Bonhoeffer: Theology and Social Analysis Unit

The “Bonhoeffer: Theology and Social Analysis Unit” invites paper proposals on themes related to Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s life, theology, and legacy.

In light of 2023 AAR President Amir Hussain’s conference theme, La Labor de Nuestras Manos, we welcome proposals that offer constructive explorations of Bonhoeffer’s theological, practical, and ethical legacy as it pertains to the multifaceted work of our hands – as scholars, practitioners, and educators of religion and theology. The influences of and insights afforded by Bonhoeffer’s travels and “experiences abroad” in Rome, Barcelona, Harlem, the American South, Cuba, and London (while working as a student, scholar, and pastor) have been of increasing interest to scholars in recent years. Our conference in San Antonio affords a welcome opportunity to consider what light might be shed by Bonhoeffer’s border-crossing experiences on such topics as La Frontera / borderlands, the maintenance and transgression of various boundaries – geographical, religious, ethical, etc. – and other moral and political borderline cases.

On the 80th anniversary of Bonhoeffer’s arrest (April 5, 1943), we also invite proposals addressing “Bonhoeffer and Incarceration.” We especially welcome proposals that engage Bonhoeffer’s prison writings in conversation with contemporary discourses on criminality, culpability, complicity, mass incarceration, prison abolition, prison chaplaincy, social sin, structural evil, teaching in prisons, etc.

Mission Statement:
This Unit seeks to explore the historical and contemporary interface between theology and public life within the context of Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s legacy in theology. Together with professional societies affiliated in the study of Bonhoeffer’s life and thought, the Unit has explored a variety of topics from medical ethics to political life in a global context.

Karen V. Guth, College of the Holy Cross ([email protected])
Matthew Puffer, Valparaiso University ([email protected])




The English Language Section is dedicated to advancing the theology and legacy of German pastor-theologian and Nazi resister, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, in the academy, church, and world, and has been on the forefront of this work for the last fifty years.

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