Dietrich Bonhoeffer & „New Monasticism”

..the restoration of the church will surely come only from a new type of monasticism which has nothing in common with the old but a complete lack of compromise in a life lived in accordance with the Sermon on the Mount in the discipleship of Christ.  I think it is time to gather people together to do this…’   

-Dietrich Bonhoeffer (January 14, 1935)

 Apr. 26, 1935: Dietrich Bonhoeffer founds a  Seminary to train Pastors for the underground Confessing Church (Evangelical Christians persecuted by the Nazis); putting into practice his teachings of a New Monasticism.   In 1937 Himmler declared the Seminary illegal.  By the following November, 27 of its former students had been arrested.

Both the term itself, and the actual existence of the new and ever-expanding Christian movement called New Monasticism actually had its origins in the writing, teaching, and practice of Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

It began on April 26, 1935 when Bonhoeffer brought into practice his interest in monastic teaching in the founding of an illegal seminary in Zingst, Germany, during WWII.  In June of that year it moved to Finkenwalde.  Himmler ordered State Security police to close it down in 1937, imprisoning 27 of its students.

The same year Bonhoeffer wrote his most famous book, The Cost of Discipleship.  Dietrich was executed by the Nazis on Apr. 9, 1945 at Flossenburg Prison, just a few weeks before the end of WWII.  He was 39 years old.

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