Dietrich Bonhoeffer vs. Jerome

Today it's the second of four battles comprising the Elate Eight as Dietrich Bonhoeffer faces off against Jerome. Could there possibly be any saintly kitsch for these two? A Vulgate Snuggy perhaps or a Bonhoeffer chew toy for your puppy? Let's see what our intrepid Celebrity Bloggers dug up.

In yesterday's Elate Eight kick-off, Mary Magdalene made quick work of Evelyn Underhill 77% to 23% to make it to the Faithful Four. She'll face the winner of tomorrow's match-up between Margaret of Scotland and Enmegahbowh.

To get to this round Bonhoeffer beat James and Brigid while Jerome defeated John Patteson and Philander Chase. Click on the links in the previous sentence if you need a refresher course on today's combatants. And check the updated bracket for upcoming battles.

As you might have guessed, it’s one thing to discover a few quirks about Dietrich Bonhoeffer and quite another to find saintly kitsch related to this 20th-century martyr who died at the hands of the Nazis. Nevertheless, there are items that can indeed be purchased to provide a bit of inspiration for the uninspired masses who see you wearing or using them:

Those who like to hug trees and, therefore, dislike buying “stuff” might want to reconsider that noble and principled position after reading about this t-shirt, which is made from 100% certified organic cotton and, therefore, green both in color and in composition. It comes with a quote from Bonhoeffer to disturb the consciences of those who cross your path each day that you put it on. It is also, as stated on the website, “kind to the environment,” so how could you not feel guilty wearing something else. Lastly, it appears to be “signed” by Bonhoeffer himself in a cursive-like font.

Alternatively, if you prefer to be a little more subtle in your public witness, there’s a plain white t-shirt available with a simple drawing that’s based on a popular photograph of Bonhoeffer. Here’s the rub: You’ll either have to tell everyone the identity of the person on this article of clothing or use it to weed out the theologically and historically uneducated folks in the crowd because Bonhoeffer’s name doesn’t appear on it.

Over at Zazzle, there are a couple of Bonhoeffer-related coffee mugs that you might want to add your collection (but only after obtaining your official Lent Madness coffee mug, available out there somewhere on the interwebs). One features a picture of Bonhoeffer surrounded by a group of young people and declares, “I’m with Bonhoeffer.” The other has a picture of the ten statues of 20th-century martyrs, including one of Bonhoeffer, that can be seen above the west doorway of London’s Westminster Abbey and represent those who have died under oppression and persecution.

Last but not least, Zazzle also carries this mousepad with a quote from Bonhoeffer that seems like the right note on which to end. So here it is:

-- Neil Alan Willard

 If you thought there would be little to no kitsch involving the author of the Vulgate, you'd be wrong. Jerome is well represented in the saintly kitsch department.

Let's start with the obvious: a coffee mug. Surely, that's the first thing that springs to people's minds when they think of Jerome. They think, as the ad with the mug says, Jerome "is in the desert where he spent five years praying and learning to overcome his flesh." The next obvious thought is: coffee! Coffee mug. "It has a large handle that’s easy to hold and comes in 11oz and 15oz sizes. Dishwasher and microwave safe. Makes a great gift."

If coffee isn't your first thought when considering Jerome, surely your second thought MUST be a doll.

"St. Jerome lived as a hermit in the Syrian Desert, and it is reported that he once removed a thorn from a lion's paw, and the lion remained at his side for years. Measures 18" tall with head and hands made of flexible urethane rubber attached to a soft poly-fil cloth body." What is particularly stunning is that this doll "becomes a lion when flipped inside-out." Not only that but it "Includes a Certificate of Authenticity." Perhaps it's even signed by Jerome himself.

Then there's the St. Jerome T-shirt, complete with long sleeves for those cold desert nights. And for lowering the chance of sunburn.

But wait there's more. Do you love Jerome? Wear your heart on your sleeve, or at least on your chest, with this snazzy short-sleeve t-shirt.

Finally, there's the Jerome keyring complete with image of Jerome's unlockable cave.

-- Bosco Peters


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62 comments on “Dietrich Bonhoeffer vs. Jerome”

  1. I have yet to vote for Bonhoeffer
    It might truly be his turn,
    But a reversible lion doll!?
    Maybe Bonhoeffer's too stern.

    I wonder, would the SEC notice
    If I casually voted for both?
    But the ethical thing, there's Bonhoeffer again,
    Leads me finally, at last, to my vote.

  2. I don't get it. I do not understand this "kitch" of the saints. After all the great info & stories & comments, I find these parodies of saints' memorabilia distasteful.
    I have also laughed at Scott & Tim's Monday Madness repartee but today your rebuttal comments regarding others' dislike of this kitch was down right rude & uncalled for.
    I will finish Lent Madness because I want to participate in this game. I sincerely hope that you regain your sportsman-like behavior & contain your comments to the saints for all our edification & good fun.

  3. Great kitsch today! LOVE the reversible Jerome/Lion doll. His kitsch was better than Bonhoeffer's, so it almost swayed my vote. But had to go with the Nazi fighter in the end. I also find the folks who don't get the kitsch hysterical. Have they not seen the humor in the whole tournament?

    1. I think there are different kinds of humor, and different people have varying sensitivities to what they consider distasteful or disrespectful. I find LentMadness as a whole to be primarily witty humor and a light-hearted way to learn about the saints. The kitschy stuff isn't witty and doesn't have the educational component that the earlier rounds did, so I can definitely see how some folks perceive it as very different.

      I hope we can determinedly rejoice in our diversity and remember, there are many senses of humor, but the same Spirit; many ways to appreciate the saints, but the same Lord. 😉

      Pax nobiscum!

  4. Ow. You people have a penchant for giving one hard choices. I like Jerome, I think that in another time/place we could have been the best of friends but anyone who can stand up to the nazis, even at the cost of their own life, has to get the vote.
    on a side note.....Mica, lighten up, you'll live longer(I'm blowing a raspberry at this point). a sense of humor is truly a valuable asset to have in these insane times.
    Dona Nobis Pacem already!!!!!