Introduction: The Martyrdom of ‘Saint’ Bonhoeffer
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This chapter introduces the problem of the Bonhoeffer legacy, which is reflected in his status as Christian martyr and saint. This legacy began in the months following his death and has continued into a contemporary age with high profile public figures such as George W. Bush viewing Bonhoeffer as an inspirational Christian figure. By drawing attention to other, more problematic Bonhoeffer aficionados, such as violent anti-abortion protestors, this chapter begins to problematise the accepted Bonhoeffer legacy. It raises questions around the phenomenon of modern martyrdom, which is both religiously and politically motivated. It then problematises Bonhoeffer’s martyrdom through a case study of a modern, political example of an act of suicide terrorism.
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