This course takes its title from a series of letters and papers that Dietrich Bonhoeffer composed while imprisoned in Berlin from 1943-1945. The theological questions posed by Bonhoeffer in these personal letters will set the tone for this course, as well as its overall aims. Specifically, those aims are to identify and to critically assess a variety of challenges that have been posed against religious thought and belief by the rapid development of secular culture and its rising influence in the modern, Western world. In doing so, this course will explore a wide range of political, social, and personal/existential ideas and provocations that theologians, philosophers, and religious thinkers have been made to confront in this “world come of age”.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Letters and Papers from Prison; Rudolf Bultmann, The Idea of God and Modern Man; Jürgen Habermas, An Awareness of What is Missing; Kant, Immanuel Kant, An answer to the Question: What is Enlightenment; Karl Rahner, Theological Investigations; Friedrich Schleiermacher, On Religion: Speeches to Its Cultured Despisers; Charles Taylor, A Secular Age