Bonhoeffer's Vocation 

These notes have been made to help me prepare my presentation for Kolbe's Year 10 Religious Education (Extension) classes.  The task requires students to research what is meant by religious identity, vocation and work and to reflect on the interaction of these concepts in the life and teachings of Jesus and a person whom they admire. I have chosen Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a Christian theologian who attempted unsuccessfully to assassinate Hitler. He was executed. 

What is religious identity?

What is religious identity? Are religious beliefs and practices important to a person’s religious identity? Justify your answer. 

Religious identity is defined by Ghosn (2012) as "a sense of belonging to a community of believers with a distinctive history." She illustrated her definition with references to research she had carried out into the part culture plays in forming a person's religious identity. Sr Margaret Ghosn is a Maronite nun and she investigated the religious identity of Maronite young adults in Sydney, most of whom are of Lebanese descent. The people she interviewed saw themselves as Lebanese who were Maronite Christians. 

What does "vocation" mean?

What does “vocation” mean? When does a vocation become “Christian”? What role do religious beliefs and practices play in a vocation? 

Who is Jesus? 

Who is Jesus? Why do his followers believe he is counter-cultural? What was Jesus’ vocation? Was it counter-cultural? What did he do that inspires you to be even just a little bit like him? 

Religious beliefs

Name and describe briefly at least two Christian beliefs that appear to be important to the task of making our world better for everyone.


Religious practices 

Name and describe briefly two Christian practices that you consider to be important.


A short biography of Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Tell the story of someone who inspires you to change the world – even by just a little bit. What does the person do/has done that fits your understanding of vocation? 

What is work? 

What is work? Explain what is meant by “work as a Christian vocation”. What have the Popes said about work that fits with “vocation” and with being “counter-cultural”? In what ways is/was the work that your “vocation” model does/did counter-cultural?