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Analyzing the previously unexplored religious views of the Nazi elite, Richard Steigmann-Gall argues against the consensus that Nazism as a whole was either unrelated to Christianity or actively opposed to it. In contrast, Steigmann-Gall demonstrates that many in the Nazi movement believed the contours of their ideology were based on a Christian understanding of Germany's ills and their cure. He also explores the struggle the "positive Christians" waged with the party's paganists and demonstrates that this was not just a conflict over religion, but over the very meaning of Nazi ideology itself. Richard Steigmann-Gall is assistant professor of history at Kent Sate University. He earned his BA and MA at the University of Michigan, and PhD at the University of Toronto. He has earned fellowships and awards from the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the Sassoon International Center for the Study of Antisemitism in Israel, and the Max-Planck Institut fur Geschichte in Göttingen. His research interests include modern Germany, Fascism, and religion and society in Europe, and he has published articles in Central European History, German History, Social History, and Kirchliche Zeitgeschichte.
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There has been a huge amount of research on the attitude of the Christian Churches to the Nazis and their policies, but astonishingly until now there has been no thorough study of the Nazis own religious beliefs. Richard Steigmann-Gall has now provided it. He has trawled through a lot of very turgid literature to show that active Nazis from the leadership down to the lower levels of the party were bitterly opposed to the Catholic Church, but had a much more ambivalent attitude to Protestantism and to Christianity in a wider sense. Even those who, like Himmler and Rosenberg, advocated a kind of pseudo-Germanic paganism, retained at least some Christian elements amongst their religious beliefs. Most preferred a Nazified form of Protestantism that saw Jesus as an Aryan anti-Semite and bent Christian principles to serve racial interests. Far from being uniformly anti-Christian, Nazism contained a wide variety of religious beliefs, and Steigmann-Gall has performed a valuable service in providing a meticulously documented account of them in all their bizarre variety.
Richard J. Evans, Professor of Modern History, University of Cambridge
The Holy Reich is both deeply researched and thoughtfully argued. It is the first comparative analysis of the religious beliefs of leading Nazis and a timely reminder of the intimate relations between liberal Protestantism and National Socialism. This is an important and original book by a talented young scholar that deserves as wide a readership as possible.
Michael Burleigh, William Rand Kenan Professor of History at Washington & Lee University and author of The Third Reich: A New History, winner of Britain's Samuel Johnson Prize for non-fiction in 2001
The Holy Reich is a brilliant and provocative work that will recast the whole debate on Christianity and Nazism. We have come to realize that Christianity embraced Nazism more than we used to believe. Now, in a work of deep revisionist import, Richard Steigmann-Gall shows us that the embrace was more than reciprocated.
Helmut Walser Smith, author of The Butcher's Tale: Murder and Anti-Semitism in a German TownAbout the Author:
Richard Steigmann-Gall is Assistant Professor of History at Kent State University. He has earned fellowships and awards from institutions in Germany, Israel, and Canada, and he has published articles in Central European History, German History, Social History, and Kirchliche Zeitgeschichte.
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Book Description Cambridge University Press. Condition: new. Seller Inventory # THINK0521823714
Book Description CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS, United Kingdom, 2010. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. Analyzing the previously unexplored religious views of the Nazi elite, Richard Steigmann-Gall argues against the consensus that Nazism as a whole was either unrelated to Christianity or actively opposed to it. He demonstrates that many participants in the Nazi movement believed that the contours of their ideology were based on a Christian understanding of Germany's ills and their cure. A program usually regarded as secular in inspiration - the creation of a racialist 'people's community' embracing antisemitism, antiliberalism and anti-Marxism - was, for these Nazis, conceived in explicitly Christian terms. His examination centers on the concept of 'positive Christianity,' a religion espoused by many members of the party leadership. He also explores the struggle the 'positive Christians' waged with the party's paganists - those who rejected Christianity in toto as foreign and corrupting - and demonstrates that this was not just a conflict over religion, but over the very meaning of Nazi ideology itself. Seller Inventory # LHB9780521823715
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