Helmut Thielicke was one of the most read and most listened to theologians of our time. Like few other theologians, he repeatedly came down from the ivory tower of academic religion in order to build bridges between church and world, and between gospel and society. He did not belong to Protestantism alone; his works were – and still are – closely followed by Catholic theology, discussed in dissertations and reviews, and published widely.
In this book, written shortly after his 75th birthday, Thielicke sets forth his memoirs from a long and full life. His narrative is filled with deeply thoughtful reflections about suffering, death and the poignancy of life, as well as with a delightful humour that easily makes us part of every story and encounter. Without any pretence or self-promotion, Thielicke introduces us to the figures whom he counted among his friends and acquaintances: Karl Barth, Konrad Adenauer, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Dwight Eisenhower, Helmut Kohl and Jimmy Carter.
Thielicke was, moreover, a witness to many of the most significant events of the 20th century; his life history is interwoven with the Kaiser period, the Weimar Republic, the rise of the Third Reich, a divided Germany and the tumultuous 60s. From the perspective of this single life we are afforded a broad and clear vision of the moments that have shaped the generation leading us into the 21st century.