Letter from the Editors: December 2015

Contemporary Church History Quarterly

Volume 21, Number 4 (December 2015)

Letter from the Editors (December 2015)

By Kyle Jantzen, Ambrose University

Greetings friends,

As Advent begins, it is our pleasure to publish once again a new issue of short articles, book reviews, and notes on the contemporary history of German and European religious history. This issue is focused on the two individuals who receive more attention than any other figures in twentieth-century German religious history: Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Pope Pius XII.

Zingsthof, first home of the Confessing Church seminary directed by Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Zingsthof_06_2014_005.JPG

On Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Kyle Jantzen provides a long overdue assessment of the work of Ferdinand Schlingensiepen, and suggests that his biography of Bonhoeffer encompasses both liberal and conservative views of the dynamic theologian. Matthew Hockenos follows that with a review of a multi-author volume considering the relationship between Bonhoeffer’s theology and his resistance activities.

Three of our editors assess works on Pius XII and the papacy in the era of the two world wars. Lauren Faulner Rossi reviews John Pollard’s The Papacy in the Age of Totalitarianism, 1914-1958, while Beth A. Griech-Polelle evaluates The Pope’s Dilemma: Pius XII Faces Atrocities and Genocide in the Second World War, by Jacques Kornberg. Then Mark Edward Ruff tackles Mark Riebling’s much publicized study, Church of Spies: The Vatican’s Secret War against Hitler.

Bookending this issue of Contemporary Church History Quarterly are two very different sorts of articles. Our first article is a contribution by guest contributor Hartmut Lehmann, who considers what it means to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation in an increasingly secular Germany. (We have also included a note about recent German Studies Association panels devoted to the life and thought of Lehmann.) At the close of the issue, Andrew Chandler reflects on three church historians who passed away far before their time–Markus Huttner, Marie-Emmanuelle Reytier, Huamin Toshiko Mackman–remembering not only their work but also their lives.

As always, we hope you find this issue of Contemporary Church History Quarterly interesting and informative. And now let me wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

On behalf of the editors,

Kyle Jantzen