Letter from the Editors (December 2018)

Contemporary Church History Quarterly

Volume 24, Number 4 (December 2018)

Letter from the Editors (December 2018)

By Kyle Jantzen, Ambrose University

Dear Friends,

The Stiftskirche (Collegiate Church) in Tübingen. Photo by Felix König, Wikimedia Commons, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Stiftskirche_T%C3%BCbingen_Januar_2016.jpg

As we enter into Advent 2018, the editors of Contemporary Church History Quarterly are pleased once again to offer a variety of articles, reviews, and notes highlighting research and scholarly activity in the field of twentieth-century German and European religious history.

Manfred Gailus opens this issue with a short article about the silence of German Protestants in the wake of the November 1938 Kristallnacht pogrom–a fitting topic to revisit 80 years after the event. Gailus examines the nature of that silence, linking it to the völkisch theology so prevalent among Protestants, particularly but not exclusively in the German Christian Movement.

Antisemitism and its connection to völkisch theology continues as a theme in the three reviews that follow. Susannah Heschel examines Dirk Schuster’s important study of the Eisenach Institute, situating Schuster’s careful scholarship within the historiography of the topic. Christopher Probst reviews Horst Junginger’s study of The Scientification of the “Jewish Question” in Nazi Germany, which lays out in detail the connections between “Jewish research” at the University of Tübingen (and the Protestant seminary there) was closely connected to the politics of the Nazi state. Not surprisingly, Gerhard Kittel features prominently in Junginger’s book. Finally, Björn Krondorfer assesses Konstantin Hermann and Gerhard Lindemann’s biographical study of Saxon theologians during the Nazi era, which includes various German Christian theologians who “saw no contradiction between Hitler and Luther, between Nazi ideology and church teachings.” Hermann and Lindemann also write on theologians from the moderate “Mitte” group, as well as those connected to the Confessing Church. Importantly, they also examine five churchmen “who were persecuted by the Nazis for political and racial reasons.”

Several shorter notes round out this issue of CCHQ: Lauren Rossi offers a conference report from Lessons and Legacies that reflects on the lack of contributions relating to the history of Christianity and the Holocaust, Christina Matzen adds a conference report on the panel “Religion and Migration: Institutions and Law” from the German Studies Association conference, and David A. R. Clark introduces us to his research on Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s interpretation of the Old Testament.

We trust you’ll enjoy these scholarly offerings, and wish you a restful and meaningful Christmas and holiday season.

On behalf of the other editors,

Kyle Jantzen, Ambrose University