Christian hope as a factor in how Protestant Christians followed Hitler / Drew Allan Parsons
Includes bibliographical references (p 155-161)
- External Link
Electronic version from ProQuest
Protestant Christians in Germany during the pre-Nazi and Nazi era were faced with a decision to ally themselves with the growing Nazi movement or to work against it. Many chose to take their stand with Hitler and the Nazi party by aiding his ascent through their support and encouragement. A key factor informing their decision to follow Hitler was the harmonic resonance they felt between the dynamics of Christian hope and the nationalistic hope presented by the charismatic leadership of the Nazis. This resonance allowed some to make an almost seamless transition from church life in the Weimar years to ecclesiastical expression under the swastika. Christian hope, looking forward yet tied to present behavior, became psychologically bound to the Nazi ideology that emphasized that while sacrifices would have to be made now, the reward in the future would be great.Over a 400 year period, the Christian faith in the Protestant tradition in Germany was influenced by and contributed to the nurturing of anti-Semitism, nationalism, and millenarian that aligned so closely with the Nazi program. Protestant expression in Germany in the years leading up to and including the Third Reich became vulnerable to the stresses of life in the Weimar Republic. The vulnerability to these stresses allowed Protestants to make the transition to comply with the hopes of Nazi ideology in order to achieve the abundant life promised in Christian hope without regard to the plight of Jews of Europe. Passionate expressions of Christian hope clouded by anti-Semitism, nationalism, and millenarianism turned goals for good into actions of evil as the church became influenced more and more by the Nazi ideals of the German-Christians. A Circular Model of evaluating these passionate expressions is introduced as a tool to explain and prevent this vulnerability from recurring in the future.
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