Letter from the Editors (December 2021)

Contemporary Church History Quarterly

Volume 27, Number 4 (December 2021)

Letter from the Editors (December 2021)

By Kyle Jantzen, Ambrose University

Dear Friends,

As Christmas approaches and the 2021 year draws to a close, the editors of Contemporary Church History Quarterly are pleased to present a new issue of the journal. The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has added complications to everyone’s life, it seems, one of which is to reduce the time many scholars have for research and scholarly activity. Nonetheless, we are doing our best to provide you with regular news, reviews, and commentary on contemporary religious history with a focus on Germany and Europe in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. This quarter, there are three reviews to tell you about. Manfred Gailus reviews Robert M. Zoske’s new book, Sophie Scholl: “Es reut mich nichts.” Porträt einer Widerständigen, which explores the religious underpinnings of this famous member of The White Rose resistance group. Dirk Schuster assesses an important new regional study of the German church struggle by Ulrich Peter, entitled Lutherrose und Hakenkreuz: Die Deutschen Christen und der Bund der nationalsozialistischen Pastoren in der evangelisch-lutherischen Kirche Mecklenburgs. Schuster explains how Peter went deep into the pre-history of the German Christians in Mecklenburg, and also traced developments after 1945. Finally, Martin Menke reviews Jonas Hagedorn’s study Oswald von Nell-Breuning SJ. Aufbrüche der katholischen Soziallehrte in der Weimarer Repubik. Nell-Breuning was an important Catholic social theorist who played a significant role in the creation Quadragesimo Anno, Pope Pius XI’s social encyclical of 1931.

Potsdam Garrison Church carillon. By Bundesarchiv, Bild 170-123 / Max Baur / CC-BY-SA 3.0, CC BY-SA 3.0 de, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=5484451

Well worthy of note in this issue of CCHQ are several substantial “notes.” The first of these is provided by Phillip Oswalt of Kassel, who explains some of the recent events surrounding the reconstruction plans for the Potsdam Garrison Church, so famous for its role in the Nazi seizure of power. Oswalt and others, including CCHQ editor Manfred Gailus, are part of a group of scholars connected with the website “Lernort Garnisonkirche,” which seeks to explain the history behind the Potsdam Garrison Church and influence the reconstruction project. Next, Robert P. Ericksen explores a recent chapter on German theologian Gerhard Kittel’s time in Vienna, from 1939 to 1943, and the debates about his influence there on behalf of National Socialism. Alain Epp Weaver authors the next substantial note, which outlines recent developments in the history of the Mennonite Central Committee and its connections to antisemitism and National Socialism–connections which also influenced its refugee work in the postwar era. Finally, Martina Cucchiara and Blake McKinney offer conference reports related to two panels at this past fall’s German Studies Association annual conference: one on women, religion, and emotions in modern Germany and the other on Nazi Germany, international Protestantism, and the German churches.

On behalf of the CCHQ editorial team, let me wish you a Merry Christmas and restful 2021 holiday season, as well as a safe beginning to 2022.


Kyle Jantzen, Ambrose University