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date: 23 January 2020

Abstract and Keywords

What did Bonhoeffer mean by the term ‘religion’ when writing about a ‘nonreligious form of interpretation’ of biblical concepts? How should we understand this term and its interpretation today? Has the world of the twenty-first century really become ‘religionless’? More broadly, how does Bonhoeffer’s interpretation relate to more recent accounts of secularity and our secular age? This chapter argues that Bonhoeffer’s theological analysis in his own time, in which he deployed this concept of ‘religionlessness’, resonates with a more recent analysis of secularity offered by Charles Taylor. Specifically, this chapter claims that Bonhoeffer and Taylor identify some similar causes of secularization, and also share a critique of ‘religious individualism’. Drawing Bonhoeffer into dialogue with Taylor, then, can help to clarify his understanding of secularity.

Keywords: nonreligious interpretation, Bonhoeffer, Charles Taylor, secularity, religionless Christianity, religious individualism

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