A Church Divided: German Protestants Confront the Nazi Past by Matthew D. Hockenos

By Matthew D. Hockenos

This e-book heavily examines the turmoil within the German Protestant church buildings within the quick postwar years as they tried to return to phrases with the new prior. Reeling from the effect of warfare, the church buildings addressed the results of cooperation with the regime and the remedy of Jews. In Germany, the Protestant Church consisted of 28 self reliant neighborhood church buildings. in the course of the Nazi years, those church buildings shaped into numerous alliances. One workforce, 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, in spite of the fact that, concerned each team and based on problems with trust that have been vital to all. very important theologians resembling Karl Barth have been instrumental in urgent those concerns ahead. whereas now not an exhaustive examine of Protestantism throughout the Nazi years, A Church Divided breaks new flooring within the dialogue of accountability, guilt, and the Nazi earlier.

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Not only did the Confessing churches profess goals in contradiction with those of the state and therefore lack its support, they also lacked majorities in most of the regional churches. Even more problematic was the theological claim that the Confessing clergymen had the right, the power, or the ability to distinguish between true and false Christians and excommunicate those they deemed false. The Dahlem synod brought into the open the divisions that had simmered below the surface at Barmen. The Dahlemites, on the one hand, argued that the Dahlem resolutions were the logical outcome of the theological declaration made at Barmen.

The Dahlemites, on the one hand, argued that the Dahlem resolutions were the logical outcome of the theological declaration made at Barmen. Barmen, they argued, laid out the Confessing Church’s theology, and Dahlem its praxis. The authors of the Barmen declaration asserted that the gospel of Jesus Christ was the one word that the church must hear and obey. The Dahlemites put this into practice by contending that the basis of the Reich church was something other than the gospel and that therefore it was their duty as true Christians to sever ties with the leadership of the Reich church and to erect new laws and bodies that corresponded with the gospel.

Conservative Lutherans, on the other hand, interpreted Barmen as a necessary and timely reminder that the gospel 30 | A CHURCH DIVIDED and not National Socialist politics took priority in the church. The practical implementation of this conservative interpretation of Barmen was the removal of the radical German Christians and a restoration of the old leadership of the regional churches. Conservatives’ eagerness to avoid any unnecessary tension with the state guided their actions in the months following the Dahlem synod.

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