The Dietrich Bonhoeffer Sources

Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945) was a Lutheran theologian, professor, and member of the German resistance movement during World War II and the reign of the Nazi government. Bonhoeffer became known as one of the few figures of the 1930s with a comprehensive grasp of both German- and English-language theology. He was hanged in the concentration camp at Flossenbürg on April 9, 1945 for his participation in a plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler and was one of four members of his immediate family to die at the hands of the Nazi regime for their participation in the small Protestant resistance movement.


This website contains two downloadable bibliographies concerning Dietrich Bonhoeffer, addressing primary and secondary source material related to his life and activities. They are intended to be a near-exhaustive list of sources on Bonhoeffer, primarily in English.

Not all of the material listed on the bibliographies is available at The Burke Library of Union Theological Seminary. Scholars should check the Library’s online catalog, CLIO, and the archives finding aids listed below to determine The Burke Library’s exact holdings. Each bibliography is downloadable in a PDF file. Users interested in the print versions of these bibliographies should consult: About the Bibliographies

  • Primary Sources Bibliography
    This bibliography lists all the known sources of material written by Dietrich Bonhoeffer. The first section lists the seventeen volume German critical edition of Bonhoeffer’s writings, followed by the English translations of these volumes that have appeared to date. The second section of the bibliography lists other translations of Bonhoeffer’s monographs and selections from his collected writings, most of which were made before the Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works English Edition.
  • Secondary Sources Bibliography (Under Repair--Jan. 2012)
    This bibliography contains published and unpublished material written about the life and activities of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. It includes dissertations, articles, monographs, and conference papers. Some of the material is written in languages other than English, including German and Spanish. 

Archival Collections

Two archival, non-circulating, collections of materials by or about Dietrich Bonhoeffer are available for consultation at The Burke Library. The two downloadable finding aids of the contents of these collections in the library are available below as PDF files. (The bibliographies above are NOT a list of those items in The Burke Library). Scholars interested in consulting either of the collections should contact for more information.

  • Dietrich Bonhoeffer Manuscript Collection
    The Dietrich Bonhoeffer Manuscript Collection consists of primary source material related to the life and activities of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a Lutheran theologian, professor, and member of the German resistance. The 4-box collection contains some unique material related to Bonhoeffer’s year-long residence at Union Theological Seminary in 1930-1931, including transcripts, correspondence, and Bonhoeffer’s “Deceased Alumni file,” a collection of material maintained by the UTS Alumni Office. The collection also includes correspondence, newspaper clippings and other manuscripts from Bonhoeffer’s friends and family. The remainder of the collection consists of materials from the collections of other repositories, including Princeton Theological Seminary and the National Lutheran Council.
  • Dietrich Bonhoeffer – Secondary Source Material
    The Dietrich Bonhoeffer Collection – Secondary Source Material consists of secondary materials related to the life and activities of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a Lutheran theologian, professor, and participant in the German resistance movement. The material in this collection, consisting of about 8 boxes of material, was donated by the International Bonhoeffer Society (IBS); Clifford Green, an officer of IBS; and other members of the Bonhoeffer Society. The majority of the collection consists of papers written for AAR and the IBS conference, along with conference brochures, correspondence, and attendee lists. Additional material includes journal articles, seminar papers, dissertations, newspaper clippings, and a videotape of a conference presentation. The Bonhoeffer collection also contains concert recordings and programs, play scripts, a recording of an opera performed by the Houston Opera, and a collection of poetry written in tribute to Dietrich Bonhoeffer. The material gathered for this collection is not intended to be an exhaustive list or bibliography of the secondary source material on the life and works of Dietrich Bonhoeffer.