The Bonhoeffer Theology and Social Analysis Unit will host three sessions at AAR this year; one is a joint session with the Schleiermacher Unit. Information about those sessions is listed below. We hope to see you there and look forward to your participation in the Q&A portions of each session. Please note the Business Meeting at the end of the first session on Saturday. We welcome your ideas for next year's call for papers!


Theme: Bonhoeffer, Public Discourse, and Resistance Ethics: Lessons from Bonhoeffer on the Climate Crisis, Planetary Care, and the Confederate Monument Debate

Saturday - 9:00 AM-11:30 AM

Convention Center-15B (Mezzanine Level)


This session underscores the idea that Bonhoeffer’s work makes a contribution to public theological discourse and Christian responsibility in the world. These papers engage Bonhoeffer’s work constructively and use Bonhoeffer’s thought to encourage Christian action in light of racism and the climate crisis.

Reggie Williams, McCormick Theological Seminary, Presiding

Ulrik Nissen, Aarhus University, Denmark

Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Polyphony of Life as a Contribution to Public Discourse


Karen V. Guth, College of the Holy Cross

"Heritage Not Hate" or "Heritage and Decay"? Lessons for White Christians from Dietrich Bonhoeffer on the Confederate Monument Debate


Adam Vander Tuig, Union Theological Seminary

Are We Still of Any Use? Bonhoeffer, Resistance, and Planetary Palliative Care


Business Meeting:

Lori Brandt Hale, Augsburg University

Stephen R. Haynes, Rhodes College



Theme: Church as Political Institution: Schleiermacher, Bonhoeffer, and Arendt on Public Faith and Political Action

Sunday - 3:30 PM-5:00 PM

Convention Center-24B (Upper Level East)


The aim of this session is to spur innovative conversations about the public life of Christian churches and communities. The session’s papers explore how these communities understand and undertake their work as political agents. Drawing selectively and critically from the work of Schleiermacher, Bonhoeffer, and Arendt, our presenters argue their own claims about love and forgiveness, shame and guilt, or reconciliation, in contemporary ecclesial and political contexts.


Shelli Poe, Millsaps College, Presiding

Lori Brandt Hale, Augsburg University, Presiding


David Robinson, Regent College

Against a Docetic Ecclesiology: Schleiermacher and Bonhoeffer on Christ’s Body Politic


Shinkyu Lee, Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago

Profiles of Religion in Forgiveness: Arendt and Bonhoeffer on Christian Forgiveness



Theme: Eighty Years Hence: Bonhoeffer in 1939

Monday - 1:00 PM-3:00 PM

Convention Center-24C (Upper Level East)


The papers in this session invite reflection on Bonhoeffer’s pivotal decisions in 1939 (returning to New York briefly, leaving America for Germany, joining the Resistance) as well as his critiques of American denominationalism and pragmatism. The presenters will draw out the implications of these decisions and critiques for Bonhoeffer in his context and point to their current relevance.


Michael DeJonge, University of South Florida, Presiding


Joshua Mauldin, Center of Theological Inquiry

Bonhoeffer on Protestantism without Reformation and Political Resistance


Joel Looper, University of Aberdeen

Dietrich Bonhoeffer's Encounter with American Pragmatism: A Juxtaposition of Two Types of Public Theological Discourse