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date: 23 January 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s role in the 20 July conspiracy to overthrow the Nazi regime has been a central theme in the scholarship about his life and theology. This aspect of his life has also generated controversy, since many scholars see a discrepancy between his early pacifist writings and the use of violence by the conspiracy. This chapter will examine Bonhoeffer’s role in the German resistance circles in the context of historical scholarship about the resistance. It will offer an overview of Bonhoeffer’s historical role, examine where he stood on the larger landscape of the different German resistance groups, and discuss problematic aspects of the German resistance including war crimes. It will also examine how his political engagement during this period may have influenced his theological work.

Keywords: 20 July conspiracy, violence, war crimes, Nazi Germany, resistance

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