In the Face of Death

In the Face of Death

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""My theological work was always only a superstructure placed upon the experiences and sufferings of my life . . ."" --Helmut Thielicke Thielicke's story is one of extraordinary circumstances. Especially as a young man, living through Germany's darkest hour, he was time and again put on the brink of death by fatal sickness, Nazi oppression, and war. These experiences left an indelible mark on his worldview. In this thoroughly researched study, Fabian F. Grassl takes a fresh and original look at Thielicke's turbulent life through the specific lens of suffering and death. He paints an intimate portrait of a boundary rider whose theology uniquely developed in the face of death. As a result, new light is cast on one of the outstanding theologians, ethicists, and preachers of the twentieth century. The reader is invited to explore a world of thought decidedly shaped by the ""eschatological existence"" of an intriguing personality; a flawed human being like the rest of us yet endowed with a fascinating theological prowess, taking his stand amongst Germany's major historical upheavals of the last centenary. ""In this exhaustively researched and carefully developed study Fabian Grassl uncovers the experiential roots of Helmut Thielicke's theology. In particular, Thielicke's experience of life-threatening illness as a young man and his constant encounters with death during the years of Nazi rule left an indelible mark on the shape of both his theology and his preaching. Grassl examines these influences in detail, offering an appreciative but also critical assessment of a theology marked deeply by the experience of suffering and death. Both those who have a particular interest in Thielicke's work and those who want to think about the strengths and weaknesses of a theology shaped so strongly by experience will profit from Grassl's excellent work."" --Gilbert C. Meilaender, Senior Research Professor at Valparaiso University and the Paul Ramsey Fellow at the Notre Dame Center for Ethics and Culture ""In the middle decades of the last century Helmut Thielicke was likely the most quoted German-Lutheran theologian in North-American Protestant churches, more so than Bonhoeffer or any of the other 'big names.' Translations of Thielicke's best-selling sermons and other writings were regular fare for many American clergy and laity, while his academic work in systematic theology and ethics were routinely studied by U.S. seminarians and graduate students. Dr. Grassl here unveils in a masterful way those life experiences of Thielicke that had a profound impact on his thinking, preaching, and pastoral care. Dr. Grassl not only provides insights into Thielicke's biography--frequently on the basis of previously unexplored archival material--but he also helps the reader to understand more clearly the principal themes in Thielicke's complex theology. This is now the best introduction in English to this important theologian's life and work."" --Matthew L. Becker, Professor of Theology, Valparaiso University ""Theologian, ethicist, and preacher Helmut Thielicke lived in death's shadow from an illness in his youth that nearly claimed his life to his experiences ministering to those who lost loved ones in World War II. Thielicke's theology, especially his eschatology, bears the indelible imprint of his own biography. Grassl carefully examines both Thielicke's life and his theology in the context of his times. His research is rich with illuminating insights for those who seek to understand one of the most significant theologians of the last century."" --John T. Pless, Assistant Professor of Pastoral Ministry and Missions; Director of Field Education, Concordia Theological Seminary ""After a period of relative neglect, Helmut Thielicke and his theological legacy are receiving renewed attention. With its well-researched and closely argued account of the formative interaction between Thielicke's personal life and the central themes of this theology, Grassl's
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Product details

  • Hardback | 296 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 18mm | 562g
  • English
  • 1532655487
  • 9781532655487