Letter from the Editors: September 2015

Contemporary Church History Quarterly

Volume 21, Number 3 (September 2015)

Letter from the Editors (September 2015)

By Kyle Jantzen, Ambrose University

Greetings friends,

Once again we are pleased to offer a new issue of short articles, book reviews, and other notes relating to the contemporary history of German and European religious history. In this September issue of Contemporary Church History Quarterly, two themes loom large: coming to terms with past failings of the Christian Church and finding hope in the life and practices of Christianity.

The Brandenburg Cathedral. Photo (cc) via Flickr user Steffen Zahn. https://flic.kr/p/nWVSrg.

The Brandenburg Cathedral. Photo (cc) via Flickr user Steffen Zahn. https://flic.kr/p/nWVSrg.

The ongoing challenge of coming to terms with the past informs Susan Zuccotti’s article on the relationship between Pope Pius XII and the Catholic church institutions which rescued Jews in and around Rome during the Holocaust (a response to William Doino Jr. and the film Lo vuole il Papa, reviewed last issue), just as it does Manfred Gailus’ public lecture (here translated and abridged by John S. Conway) on pro-Nazi Protestants associated with the Brandenburg Cathedral. In the same vein, Christopher Probst’s review of the George Faithful book, Mothering the Fatherland, explores how a spirit of repentance for the role of the Church in the Holocaust can lead to positive actions.

The second theme of hope in the life and practices of Christianity can be found in Patrick J. Houlihan’s study of sustaining Catholic practices during the First World War era, reviewed by Kyle Jantzen, and Keith Clements’ study of the importance of international and ecumenical church relations for Dietrich Bonhoeffer, reviewed by John S. Conway. Similarly, Victoria Barnett reviews Heike Springhart’s analysis of the contribution of religion and church to the postwar reconstruction in West Germany.

Other contributions round out the issue: Matthew Hockenos reviews Mark R. Correll’s Shepherds of the Empire, which compares the ideas of two conservative Protestant theologians, Martin Kähler and Adolf Schlatter, and two conservative Protestant preachers, Adolf Stoecker and Christoph Blumhardt, all active in the late nineteenth to early twentieth century. Victoria Barnett reviews an important contribution on the Nazi persecution of Christians of so-called “non-Aryan” descent. Heath Spencer alerts us to an article on the relationship between secularism and antisemitism in the late nineteenth century, and Victoria Barnett reports on two interesting research initiatives: a Bonhoeffer Conference in Flensburg and a summer research workshop at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

We hope you find this issue of Contemporary Church History Quarterly stimulating, and wish you all a productive autumn season.

On behalf of the editors,

Kyle Jantzen