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Faith in dark times

Winchester examines Bonhoeffer’s ethics

Michael B. Lukens will present “Bonhoeffer and the Modern Challenge of Faith” at 6:30 p.m. Monday, June 25, at the Waupaca Area Public Library.

Sponsored by Winchester Academy, the program is free and open to the public.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer lived from 1906 to 1945. He has become a central figure in the modern church primarily because of his courageous resistance against and execution by the Nazis. He is also known and for the insights of his theological and pastoral writings.

Bonhoeffer’s life, his contributions for reassessing Christian life and action, and the contemporary relevance of his witness have become components in faith education.

At the same time, Lukens says Bonhoeffer has become intensely controversial for at least three reasons.

First, Bonhoeffer’s resistance efforts and role in an assassination attempt on Hitler continue to raise questions about the validity of deep resistance and violence by persons of faith.

Second, his writings on ethics toward the end of his life have upended traditional moral education.

Finally, his letters from prison in 1944 argue for a reconfiguration of traditional Christianity, creating profound challenges for those seeking to live faithfully amid a religious but broken and tumultuous world.

Presenter Lukens believes that no single figure today is more important for those who are interested and committed to a vital faith in our time.

Lukens is professor of religious studies emeritus at St. Norbert College, DePere, where he taught for nearly 40 years in the areas of historical theology and the history of the Christian tradition.

He has academic degrees from Johns Hopkins University, Union Theological Seminary New York, Princeton, and a doctorate from Brown University.

Since 1985 he has been a research and program consultant with the Bonhoeffer Haus, Berlin. He was president of the International Bonhoeffer Society from 2000-05, a member of its board of directors and has lectured on Bonhoeffer widely in the U.S., Germany and Colombia.

Lukens is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church.

Winchester Academy programs are funded through sponsors and tax-deductible donations. Rita and Bob Danielson are sponsors of this program.

For more information about Winchester Academy, check winchesteracademywaupaca.org, follow the group on Facebook, or contact Executive Director Ann Buerger Linden at 715-258-2927 or [email protected].

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