Saints and Villains
What is the price of acting morally in a time of great evil, when sin and necessity seem twinned? Saints and Villains is a strikingly resonant novel that dramatizes this painful dilemma through the fictional re-creation of the life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. This emblematic figure risked his life--and finally lost…
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The historical figure, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, is a striking exemplar of courage in response to the atrocities of World War II. Denise Giardina’s historical fiction book, Saints and Villains, portrays the interplay of Bonhoeffer’s moral values as a Nazi resister and as a German theologian. Factually, Bonhoeffer could have fled from the horrors of war, but he chose not to do so and ended up involved in a failed plot to assassinate Hitler. I don’t think of Bonhoeffer’s characterization as a model of virtue, but I rooted for his ordinariness, his questions, and doubts that made him morally complex. My…
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