For students of Bonhoeffer yet another milestone is about to be passed. The English translation of volume 14 of Bonhoeffer's works is due to be released by the end of October. Between 1935 and 1937 Bonhoeffer was engaged in theological education and pastoral formation at the underground seminary in Finkenwalde. The slim book, Life Together, is as near a Rule for that Christian Community as he ever came to write. It is a passionate exposition of the disciplina arcana of a Christian pastoral spirituality resilient enough to resist the Nazification of German culture and the widespread collaborative capitulation of vast swathes of the German Church.
This new volume gathers together for the first time Bible studies, sermons, lectures on pastoral theology and preaching, a huge collection of writing from the rapidly maturing Bonhoeffer who wrote at this time Life Together and Discipleship. At over 1250 pages I did wonder if it might come in two volumes - so I asked the good folk at Fortress - but no, it will be one very thick and heavy book. Cumbersome, but only in the sense that gold bricks are. I'm finishing off the other stuff I'm reading just now so that when this book is unloaded onto my desk there will be room for it, and time to join the seminary classes out of which came some of the most courageous pastors, many of whom would not survive the war.