Bonhoeffer’s Politics and Ours
The Conclusion considers the distance between Bonhoeffer’s politics and ours. Our own thinking about political resistance in the West tends to begin with the idea of inviolable human rights, the protection of which is a chief duty of the state. If the state allows those rights to be violated or violates them itself, individual citizens ought to resist, and the church should lend its moral authority. As this book has shown, Bonhoeffer’s vision of resistance differs from ours in several important ways. His political thinking privileges not rights but the state’s mandate for preservation. And for him it is not the chief task of the church but rather humanitarian organizations to speak out against the state on moral grounds. This latter, consistently articulated distinction between humanitarian organizations and the church as the gospel community frequently sets Bonhoeffer’s politics at some distance from ours.
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