The sacramentality of Bonhoeffer's ecclesiology

  • Author(s) / Creator(s)
  • This thesis analyses the development of Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s understanding of the bodily presence of Christ pro nobis in, with, and through the church-community. In studying his ecclesiology, the Christological basis for his comprehension of the church is displayed. The first chapter discusses the formation of Bonhoeffer’s early thoughts on the church as shaped by several individuals and circumstances. Chapter two explores his two doctoral works as foundational for his ecclesiology, captured by his terminology of “Christ existing as church-community.” Chapter three concerns Bonhoeffer’s ideas on the form of Christ in the church while a pastor and professor in Berlin. Chapter four examines his works in the second half of the 1930s when the strength of Christ’s presence in the church enhanced in meaning to withstand worldly pressures and to follow Christ in costly discipleship. The fifth chapter inspects Bonhoeffer’s late ecclesiology as he proclaimed the hidden Christ-reality in all the earth from which the church participates in disclosing by the work of the Holy Spirit. Throughout this thesis, it is argued that Bonhoeffer viewed the church sacramentally in looking exclusively to Christ’s living presence as the foundation for a proper self-understanding of the purpose and place of the church in the fallen world. He did not proclaim mere principles and methodologies as the substance of the church or suggest human faculties are involved in its creation or preservation. Instead, Bonhoeffer promoted a “religionless” Christianity where it is upheld and taught that the church is completely God’s actions on behalf of fallen humanity through the work of Christ. Considered as a whole, the sacramentality of Bonhoeffer’s ecclesiology displays the continuity of his theology.

  • Date created
  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Type of Item
    Research Material
  • DOI
  • License
    Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International