Bonhoeffer saw a “tired indifference”; dulled senses

Strange Glory–A Life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, p. 316

[S]he [the person in an unfinished novel Bonhoeffer was working on] refers to the very same “tired indifference” that Bonhoeffer believed had come to define the Weltanschauung of the educated classes. “Today is just like my experience a week ago when I rode the same train,” Bonhoeffer observed on the train ride to Munich. “In every car there is on average only one person reading a book. Most are dozing off alone, half awake. Clearly almost all are retracting from some hectic pursuit. Now they have a couple of spare hours merely to brook dully to themselves, neither happy nor unhappy.” This is the emblematic condition of the times: a state of apathetic waiting for some indeterminate future. It is not submission, rebellion, or defiance that weighs these people down, dulling their senses; it is this thing called “tired indifference.” “Focusing on a book seems to belong to a past age.”

Strange Glory: A Life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer


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