Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Religionless Christianity

You would be surprised, and perhaps even worried, by my theological thoughts and the conclusions that they lead to: and this is where I miss you most of all, because I don’t know anyone else with whom I could so well discuss them to have my thinking clarified. What is bothering me incessantly is the question what Christianity really is, or indeed who Christ really is, for us today.

The time when people could be told everything by means of words, whether theological or pious, is over, and so is the time of inwardness and acience – and that means the time of religion in general. We are moving towards a completely religionless time; people as they are now simply cannot be religious any more. Even those who honestly describe themselves as ‘religious’ do not in the least act up to it, and so they presumably mean something quite different by ‘religious.’

~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Letters and Papers from Prison (ed. Eberhard Bethge; New York: Touchstone, 1997). for the original notes, click here