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Title: Dietrich Bonhoeffer's ecumenism of discipleship
Author: Jodon, Cole Christian
ISNI:       0000 0004 8498 4560
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2019
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This thesis provides a constructive account of Dietrich Bonhoeffer's ecumenical theology. The thesis argues that Bonhoeffer's concept of discipleship is the operative theological content of his ecumenical works. The crux of Bonhoeffer's ecumenism of discipleship can be found in claims 1) that an ecumenical theology would arise from an understanding of the church as "the presence of Christ on earth" - as "Christus Praesens," and 2) that this church "has the task of speaking [Christ's] word to the entire world." These claims mirror Bonhoeffer's concept of discipleship, understood as simple obedience to the commands of Christ, which can be heard where Christ is present - in the church as Christus Praesens. Thus, Bonhoeffer's account of the church as Christus Praesens forms the foundation of his ecumenical theology, and his concept of discipleship provides its operative theological content. The thesis begins by explicating Bonhoeffer's account of the church as Christus Praesens, revealing an understanding of the church as the present revelatory person of Christ. This understanding of the church inheres church unity, and posits church visibility as an inevitable byproduct of discipleship. As such, the basic presuppositions of Bonhoeffer's ecumenical theology challenge and re-narrate prevailing ecumenical thought on the topics of the church, church unity, and church visibility. Once these three topics have been attended to and placed in dialogue with contemporary ecumenical thought, the dissertation's final chapter presents Bonhoeffer's ecumenism of discipleship. This ecumenical theology does not provide a system, but rather a singular focus upon obedience to Christ's commands. The result is an ecumenism ruled over by Christ, discipleship to whom orders the church internally towards itself and externally towards the world; a versatile and accountable ecumenism which truly engages the whole church, from a global scale down to the one to one relations of everyday discipleship.
Supervisor: Greggs, Tom ; Mawson, Michael G. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Christian union ; Christian life ; Church