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Cover for The Battle for Bonhoeffer

The Battle for Bonhoeffer

Stephen R. Haynes


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The figure of Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945) has become a clay puppet in modern American politics. Secular, radical, liberal, and evangelical interpreters variously shape and mold the martyr's legacy to suit their own pet agendas.

Stephen Haynes offers an incisive and clarifying perspective. A recognized Bonhoeffer expert, Haynes examines "populist" readings of Bonhoeffer, including the acclaimed biography by Eric Metaxas, Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy. In his analysis Haynes treats, among other things, the November 2016 election of Donald Trump and the "Bonhoeffer moment" announced by evangelicals in response to the US Supreme Court's 2015 decision to legalize same-sex marriage.

The Battle for Bonhoeffer includes an open letter from Haynes pointedly addressing Christians who still support Trump. Bonhoeffer's legacy matters. Haynes redeems the life and the man.

William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 9780802876010, 213pp.

Publication Date: September 13, 2018

About the Author

Stephen R. Haynes is professor of religious studies at Rhodes College, adjunct professor of recovery ministry at Fuller Theological Seminary, and theologian-in-residence at Idlewild Presbyterian Church in Memphis, Tennessee. A contributor to The Christian Century and HuffPost, he is the author of several books, including The Battle for Bonhoeffer: Debating Discipleship in the Age of Trump and The Last Segregated Hour: The Memphis Kneel-Ins and the Campaign for Southern Church Desegregation.