Journal of Undergraduate Research


Dietrich Bonhoeffer, German pastor, Christian theology, Third Reich


Family, Home, and Social Sciences




The roots of this project stem from years of research into the life and theological work of Dietrich Bonhoeffer—a German pastor who contributed to 20th century Christian theology and who was executed for his work in movements opposing the Third Reich in Nazi Germany. As I have read biographies and articles in order to better understand Bonhoeffer’s writings and actions, I began to notice that scholars often take different approaches to portraying Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Some authors choose to highlight aspects of his life that others virtually ignore; some books emphasize elements of his theology that other biographies leave untouched. Over the course of my research I began to question why so many scholars could take such varying approaches to one man’s life and work, and—more importantly—why so many scholars continue to think that this man is worthy of attention. Essentially, I began to wonder how people portray Bonhoeffer, and why it is that he captures such wide and diverse attention.

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