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Abstract

Bonhoeffer's theology generally and his Ethics in particular have not commonly been thought to be ‘apocalyptic’. Indeed, many have adjudged him to be “almost immunized” against such eschatology. Yet, a close reading of Bonhoeffer's Ethics shows unmistakable resonances between the themes, tasks and argumentative forms of his theological ethics and the contours of pauline apocalyptic as set forth recently in the work of J. Louis Martyn and others. In this text, Bonhoeffer confronts the question ‘What has paraenesis to do with apocalypsis?’ and experiments with answers which acknowledge that ‘the incursion of a new world’ in Christ ‘renders ancient good uncouth.’ Seeing this illumines several aspects of Bonhoeffer's theological ethics, clarifies the importance of the doctrine of justification therein, and emphasises its dynamic, dialectical and pauline character.