March 1995 Newsletter (1)

Association of Contemporary Church Historians

(Arbeitsgemeinschaft kirchlicher Zeitgeschichtler)

John S. Conway, Editor. University of British Columbia

Newsletter no 1: March 1995


1. Introductions:

2. Kirchliche Zeitgeschichte, Vol 7, no 2, 1994
Themenschwerpunkt: Kirche und Diktatur

3. Conferences

4. Auschwitz and other memorials

Dear Friends,

The response to my earlier circular letter of Feb. 17th has been so positive that I am encouraged to send you this Newsletter, and will try to keep in contact with you, possibly on a monthly basis.

I think it would be helpful to include various items such as new publications, notice of forthcoming conferences, archival information and research projects, and even (brief) book reviews. I welcome any contributions you may like to send in for inclusion.

I will also be glad, for those who agree, to circulate information about your research interests and your geographical locations. I will try and compile a complete listing of those so far connected and let you have this by separate posting. But I will also include brief introductions from time to time so that we can get to know each other, even if we have never met.

One obvious gap is the absence of our colleagues in Germany itself. Apparently there is a reluctance, or inability, there to take advantage of new electronic techniques. But if any of you are so linked to kirchliche Zeitgeschichtler in Germany and could share their addresses, this would be a great boon.

I will be glad to share collectively any information or views you care to send me for further distribution. So do let me hear from you..


1. Introductions:

Our most distant colleague is undoubtedly Mark Lindsey, Dept. of History, University of Western Australia, Nedlands 6009, Australia. He is a PhD student whose area of interest concerns the Christological foundations of Karl Barth’s response to Nazi antisemitism, as opposed to simply humanitarian motives.


2. Kirchliche Zeitgeschichte, Vol 7, no 2, 1994
Themenschwerpunkt: Kirche und Diktatur

This issue contains the papers (with English summaries) presented at the KZG conference in December 1993, and concentrates on the churches in the former GDR.
Immanuel Geiss: “Der Holzweg der Deutschen Sonderwegs” (provocative!)
A.Boyens: “Das Gipfeltreffen Honecker-Schonherr”. Marz 1978
U.Haese: “Haltung der kath.Kirche in der DDR”
B.Schaeffer: ditto
W.Krotke: K.Barths und D.Bonhoeffers “Bedeutung fur die Theologie in der DDR” (thoughtful analysis)
M.Beintker: “Verhaltnis von Kirche und Staat in der DDR”
Also 120 pp world-wide bibliography for 1993-4 on Kirchliche Zeitgeschichte (very useful)


3. Conferences

a) The 25th Annual Conference on the Holocaust and the Christian Churches, Brigham Young U., Provo, Utah March 5th-8th 1995 (report follows in next Newsletter)

b) Christianity and Resistance, University of Birmingham,UK April 19-23 1995. Contact A.Chandler, Dept of History, U. of Birmingham, B15 2TT, U.K. (Will be reported on later)


4. Auschwitz and other memorials

The 50th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz has produced a flood of commentary, underlying which is the enduring question of how such sites of dehumanization and mass murder can or should be preserved for historical memory. Peter Monteath of Flinders U, Adelaide, has contributed an illuminating article on Buchenwald to the May 1994 issue of International History Review. Personally I found James Young, The Texture of Memory, Yale U.P. 1993 very stimulating reading. If anyone was interested, I could supply more references to the whole question of War and KZ memorials.

All the best
John S.Conway