Corey Tuttle

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


This project demonstrates the centrality of surrendering autonomy in Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s theology. The project begins by demonstrating that Bonhoeffer read his Bible along the theme of autonomy. After establishing Bonhoeffer’s view of autonomy in the biblical story, I detail Bonhoeffer’s two-fold understanding of the autonomy to be surrendered. Bonhoeffer saw the autonomy as both practical (being self-directed in practical life) and cognitive (being self-directed in thought). After gathering a thorough understanding of Bonhoeffer’s view of autonomy, I apply this understanding to Bonhoeffer’s prison letters. In doing so, I demonstrate that viewing Bonhoeffer’s work through the lens of surrendering autonomy provides a continuity in Bonhoeffer’s work that has been questioned by other Bonhoeffer scholars. Bonhoeffer suggests that human beings should surrender their autonomy in obedience to the will of God. As this is the case, I provide the practical ways that Bonhoeffer says humans can hear the will of God. I conclude this project by providing a critique of Bonhoeffer’s view of surrendering autonomy.


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