Friday, January 26, 2007

Brief review of Bonhoeffer “Reflections on the Bible”

As you can see from the quote of the day for the last week or so, I have been reading Reflections on the Bible. It is a short little book, only 128 pages, of selections from many of the volumes in the Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Works series. The book was put together in celebration of Bonhoeffer’s one hundredth birthday in 2005; since the English translations for some of the Works aren’t done yet, the quotes are direct translations from the German edition.

I must say, I am ambivalent about the book. In many ways, it is a wonderful distillation of Bonhoeffer quotes. In other ways, it is far too short, and I would have chosen some other writings to include instead of what they chose. Of course, that is the nature of a short anthology–everyone has their own favorite passages and wants to see them included. Since I didn’t choose them, I will find something “better” that should have been included.

The other thing is the price; at a list price of $9.95 for 128 pages it seems overpriced. But, when the alternative is to buy all 17 volumes of Bonhoeffer’s Works ( or Werke since some are still only in German), and then find the time to read them–and mark the best passages…Well, $9.95 suddenly doesn’t seem too bad.

Although I enjoyed reading it, I probably won’t keep the volume in my library, but will pass it on. After all, why should I have the short one when I have the English volumes of Works already (and bookshelf space is at a premium in our house)?

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So, watch for it to appear on the Used Books section at Eisenbrauns in the next few days—which reminds me, you definitely should subscribe to our RSS feeds : )
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