Bonhoeffer And The Sovereign State

Bonhoeffer saw himself as a faithful follower of Luther in his refusal of what Germans were asked to render to their terrible Caesar. Any reduction of Luther’s doctrine of the “Two Kingdoms” to a notion that there are two spheres, “the one divine, holy, supernatural, and Christian, and the other worldly, profane, natural, and un-Christian,” Bonhoeffer held to be a vulgarization. The modern reading of the Two Kingdoms—a reading shaped (Bonhoeffer would say deformed) by the Enlightenment—unwittingly finalized the separation of Christian concerns from the secular and profane. “On the Protestant side,” he writes, “Luther’s doctrine of the Two Kingdoms was misinterpreted as implying the emancipation and sanctification of the world and of the natural. Government, reason, economics, and culture arrogate to themselves a right of autonomy, but do not in any way understand this autonomy as bringing them into opposition to Christianity.” The Lutheran misunderstanding of Luther contributed over time to the Enlightenment cult of reason and the emergence of the self-mastering self.”


The Cost of the Enlightenment-AERC 2019 (Video)


The Cost of the Enlightenment-AERC 2019 (Transcript of presentation)


Isaiah’s Job-by Albert Jay Nock (Reading of Essay)


Isaiah’s Job-Albert Jay Noch (printed version of essay)


Bonhoeffer on Church and State, Part 1-Acton Institute


Bonhoeffer on Church and State, Part 2-Acton Institute


Bonhoeffer on Church and State, Part 3-Acton Institute


The Political Theology of Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Ethical Problems of Tyrannicide