"The Decline of the West is being ecclesiologized": A culture war at the end of the Weimar Republic

Todd H. Weir*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

This article contends that Christian anxieties over secularism played a significant role in the political crisis at the end of the Weimar Republic. Although these anxieties flared when German Communists began to imitate elements of the Soviet antireligious campaigns after 1929, their roots lay in a struggle with secularist movements stretching back to the nineteenth-century "culture war" (Kulturkampf). Catholic and Protestant counter-mobilizations of 1930 to 1933 generated theologico-political concepts and calls for state intervention that fed into the mounting political crisis. The Briining government managed to curb excesses, but its inability to completely halt anticlericalism allowed nationalist opponents to capitalize on the new Kulturkampf. The article concludes by demonstrating how the NSDAP managed to portray itself as a non-confessional champion of Christian interests.

Translated title of the contribution"The Decline of the West is being ecclesiologized": A culture war at the end of the Weimar Republic
Original languageGerman
Title of host publicationHistorisches Jahrbuch
Place of PublicationMÜNCHEN
PublisherVERLAG KARL ALBER FREIBURG
Pages327-350
Number of pages24
Volume137
ISBN (Print)978-3-495-45294-3
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Publication series

NameHistorisches Jahrbuch
PublisherVERLAG KARL ALBER
ISSN (Print)0018-2621

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