In the process of completing theÂ Christian Devotional ClassicsÂ series, I was inspired to digÂ into material which I wrote on the prayer life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer forÂ Theology and Practice of Prayer[footnote]SF/ST 777: Theology and Practice of Prayer.Â Laurie Mellinger, Ph.D. Evangelical Seminary. Summer 2012.Â Course Description: This course explores various aspects of the interplay between theology and prayer. What we believe about God determines how and why we pray; this has also been true for Christians throughout the history of the Church. We will examine both historical persons and methods of praying from a variety of Christian traditions, and discuss their potential for deepening our own relationships with God. This course provides the opportunity for students to study and experience a variety of Christian prayer forms, and to discern the theological foundations upon which they rest. We will take a historical approach, discussing prayer in the Scriptures and its application in the lives of persons of prayer throughout the Christian era. We will also consider the place and practice of prayer in the contemporary church, both for individuals and for corporate gatherings.[/footnote] Click here forÂ Who Am I? Dietrich Bonhoeffer as a Historical Mentor in Prayer: Part 1.Â As you read Part 2, reflect uponÂ how you respond to your
- upbringing: familial — including expectations and educational/cultural power (or lack of it), cultural, educational, ethnic, religious, socio-economic . . .
- your international/cross-cultural relationships
- academic mentors and gatekeepers, particularly when one’s conscience is challenged.
- community — how do you understand/define your closest/deepest community?
- Lord (i.e., Jesus the Christ) with your head, heart, and hands in all aspects of life (including vocation).
- “legacy” as you perceive it to be developing.
Who Am I?Â â€“ A Glimpse of Dietrich Bonhoefferâ€™s Context
Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945)Â was born into a â€œmiddle-class,â€ aristocratic Prussian family which moved to a Berlin suburb when his father Dr. Karl Bonhoeffer (1868-1948) was appointed Professor of Psychiatry and Neurology at University of Berlin, the most highly-regarded chair in Germany at the time. Karl and his wife Paula (1874-1951) valued education, the arts, the state, the church as an institution, the family, and the Protestant work ethic. The childrenâ€™s early schooling began with Paula and was continued by governesses from the Herrnhut community. Paulaâ€™s mother was a German countess. Her father was a practical theology professor and a military chaplain, who briefly served Kaiser Wilhem II. She had a grandfather who had been a famous church historian at the University of Jena. [Read more…] about Who Am I? Bonhoeffer as a Historical Mentor in Prayer: Part 2