Saturday, February 03, 2018

Bonhoeffer's birthday

Tomorrow (Sunday) is Bonhoeffer's birthday. In anticipation, Englewood Review of Books has posted a few excerpts from his collected works.

Here's the first one, but the other ones are well-worth the reading, as well.

What is the meaning of weakness in this world? We all know that Christianity has been blamed ever since its early days for its message to the weak. Christianity is a religion of slaves, of people with inferiority complexes; it owes its success only to the masses of miserable people whose weakness and misery Christianity has glorified. It was the attitude towards the problem of weakness in the world, which made everybody to followers or enemies of Christianity. Against the new meaning which Christianity gave to the weak, against this glorification of weakness, there has always been the strong and indignant protest of an aristocratic philosophy of life which glorified strength and power and violence as the ultimate ideals of humanity. We have observed this very fight going on up to our present days. Christianity stands or falls with its revolutionary protest against violence, arbitrariness and pride of power and with its apologia for the weak. – I feel that Christianity is rather doing too little in showing these points than doing too much. Christianity has adjusted itself much too easily to the worship of power. It should give much more offence, more shock to the world, than it is doing. Christianity should take a much more definite stand for the weak than to consider the potential moral right of the strong.—Sermon on 2 Corinthians 12:9, London, 1934 in Works, Vol 13, 402-3 (emphasis added by Englewood)

No comments: