From the phraseological to the real
: Bonhoeffer, theologia, and theological education

  • Ryan Hawk

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


Putting Dietrich Bonhoeffer and the Confessing Church preachers seminary at Finkenwalde in conversation with the current literature on the fragmentation/unity debate in theological education, this project will examine the theological fragmentation/unity of theological education through the lenses of ecclesiology, Christology, and incarnational community. The question of christological encounter and incarnational community will be considered to determine whether the potential purpose, ends, aims, and mission of theological education is for church or solely personal. Further, it will be asked how this manifests itself through the fragmentation/unity debates. This will be done mainly by examining the life and works of Bonhoeffer to build a justifiable rationale for his approach at Finkenwalde. Bonhoeffer offers a fresh approach to the fragmentation/unity problem in theological education by bringing a historical and practical theological lens, offering integrating factors for an ecclesiologically focused, christologically oriented, incarnational learning community.

Thesis is embargoed until 31 July 2025.
Date of AwardJul 2023
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Queen's University Belfast
SupervisorGraham Cheesman (Supervisor)


  • Theological education
  • Dietrich Bonhoeffer
  • practical theology
  • historical theology

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