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date: 23 January 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Who was Dietrich Bonhoeffer and who is he for us today? These are the questions every biographer attempts to answer. But just as there are several different photographic portraits of Bonhoeffer adorning the covers of his books, so are there several possible accounts of his life. At best these complement each other. However not all are factually correct in every respect, and as each is filtered through the lens of the biographer, and contextually determined, so all are subject to bias. Biographies are interpretations written with particular readers in mind and expressing predilections in pursuit of an agenda. With this in mind, this essay critically examines six major Bonhoeffer biographies published in English, namely those by Eberhard Bethge, Mary Bosanquet, Edwin Robertson, Eric Metaxas, Charles Marsh, and Ferdinand Schlingensiepen.

Keywords: Bonhoeffer interpretation, biographies, Eberhard Bethge, Mary Bosanquet, Edwin Robertson, Eric Metaxas, Charles Marsh, Ferdinand Schlingensiepen.

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