Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 23 January 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The catalyst in Bonhoeffer’s student theology was his discovery of Karl Barth. Adopting Barth’s focus on revelation brought him into tension with his teachers in Berlin whose theological methods were characterized by, to use Barth’s pejoratives, historicism and psychologism. From the perspective of a theology of revelation, Bonhoeffer criticized his teacher Karl Holl’s theology of conscience and its psychologistic appropriation of Martin Luther. However, Bonhoeffer could not square his conviction about the theological importance of the Church in its historical form with Barth’s then thin account of the relationship between revelation and history. He also discerned in Barth traces of individualistic and epistemologically oriented philosophy, which he thoroughly critiqued. For these reasons, Bonhoeffer cultivated during his student years a social, historical understanding of revelation as Christ’s (inter)personal presence in the church, often drawing insight from Luther, now interpreted Christocentrically rather than in terms of the conscience.

Keywords: Bonhoeffer, Barth, Holl, Luther, revelation, conscience, philosophy, Church

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.