A New Book by Rev. Dr. Keith Clements, former General Secretary of the Conference of European Churches, August 2022
Keith Clements sets out how and why Dietrich Bonhoeffer, more than 75 years after his execution by the Nazis, still speaks cogently to both the churches and society. Beginning with the earlier reception of him as a martyr-figure and then as a provocatively original theologian, the book argues his relevance to contemporary engagement with public ethics, ecumenism, truth-telling and reconciliation, the relation between faith and democracy in a time of political extremisms, the issues of national identity signalled by Brexit, and the challenge of finding an ethical response to crises such as the global pandemic.
Bonhoeffer’s perception that living representatively on behalf of others is both the key to who God is as known in Jesus Christ, and the basis of all truly human community – this provides the connecting thread running throughout these chapters on what it means to believe and be responsible in a fragmenting world. Clements also links this thread to the 17th-century spiritual writer Thomas Traherne and the Catholic Modernist Friedrich von Hügel.
‘This rich collection of scholarly and constructive essays reveals Dietrich Bonhoeffer to be a vital resource for contemporary theology, not as one who provides a ready-made solution to every problem, but as a mentor who continues to inform our reflections on church and world. To read Bonhoeffer in the company of Keith Clements is to be impressed by the importance of theology for our times.’
David Fergusson, Regius Professor of Divinity, University of Cambridge, UK
‘This book invites us to consult with Bonhoeffer on matters of faith and responsible living in church and all spheres of society. It reveals the amazing relevance and significance of Bonhoeffer for ecumenical Public Theology today. Clements is one of the most authentic messengers to invite us toi such appointments.’
Nico Koopman, Vice-Rector, University of Stellenbosch, South Africa
‘Keith Clements shows his expertise in drawing sensitive lines from careful Bonhoeffer scholarship to current challenges. His approach of interpreting Bonhoeffer’s theology as a “fundamental theology”, which helps us to make up our own mind in regard to our problems, based on Bonhoeffer’s understanding of a humanity redeemed and reconciled through Christ, is a helpful hermeneutics against misusing Bonhoeffer for one’s own interest.’
Christiane Tietz, Professor of Systematic Theology, University of Zurich, Switzerland
Appointments with Dietrich Bonhoeffer: Personal Faith & Public Responsibility in a Fragmenting World is the most recent volume in the T&T Clark Series: New Studies in Bonhoeffer’s Theology and Ethics.
Listen to Rev. Dr. Keith Clements in the Fall 2021 Webinar, sponsored by the World Council of Churches, celebrating the 90th Anniversary of Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s entry into the ecumenical movement and its witness for peace.