Dietrich Bonhoeffer: Recommended Resources

by the Editors

Resources for further study of Bonhoeffer and his times.

[Christian History originally published this article in Christian History Issue 32 in 1991 ]

For information about Bonhoeffer’s own writings, see Exploring Bonhoeffer’s Writings in this issue. Here Dr. Clifford Green, professor of theology and ethics at Hartford Seminary, recommends books about Bonhoeffer. For a comprehensive bibliography, see Bonhoeffer Bibliography: Primary Sources and Secondary Literature in English by Wayne W. Floyd and Clifford J. Green (Evanston: American Theological Library Association, 1991). For information about scholarly publications and conferences, write: The Bonhoeffer Society, English Language Section, c/o Dr. Geffrey B. Kelly, Secretary, La Salle University, 1950 West Olney Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19141.

• Eberhard Bethge, Dietrich Bonhoeffer: Man of Vision, Man of Courage (New York: Harper & Row, 1970). The standard biography, by Bonhoeffer’s closest friend and editor; unrivaled.

• Eberhard Bethge, Costly Grace: An Illustrated Introduction to Dietrich Bonhoeffer (New York: Harper & Row, 1979). A short biography, written about a decade after the previous one.

• Eberhard Bethge, et al., eds., Dietrich Bonhoeffer: A Life in Pictures (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1986). An informative historical presentation through photographs—a great gift.

• Keith Clements, A Patriotism for Today: Love of Country in Dialogue with Dietrich Bonhoeffer (London: Collins, 1986). Written by a British scholar in the wake of the Falklands War, it addresses a perennially vexing question.

• Geffrey B. Kelly, Liberating Faith: Bonhoeffer’s Message for Today (Minneapolis: Augsburg, 1984). A fine introduction to Bonhoeffer’s thought.

• Larry Rasmussen, Dietrich Bonhoeffer: Reality and Resistance (Nashville: Abingdon, 1972). A scholarly examination of the theology and ethics informing Bonhoeffer’s role in the anti-Hitler plot.

• Larry Rasmussen, Dietrich Bonhoeffer: His Significance for North Americans (Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress, 1990). A collection of recent essays relating Bonhoeffer to contemporary issues; contains an essay on Bonhoeffer’s family by his niece, Renate Bethge.

• Benjamin Reist, The Promise of Bonhoeffer (Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1969). An early but useful study.

• Wolf-Dieter Zimmermann and Ronald Gregor Smith, eds., I Knew Dietrich Bonhoeffer: Reminiscences by His Friends (New York: Harper & Row, 1966). Brief, interesting portraits by friends remembering different stages of his life.

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