‘Getting the Reformation in America’: The Making of Paul Lehmann as a Public Theologian

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Paul L. Lehmann (1906-1994) was a leading Protestant theologian and ethicist in his generation. Working directly with archival sources and early writings, this essay offers and account of the formation of key features of his distinctive theological perspective up during the first decades of his professional career. It argues that Lehmann prosecutes a distinctive and markedly Protestant form of public theology, centred on an understanding of the Word of God as a present, dynamic and humanising power, to which Christian faith, life and thought gives witness and serves catalytically. In this, Lehmann shows himself to be a premier advocate for lines of thinking he first encountered in the work of Karl Barth and of his friend, Dietrich Bonhoeffer.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-107
Number of pages29
JournalStudies in Christian Ethics
Issue number1
Early online date24 Oct 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2018


  • Public Theology
  • Christology and Ethics
  • Witness
  • Context
  • Dietrich Bonhoeffer
  • Karl Barth
  • Paul L. Lehmann


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