Attacks on Christendom in a World Come of Age: Kierkegaard, Bonhoeffer, and the Question of ''Religionless Christianity''

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Though Søren Kierkegaard and Dietrich Bonhoeffer both made considerable contributions to twentieth-century thought, they are rarely considered together. Against Kierkegaard's melancholic individual, Bonhoeffer stands as the champion of the church and community. In Attacks on Christendom, Matthew D. Kirkpatrick challenges these stereotypical readings of these two vital thinkers. Through an analysis of such concepts as epistemology, ethics, Christology, and ...
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Attacks on Christendom in a World Come of Age: Kierkegaard, Bonhoeffer, and the Question of ''Religionless Christianity''

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Overview

Description:
Though Søren Kierkegaard and Dietrich Bonhoeffer both made considerable contributions to twentieth-century thought, they are rarely considered together. Against Kierkegaard's melancholic individual, Bonhoeffer stands as the champion of the church and community. In Attacks on Christendom, Matthew D. Kirkpatrick challenges these stereotypical readings of these two vital thinkers. Through an analysis of such concepts as epistemology, ethics, Christology, and ecclesiology, Kirkpatrick reveals Kierkegaard's significant influence on Bonhoeffer throughout his work. Kirkpatrick shows that Kierkegaard underlies not only Bonhoeffer's spirituality but also his concepts of knowledge, being, and community. So important is this relationship that it was through Kierkegaard's powerful representation of Abraham and Isaac that Bonhoeffer came to adhere to an ethic that led to his involvement in the assassination attempts against Hitler.

However, this relationship is by no means one-sided. Attacks on Christendom argues for the importance of Bonhoeffer as an interpreter of Kierkegaard, drawing Kierkegaard's thought into his own unique context, forcing Kierkegaard to answer very different questions. Bonhoeffer helps in converting the obscure, obdurate Dane into a thinker for his own, unique age.

Both Kierkegaard and Bonhoeffer have been criticized and misunderstood for their final works that lay bare the religious climates of their nations. In the final analysis, Attacks on Christendom argues that these works are not unfortunate endings to their careers, but rather their fulfilment, drawing together the themes that had been brewing throughout their work.

Endorsements:
""Kierkegaard and Bonhoeffer are undoubtedly two of the greatest figures of modern theology, and there has been much speculation and suggestion as to the influence of the one on the other. However, Kirkpatrick is the first to have documented the scope of Bonhoeffer's reading of Kierkegaard and laid the foundations for a proper scholarly assessment of their relationship, including recognition of their differences. But he does more than this, since he goes on to explore the interweaving of shared themes in their two bodies of work and to show how they combine to offer both a powerful critique of conventional Christianity and a vision for the renewal of Christian discipleship. Kirkpatrick's work is an excellent example of how to combine Christian commitment and scholarly rigor and may be strongly commended to all contemporary Christians who are seriously concerned about the church's uncertain, intellectual response to modernity.""
--George Pattison
Christ Church, Oxford

""Finally we have a book on Kierkegaard and Bonhoeffer that reflects a comprehensive study of both men, thereby providing a solid basis for future research in the area as well as identifying in the two a powerful, shared voice for speaking to today's world.""
--Andrew J. Burgess
Professor of Philosophy Emeritus
The University of New Mexico

About the Contributor(s):
Matthew D. Kirkpatrick is tutor in Theology and Ethics at Wycliffe Hall, University of Oxford.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781608995509
  • Publisher: Wipf & Stock Publishers
  • Publication date: 8/28/2011
  • Series: Princeton Theological Monograph Series
  • Pages: 260
  • Product dimensions: 6.90 (w) x 9.90 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Matthew D. Kirkpatrick is tutor in Theology and Ethics at Wycliffe Hall, University of Oxford.

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