Publication Date



As part of the EKU Chautauqua Lecture Series, author Eric Metaxas came to Central Kentucky to speak about his newly published book, Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy. The book garnered glowing reviews in some circles and continued to sell briskly after reaching the top slot on the New York Times bestseller list in September 2011. Engaging and openly evangelical, Metaxas tells a compelling story of the life and ultimate end of the German pastor who opposed the Nazi regime, joined a plot to kill Hitler and paid with his life. Audiences leave his presentations as if under a spell. In the book as well as his public presentations on it, Metaxas argues that something about the slain pastor’s faith set him apart from the millions of German Christians who put their Christianity in the direct service of the Third Reich or who complied passively while their government unleashed horrifying brutality. Though deeply steeped in the Christian tradition, Germans’ religion seems utterly to have failed them when they needed it most. Only a small remnant of believers, with Bonhoeffer a leader among them, nurtured a faith that opposed evil, rather than abetted and facilitated it. Metaxas’ thesis thus promises to speak to central and compelling human dilemmas: what mechanism so twists an entire society’s moral compass that it pursues evil as a national goal?