Dietrich Bonhoeffer scholar speaks March 30

Rockford College presents “Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945) As a Life Worthy of Consideration,” Thursday, March 30, at 7 p.m., at Fisher Memorial Chapel on the Rockford College Campus. The event is free and open to the public. Fisher Chapel is accessible. Parking is available in Lot A.

Noted Bonhoeffer Studies scholar James Patrick Kelley, Ph.D., will discuss the life and ethical theology of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who helped organize the Confessing Church, Germany’s only true organized challenge to the Nazi state.

At age 39, Bonhoeffer was executed by the Nazis, but his influence on Christian life lives on. A prolific writer and acclaimed preacher, he traveled to New York on a teaching fellowship and taught Sunday school at the famed African-American Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem.

He returned to Germany in 1931 with a new awareness of racial prejudice, and became one of the first clear voices to challenge the Christian churches to stand with the Jews in their moment of need. The integrity of his faith has led believers everywhere to recognize him as the one theologian who can lead future generations into the new millennium.

Speaker James Patrick Kelley, Ph.D., Yale University (Religious Studies: Systematic Theology) is an internationally acknowledged scholar of Bonhoeffer Studies, German Church struggle and the Holocaust. Until recently, he was visiting professor at the University of the South (Episcopal), Sewanee, Tenn. Dr. Kelley has written extensively and is well known in the International Bonhoeffer Society.

The event at Rockford College, made possible through the support of the Father Robert Verstynen Trust, is the first in a series titled “How Then Shall We Live?,” which applies Bonhoeffer’s ideas to life in the 21st century. Six additional presentations will be given at various locations in Rockford March 30-April 2. They include the following:

Friday, March 31, 11:45 a.m. to 1:15 p.m., Katie’s Cup at Stockholm Inn;

Friday, March 31, 7 p.m., Our Savior’s Lutheran Church;

Saturday, April 1, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Our Savior’s Lutheran Church (Call 229-1032 for reservations);

Sunday, April 2, Fusion, 7:30 a.m., Channel 23 (Cable Channel 5); and

Sunday, April 2, 9 a.m. and 10 a.m., Second Congregational Church.

Info: Peter Thomas at 229-1032 or

From the March 29-April 4, 2006, issue

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