Books by Reinhard von Kirchbach

The following books and writings of Reinhard von Kirchbach have been published only in the German language until now. Where available, translations in English can be found clicking on the green underlined English words (for instance go down and find Volume 5 “Come …).

Previously by the Author: To my readers

A Project concerning Interreligious Dialogue, 1978, 13 S. (published in: “Ich glaube den interreligiösen Dialog” (I believe in interreligious dialogue), Traugott Bautz Verlag, 2008. In indvidual selections in this book, many more quotes from R v K’s writings can be found.

Im Strom göttlichen Wirkens – (In the Current of the Acting of God), Meditative Gebete, Friedrich Wittig Verlag, Kiel 1999, 95 pages. Epilogue from Propst Knut Kammholz; greeting from Bischop Dr. Hans-Christian Knuth. This book is out of print. The content is a selection of texts, that are included in volume 9 „Zelte bauen in reißenden Wassern“ together with more texts (see below).

Eine Theologie im Gebet, Werkausgabe der Schriften Reinhard von Kirchbachs in 11 Bänden (A Theology within Prayer, a publication of his most important writings in eleven volumes, written in German), published by Dr. Hans-Christoph Goßmann and Michael Möbius in the Traugott Bautz publishing house. The volumes 1 to 9 contain meditative texts in a poetic language. Volume 1 to 4 was written by Reinhard von Kirchbach in the years before he started the ‚Living Dialogue‘; volume 11 is containing his sermons and can be understood as a link; the volumes 5 to 10 originated on the background of the interreligious dialogue.
In the following the single volumes are itemized with title, price, ISBN code, short description and a quotation. Clicking on the green marked words gives examples to read.

Band 1: Reisen mit betendem Herzen, (Volume 1: Traveling with a Praying Heart). Four writings, 1957 to 1960, journeys to Paestum, Florence, Greece, Jerusalem.
248 pages, 30 – €, ISBN 978-3-88309-764-0. 
On his early journeys Reinhard von Kirchbach directly encountered messengers of God in form oft witnesses oft the Greek, Biblical und Christian past – for him and for us. The places that he visits become doorways of faith.

I had to climb,
I was climbing up the mountain,
and then the steps to the temple of Athena 
to the Pantheon.
They were real steps,
the kind that the foot doesn’t tread alone.

I know
that no one can give me the answer.
Often even my questions are not heard.
That’s why the passion of my perspective
is hidden from many.
Whoever asks for You Lord
only receives answers from You.

Father I ask You,
who was Athena?
Who was Appollo?

Band 2: Die Treibende Insel (Volume 2: Two books 1957 und 1960: ‚Ein Versuch ohne Ende und ohne Anfang‘ and ‚Die Treibende Insel‘, 203 pages, 20,- €, ISBN 978-3-88309-781-7.
a) Ein Versuch ohne Ende und ohne Anfang
(An Attempt without End and Beginning)
It seems RvK calls his ‚Song of love songs‘ an attempt because of his great respect. Throughout six chapters consisting of 246 verses he praises The Love. 

„In den Fluten der Liebe“ (Within the Floods of Love) you read:

You can’t resist love. She throws you to the ground;
she tears you away, and you drift like a rudderless ship
in the floods of her might.
(Page 13)

b) Die Treibende Insel
(The Swimming Island
„Die Treibende Insel“ refers to the swaying ground, on which a loving person enters the kingdom of God. The subject is the failure and success of love: at home, in the congregation and infriendships.

The island floats along, flaming.
There is no use trying to run away.
Don’t be afraid of the danger.
It’s not you who’s fighting for you.
It’s about standing tall.
Don’t deny the answer
which calmly rises
from the midst of the fire.
(Page 45)

Band 3: Der Aufbruch – Meditationen, Gebete, Reflexionen aus den 1960er Jahren,(Volume 3: The Breaking Up – Meditaions, Prayers, Reflections from the 1960s), 298 pages, 20,- €, ISBN 978-3-88309-787-9
A wild book. It shows how Reinhard von Kirchbach has got through: First Im Gefängnis (in prison) of the internal alienating relations of life; then Gefunden (being found); then Frei (free).

„You can only see the Prison
when love returns into your life.“
„You can recognize its threat and slavery
only when you yourself are free
and when your freedom prevails.“
(Page 11)

Band 4: Der Tausch und Der Schleier (Volume 4: The Exchange and The Veil)
Two books from the early 70s. 178 pages, 20,- €, ISBN 978-3 88309-808-1.
The break through and the break up are won. Two books of spiritual welfare about loving god and loving men came into being. In that process the author doesn’t spare himself.

Life has to be reduced
Into life giving words.
They are like veils
that have to mitigate the sacrifice
that happens within them.
Wrap yourself in these veils.
You will lose your fear
of the delicate web.
You will be awed by her might.
(Page 137)

Band 5: Komm, Ich will mit dir reden (Volume 5: Come, I want talk with you),
Three books with meditations about encounters in India: Komm, ICH will mit dir reden (Come, I want talk with you), Israel: Steh auf, der Morgen naht (Get up, the morning is coming) and Pakistan: Spiegelungen des Glaubens (Reflections of faith), 199 pages, 20 €, ISBN 978-3-88309-506-60.
What happened to him during three dialog encounters is recounted here by Reinhard von Kirchbach. God and men are asking and answering each another honestly.

In India in the part Come, I want talk with you

I need my neighbour
[from the other religion].
And my neighbour needs me.
But in everything lives
the immeasurable
act of God
(Page 38)

In Israel in the part Get up, the morning is coming

we all belong together
because we have all been summonned
from the small grave of our lives.
and from the great grave
in which our nations
lie buried
with the denominations of their faiths.
(Page 79f)

In Pakistan in the part Reflections of faith

[God is speaking:]
I ask you
I command you
and show you the way
so that you don’t
forsake your brother
in the invocation of his faith
(Page 158)

Band 6: Was soll meine Arbeit sein? Aber es ist nicht meine Arbeit – Meditative Gebete und Reflexionen zur Aufgabe eines Christen im inter-religiösen Dialog (Volume 6: What shall be my labour? But it isn’t my labourMeditaions, Prayers and Reflecions about the tasks of a Christian in an interreligious dialogue). 185 pages, 20 €, ISBN 978-3-88309-540-6.
Reinhard von Kirchbach dedicated this book ‘To those who are seeking’. He could eqallyhave said: To those who are working on themselves und don’t stop asking for assignments from God.

[God is speaking:]
I need you for a Task
that you can’t ignore.
I want to send you
with a word
that lies in my mouth.
Even when you say it
you won’t know who is saying it.
Thereby I will protect you
and seek those, who you don’t know.
(Page 20)

Band 7: Wege des Glaubens – Umkehr zur Liebe
Gespräche mit Gott in Takamori (Japan) und Lunel (Frankreich) zum Dialog mit Menschen anderen Glaubens, (Volume 7: Paths of Faith – Turning back to Love. Talks with god in Takamori (Japan) and in Lunel (France), 209 S. 20 €, ISBN 978-3-88309-554-7. 
Von Kirchbach is not able to to cope with himself without praying. He would lose himself and his faith. By the help of prayer he is able to think like he is thinking, and to enter the fragile bridges to those with alien faith.

Paths of Faith“ is based on happy experiences in Japan,
Turning back to Love“ is about overcoming a dialogue with a rabbi in France that on the face on it had been a failure.

God protects the believer
even from himself,
from the hubris that overcomes him,
from the hypocrisy of bartering with his faith
as though it were material good
and from temptation, falsity
and lies
Like vermin they eat their way
into faith
and spoil it.
(Page 44)

Band 8: Herdfeuer Gottes
Ein Lese-Gebetsbüchlein (Volume 8: Gods Cooker Fire – a Reader Prayer Book) (1991-1994), 233 pages, 20 €, ISBN 978-3-88309-611-7
This book is a pearl amongst his writings. The prayers may help not to burn out in the hustle and bustle of life, but to be caught by the fire of god.

Bless me
With the blessing, in which my Brothers
And sisters are included.
Let our whole life come from You.
Touch our lips with the breath
Of Your warmth
and our senses with the unerring power
of Your presence

YOU light the fire at Your Banks
so the helpless return
into the house of their father.
(Page 88)

Band 9: Zelte bauen in reißenden Wassern – Meditationen, Gebete, Reflexionen (1995-1997) (Volume 9: Erecting Tents in the middle of Sweeping WatersMeditations, Prayers. Reflections from 1995 to 1997), 234 pages, 25,- €, ISBN 978-3-88309-812-8.
This book can be understood as the bequest of von Kirchbach. In 1998, three months after he had completed it, he died. A selection of one third of the texts is known from the small green book „Im Strom göttlichen Wirkens“ (In the Current of the Acting of God) – see above. The books aims to …

… Lead to more peace in the heart.
More clarity in the midst of complexity
and ‚humane’ behavior
in the daily struggle of work and existence.
It is not how much you’ve read
that helps you to the next step
but attentive listening of the heart.
(Page 7)

Band 10: Dialog aus Glauben – Vorträge und Aufsätze zum Zusammenleben der Religionen (Volume 10: Dialog by Faith – Lectures and Essays about Living together oft the religions), 298 pages, 30 €, ISBN 978-3-88309-620-9
Tis volume contains a selection of lectures and essays in chronological order. Reinhard von Kirchbach accounts for the understanding and progress of the 15 years lasting „Living Dialog“.

Today, in the legacy of Jesus
Dialogue by faith
is, without restraint
the commandment of love.
(Page 92)

Just as the whole horizon
of Abraham’s life
changed when he left his homeland Haran
so our whole life Horizons
change through dialogue between faiths
(Page 28)

Band 11: Die Kraft Christi (Volume 11: The Power of Christ)
Predigten (Sermons) from the years 1970-76, 536 pages, 45,- €, ISBN 978-3-88309-815-9.
Through the sermons one gains knowledge of the way Reinhard von Kirchbach is gaining theological insight and transmitting it to his congregation. They are shared discover journeys in Bible study. Together with the listeners he climbs down into the depth of the text – and god climbs up into the listener’s heart. Whilst the drama of the encounter with Christ transforms the so called ‚reality‘ into the new conditions of the Kingdom of God.
The sermons take up the everyday life and day to day of the 70s – likewise the ages from beginning of the creation to its end. They notice the inconspicuous environment of Schleswig – several names are dropped – just as the universal cosmos is referenced. With the help of ever new Images, they make an elementary understanding possible for the young and the adult. …
Another name for this volume of sermons could have been „The lived dialog at Schleswig“. For us who are living later it is fascinating to recognize, how that theology unfolded together with the congregation, and then has ist impact during the dialog meetings and the lectures.

Worte für jeden Tag (Words For Each Day)
Reinhard von Kirchbach: Worte für jeden Tag – (selected and published by Hans-Christoph Goßmann, Verlag T. Bautz 2014, ISBN 978-3-88309-5, 294 pages, 20, – Euro.
Quotations from Reinhard von Kirchbachs writings are collected in this book – one for each day oft the year. They may accompany you through the year and stimulate your own spiritual life.

Every day the space lifts further
in which I wonder
how little I know
about the secret
that surrounds me.
(Word for the 2. June)