The graduate student conference on Dietrich Bonhoeffer that we mentioned last fall is coming up soon, and the list of speakers and schedule is now set.
The conference will be held here, at Notre Dame, on April 10–11. The organizers have lined up three fantastic keynote speakers: Bernd Wannenwetsch from Oxford, speaking on Bonhoeffer and the meaning of disability; Christiane Tietz from the Johannes Gutenberg Universität Mainz, speaking on “Bonhoeffer and the Ontological Structure of the Church”; and Robin Lovin from Southern Methodist, speaking on “The Divine Mandates in an Age of Globalization.” There is a really marvelous line-up of student papers too, pairing Bonhoeffer with everyone from Lacoste to Agamben.
Registration is free, but it is strongly requested that you do register so we can have a decent count. Do consider coming!
I just finished watching a 90 minute documentary on Dietrich Bonhoeffer released in 2004. Although I can’t say whether the theological nuances of Bonhoeffer were respected (other than Discipleship, what I know of Bonhoeffer is second hand), I thought the movie was superb. It received very nice reviews and I would highly recommend it (it is available on the Netflix “watch now” for those who are interested). The documentary does a great job placing Bonhoeffer in his time and it is filled with reflections from contemporary theologians and friends/students of Bonhoeffer. There were many powerful moments throughout the film but the very last scene draws everything together so well. Eberhard Bethge reads from a now famous letter Bonhoeffer sent to him on July 21, 1944 after a plot to kill Hitler had failed. Many have probably read these words before but I’ll post them anyway (they are famous for a reason!):
I discovered later, and I am still discovering right up to this moment, that it is only by living completely in this world that one learns to have faith. By this-worldliness I mean living unreservedly in life’s duties, problems, successes, and failures. In so doing we throw ourselves completely into the arms of God, taking seriously not our own sufferings but those of God and the world. That, I think, is faith.
CALL FOR PAPERS
New Conversations on Bonhoeffer’s Theology
A Graduate Student Conference at the University of Notre Dame
April 10-11, 2011
Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-45) remains one of the most prominent and contested modern German theologians. His theology has been at the center of important discussions on pastoral theology, practical ethics, political responsibility, and the role of the Christian in the modern world. Bonhoeffer’s dramatic involvement in the assassination plot against Hitler, and consequent execution, has no doubt contributed to the widespread interest in his work. Today he is among the most widely read theologians in North America and Europe. Recent scholarship on Bonhoeffer’s theology, while attentive to these earlier discussions, has branched out in new directions. First, there has been increased interest in Bonhoeffer’s early and more academic works. Second, a number of recent studies have drawn Bonhoeffer into debates in continental philosophy and other disciplines. Third, there has been a renewed attentiveness to Bonhoeffer’s early twentieth-century theological and historical context. These developments indicate a growing interest in reading Bonhoeffer along systematic, philosophical and historical lines. Fourth, closer attention to Bonhoeffer’s engagement of Catholic interlocutors along these same lines has raised new prospects for Protestant-Catholic dialogue. The purpose of this conference is to draw together and further these developments.
New Conversations will feature papers by graduate students and senior scholars from North America and Europe, including:
Robin Lovin (Southern Methodist University)
Christiane Tietz (Johannes Gutenberg Universität Mainz)
Bernd Wannenwetsch (Oxford University)
Gerald McKenny, Randall Zachman, Cyril O’Regan, Krista Duttenhaver and other Notre Dame faculty will chair graduate student paper sessions.
We cordially invite graduate students to submit a one page abstract by 1 December 2010 to NDBonhoeffer@gmail.com for a paper 25 minutes in length. Please also indicate full contact details and institutional affiliation. We especially encourage abstracts on Bonhoeffer’s theology in relation to the following:
Early 20th century theology and history
Lutheran, Reformed, Anabaptist theology
Hans Urs von Balthasar
Ethics and moral theology
Enquiries may be directed to Adam Clark and Mike Mawson at NDBonhoeffer@gmail.com. New Conversations intends to provide accommodations for all student presenters and some travel costs for European students.
This event is sponsored by the Nanovic Institute for European Studies and the Notre Dame Theology Department.