Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Resistance to Evil


by Lisa Dahill

[1] “Who are you, Christ?” In her paper, “A Spoke in the Wheel,” Dr. Renate Wind has presented a compelling glimpse of a Christian whose probing of that question, that prayer, over the course of some of the most perilous years in human history can provide insight for us in our own potentially “perilous praxis.” Building on Dr. Wind’s paper, I would like to suggest specific means by which I see Bonhoeffer’s resistance to evil having taken shape for his own time, in concrete strategies stimulating new conversation and action today.[1] Note: I am treating Bonhoeffer’s response primarily to political evil, not to more specifically interpersonal or intrapsychic dynamics that might be experienced as destructive; by “political evil” I understand those systems, institutions, or events (crystallized here quite concretely in Hitler’s Nazi regime from 1933 on) whose actions or effects violate the revealed and discerned will…

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