (north) american worldview, humans are cursed by their reason. This in stark contrast to the european enlightenment worldview that humans are made (more) godlike/perfect/blessed by their reason. I find a compelling parallel between the judeo-christian metaphor of the expulsion from eden and the yup'ik eskimo origin myths in which humans, after being taught by the animals somehow lost their ability to communicate with any but other humans.

No matter how much we try, we are not going to have a better past. Perhaps leaving things not worse than we found them is sufficiency unto itself and may serve as a balance to the law of entropy.

5:37 PM  
Anonymous earthboundmisfit said...

I knew about this plot to kill Hitler, and that those who had hoped to accomplish the task were killed; of course I'd heard Bonhoeffer's name included there - but I had no real understanding of him as the great humanitarian (or humanist?) soul he was. Thank you for keeping his memory alive - he remained on the higher plane of his convictions to the end...

7:13 PM  
Anonymous Hari said...

Did someone say "entropy"?

8:15 AM  

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