On April 9, 1945 Dietrich Bonhoeffer was executed at a Nazi prison camp for his participation in the resistance movement and plot to assassinate Hitler. The Church remembers him on this day as a pastor, teacher and theologian, and an example of faithful witness in the face of evil.

Throughout 2024, LAMPa encourages congregations and communities to engage in study and conversation around Bonhoeffer’s life, legacy, and theology, especially in conjunction with the Draft Social Statement on Civic Life and Faith. Bonhoeffer serves as a model of how a faithful disciple can engage with questions of one’s role in society and how to best care for one’s neighbors. He offers one way for Christians to prioritize a “view from below,” prioritizing the impact on those marginalized and oppressed as the foundation for discerning ways forward as the Body of Christ. “Lutherans in Pennsylvania are already asking themselves how they are called to be in the world, especially in a contentious election year,” said Rev. Erin Jones, LAMPa’s Communications and Advocacy Engagement Manager. “While Bonhoeffer’s context is different from ours, he’s an important voice for Lutherans to study and engage with as we discern how we are called to be in community with one another.”

Today, LAMPa announces a partnership with Dr. Lori Brandt Hale of Augsburg University and President of the International Bonhoeffer Society-English Language Section, in crafting a curriculum for congregations and communities. The series, tentatively titled “Lessons from Dietrich Bonhoeffer in a House Divided and a World on Fire,” will walk participants through several weeks of learning and discussion rooted in the life and theology of Bonhoeffer, in conversation with the current context and call to ask one another Bonhoeffer’s central question, “Who is Jesus Christ for us today?”

The curriculum will be available later this year and will be easily adapted to various contexts, levels of engagement, and length of study. “In this, we hope to encourage many congregations to engage with Bonhoeffer and one another at a level that works best for them,” said Jones.

To show how engaging with Bonhoeffer can shape one’s understanding of discipleship and civic engagement, read Pastor Erin’s reflection on LAMPa’s Substack.

If you or your congregation want to get a jumpstart on reading, studying, and conversing with Bonhoeffer, here are some resources to get started. There is a wide range of resources about Bonhoeffer; this list attempts to balance accessibility with proven scholarship.

A Brief Biography of Bonhoeffer

Bonhoeffer – Documentary (2003)

Books By Bonhoeffer

The Bonhoeffer Reader

Life Together


Letters and Papers from Prison

Online Events

Thursday, April 18th – Zoomed Lecture at the 12th Annual Bonhoeffer Festival: The Battle over Bonhoeffer by Dr. Stephen R. Haynes

Online Articles

A Spoke in the Wheel – Journal of Lutheran Ethics (August 2003)

Bonhoeffer and the way of peace – Living Lutheran (May 8, 2018)

Why is Dietrich Bonhoeffer relevant today? (November 26th, 2019)

Is this a Bonhoeffer Moment? Lessons for American Christians from the Confessing Church in Germany (February 2018)

Public Statements by the IBS-ELS Board of Directors (2017, 2020, 2021)

Books About Bonhoeffer

Bonhoeffer for Armchair Theologians

The Battle for Bonhoeffer

Bonhoeffer’s Black Jesus: Harlem Renaissance Theology and an Ethic of Resistance

Theologian of Resistance: The Life and Thought of Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Theology, and Political Resistance

Bonhoeffer’s America: A Land Without Reformation

Bonhoeffer on Resistance: The Word Against the Wheel

Bonhoeffer and King: Their Legacies and Import for Christian Social Thought


Christian Student Movement Podcast – Season 2

The Bonhoeffer Podcast

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