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date: 23 January 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Bonhoeffer’s ecumenism was central and decisive to both his theology and activity from his later student days to his imprisonment. It was founded upon his ecclesiology as basically set out in Sanctorum Communio. The church being ‘Christ existing as community’ was applied by him to the fellowship of Christians across national and confessional boundaries and especially in its calling to embody and proclaim peace in the wold. In the Church Struggle he vigorously promoted the claim of the Confessing Church as the authentic Evangelical Church of Germany and argued for the ecumenical movement, for the sake of its own integrity and renewal, to accept that claim. His recruitment into the German resistance owed much to his having so many ecumenical contacts in the allied and neutral countries, but it also enabled him to pursue still more deeply his ecumenical interests, including relations with the Roman Catholic Church.

Keywords: ecumenical movement, ecclesiology, peace, Confessing Church, Roman Catholic Church, German resistance, Sanctorum Communio, Church Struggle

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