Master of Arts (MA)


Political Science

Document Type



In this thesis, I explore the relationship between political theology and the ethical problem of tyrannicide in the life and works of German pastor and theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Beginning with an examination of his theological views, I argue that Bonhoeffer’s Christo-centric worldview forms the basis of his subsequent ethical and political beliefs, as well as his motivation for participating in an assassination plot against Adolph Hitler. Bonhoeffer’s desire to connect his understanding of Jesus Christ to the entirety of human life leads him to develop an unsystematic theological approach to ethics and the relationship between church and government. Concluding with an exposition on the implications of Bonhoeffer’s resistance against the Nazi state with respect to Christian sinfulness, I argue that Bonhoeffer’s political theology is ultimately characterized by faith. Rather than claiming his actions are justified according to ethical principles or just war arguments, Bonhoeffer acts against what he considered to be an evil force with the hope that his God offers forgiveness for those acting boldly yet sinfully.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Eubanks, Cecil