By Matthew D. Hockenos
This booklet heavily examines the turmoil within the German Protestant church buildings within the speedy postwar years as they tried to come back to phrases with the hot previous. Reeling from the influence of warfare, the church buildings addressed the results of cooperation with the regime and the therapy of Jews. In Germany, the Protestant Church consisted of 28 self reliant nearby church buildings. through the Nazi years, those church buildings shaped into quite a few alliances. One team, the German Christian Church, brazenly aligned itself with the Nazis. the remainder have been carefully against the regime or attempted to stay noncommittal. the interior debates, despite the fact that, concerned each team and founded on problems with trust that have been very important to all. vital theologians comparable to Karl Barth have been instrumental in urgent those concerns ahead. whereas now not an exhaustive learn of Protestantism throughout the Nazi years, A Church Divided breaks new floor within the dialogue of accountability, guilt, and the Nazi previous.
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Additional resources for A Church Divided: German Protestants Confront the Nazi Past
Twelve years of Nazi dictatorship only made these divisions more entrenched and obvious. 1 The postwar debates about the Nazi past are an indisputable legacy of this ﬁnal dimension of the church struggle. 2 The German Christians sought to incorporate the twenty-seven Protestant regional churches into a united German Evangelical Reich church headed by a Reich bishop with close ties to Hitler. Their goal to integrate Christianity and National Socialism in a racially pure “people’s church” was a direct challenge not only to the autonomy of the regional churches but to Lutheran and Reformed doctrinal principles as well.
1 The Church Struggle Ecclesiastical, Political, and Theological Disunity in the Third Reich Origins of the Church Struggle and the Formation of the Confessing Church, 1933–34 In the period 1933–45 Protestant responses to National Socialism in Germany ranged from enthusiastic endorsement to active opposition. These reﬂected the variety of theological and political perspectives of Protestant clergy and laity to the crises that had beset Germany since the First World War. Twelve years of Nazi dictatorship only made these divisions more entrenched and obvious.
Since his expulsion to Switzerland in June 1935, Barth had taken a more radical position on the church’s political role. 68 By failing to discern the political nature of its religious commitments, Barth believed, the Confessing Church was incapable of supplying a penetrating critique of National Socialism. 69 Two key paragraphs read: When blood, race, nationality, and honor are thus raised to the rank of qualities that guarantee eternity, the Evangelical Christian is bound, by the First Commandment, to reject the assumption.
A Church Divided: German Protestants Confront the Nazi Past by Matthew D. Hockenos