Reviewing Charles Marsh’s Strange Glory: A Life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, John G. Stackhouse, Jr. details the anti-Nazi theologian and pastor’s first visit to America and its “dramatic effects on his outlook and career”:
This is Marsh’s own turf: previous scholarship (including the Grawemeyer Award-winning book God’s Long Summer) prepared him well to understand and to relate something of the impact of Bonhoeffer’s encounter with black Christians in Harlem and during his travels in the South. Indeed, Marsh details well the change wrought in the rather fussy, elitist, and insulated young scion of the German haute bourgeoisie as Bonhoeffer encountered the likes of Adam Clayton Powell, Sr., his Abyssinian Baptist Church, and Negro spirituals and blues, as well as the indefatigable campaigner Reinhold Niebuhr; the combination of these forces called Bonhoeffer down from reflection in his ivory tower into action on the street.
This change is the guiding thrust…
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