The Battle for Bonhoeffer

Rights Contact Login For More Details

More About This Title The Battle for Bonhoeffer


The figure of Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906–1945) has become a clay puppet in modern American politics. Secular, radical, liberal, and evangelical interpreters variously shape and mold the martyr’s legacy to suit their own pet agendas.

Stephen Haynes offers an incisive and clarifying perspective. A recognized Bonhoeffer expert, Haynes examines “populist” readings of Bonhoeffer, including the acclaimed biography by Eric Metaxas, Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy. In his analysis Haynes treats, among other things, the November 2016 election of Donald Trump and the “Bonhoeffer moment” announced by evangelicals in response to the US Supreme Court’s 2015 decision to legalize same-sex marriage.

The Battle for Bonhoeffer includes an open letter from Haynes pointedly addressing Christians who still support Trump. Bonhoeffer’s legacy matters. Haynes redeems the life and the man.


Stephen R. Haynes is professor of religious studies at Rhodes College and theologian-in-residence at Idlewild Presbyterian Church in Memphis, Tennessee. The coauthor of Bonhoeffer for Armchair Theologians, he has also written articles about Bonhoeffer and American culture for the Huffington Post and the Christian Century.