Saturday June 30
Sorry I haven’t emailed you earlier, but I’ve been trying to condense the great topics and discussions and questions we are enjoying in our theological dialogue here in Sigtuna. We have a good number of participants and many new historical issues and differing theological aspects of Bonhoeffer’s life and theology that we have been presented with from the lecturers…that really have been interesting.
First of all…the Sigtuna location for this Congress has been an excellent choice…both for its beautiful, comfortable, and ascetic qualities that lend themselves so well to group theological interaction and the wonderful fellowship that Bonhoeffer Congresses seem to initiate and and provide a sense of continuity for returning and new participants each year. The rooms here are very nice and the food has been the best (I think) ever.
Secondly, the historical reality that Bishop Bell and Bonhoeffer had their secret meeting here in Sigtuna (in an upper room in a building down in the village of Sigtuna, rather than here on this campus) makes this very special as the Congresses , I believe , are always held at places Bonhoeffer met with people in ecumenical and in critical consideration of how to apply Christian thought and action to resistance to Hitler and the Nazi tragedy for the German people. This location for the Congress makes us feel the living history of Bonhoeffer’s lasting influence on the contemporary, authentic and world changing witness of Christians and Churches trying to live in faith to God, Christ and one another. We have taken several trips to the upper room where Bell and Bonhoeffer met.
And, thirdly…concepts have come up in the lectures each day that give us several new things to question and consider. I can’t address them all, but here are some of the issues and discussions:
What if Bishop Bell’s and Bonhoeffer’s meeting had gained the response and help of the British and the Allies to assist and really respond to what Bonhoeffer and the other conspirators were trying to do?
What about the new issue for many of us that the longstanding question of how could a Christian get involved in assassinating a governmental leader? What has come up in this Congress is the concept of “Tyrannicide” having some sense of justification in attempting to topple and murderous governmental leader? “Tyrannicide” was something new to many of us in this Congresses’ lectures and discussion.
I must stop here, but will try to give you a more thorough report when I get home (although I must humbly admit there is a wealth of issues in this Congress that will take me some time to try to look at again to come up with hopefully accurate descriptions of what we have been presented with here at Sigtuna.
Yours in Christ,