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|Title:||Discipleship in a world come of age representation in the theology of Dietrich Bonhoeffer|
|Authors:||Hix, Eugene Duane|
|Abstract:||<p>The dominant thesis in this study of the theology of Dietrich Bonhoeffer is that his conception of discipleship, i.e. "representation", provides the proper basis for the non-religious interpretation of biblical concepts. The first chapter of the study explicates Bonhoeffer's answer to his question "Who is Christ?". The second then interprets, through the vehicle of the forms of Christ, Bonhoeffer's analysis of the world come of age. These two chapters prepare for the third, which specifically details what Bonhoeffer means by "representation" and then relates "representation" to the biblical concepts of the Word and the sacraments of baptism and the Lord's Supper. By comprehending these biblical concepts in light of "representation", the study shows that Bonhoeffer's earlier writings, e.g. the lectures on christology, The Cost of Discipleship, and the Ethics, provide an interpretative key to his enigmatic hypotheses about non-religious Christianity which are found in his Letters and Papers from Prison. This present study of Bonhoeffer's theology furthers the corpus of research on his writings by providing a more complete explanation of the relationship between discipleship and non-religious interpretation than has hitherto been offered. Previous commentators have noted the relationship, and have offered preliminary examinations, but this present study both demonstrates the connection of the rest of Bonhoeffer's though to "representation" and also offers specific examples of biblical concepts interpreted non-religiously on the basis of "representation". The implications of Bonhoeffer's non-religious interpretation on the basis of "representation" are profound are far-ranging, especially in regard to the structure and theology of ecclesiastical relationships, for example, between pastor and parishioner or between church and state. The place of the church in the community would be determined not by desire for a privileged status or even a separate domain, but by a sacrificial discipleship which would advocate the redistribution of church wealth into the hands of the poor. Underlying this very visible change in the church structure would be a theological interpretation of creeds and doctrines which is dominated by the necessity to unite word and deed, which seeks to understand doctrine not as a series of propositions requiring intellectual consent but as a statement of faith that includes a call to discipleship. On the other hand, a church community dominated by Bonhoeffer's non-religious interpretation based on "representation" would not advocate redistribution of its wealth, etc., because of any attempt to allow itself to be conformed by Christ into His forms of Incarnate One, Crucified One, and Resurrected One. By his willingness to allow himself to be conformed to Christ, the Christian will discover that Christ is revealing Himself to man come of age as a hidden, suffering, Lord, and the Christian will learn not to despair at the apparent absence of God in the world come of age. Bonhoeffer's interpretation of biblican concepts on the basis of "representation" will therefore have two primary implications: it will reveal to the modern Christian the presence of Christ in the world and it will direct that Christian toward a conformation with Christ the Crucified One.</p>|
|Appears in Collections:||Open Access Dissertations and Theses|
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