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The Aryan Jesus: Christian Theologians and the Bible in Nazi Germany

4.26  ·  Rating details ·  35 Ratings  ·  6 Reviews

Was Jesus a Nazi? During the Third Reich, German Protestant theologians, motivated by racism and tapping into traditional Christian anti-Semitism, redefined Jesus as an Aryan and Christianity as a religion at war with Judaism. In 1939, these theologians established the Institute for the Study and Eradication of Jewish Influence on German Religious Life. In "The Aryan Jesus
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Hardcover, 339 pages
Published November 23rd 2008 by Princeton University Press (first published November 20th 2008)
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Kathryn
Jan 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2012
I had always understood that during the time when the Nazis were in control of Germany the Christian Churches were lonely bastions of sanity, defending human rights against the evil Nazis and only accommodating to the Nazis insofar as was absolutely necessary for the survival of the Churches. This very scholarly book tells a very different story, and I am very glad I read it, although, since the book reads very much like a thesis, it is not at all a book for the popular press.

The Germans had los
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Charlie
Apr 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
Overview: The Aryan Jesus is a study of the Institut zur Erforschung ind Beseitigung des jüdischen Einflusses auf das deutsche kirchliche Leben (The Institute for the Study and Eradication of Jewish Influence on German Church Life), a quasi-academic, anti-semitic research institute. This organization, founded in 1939 by Walter Grundmann, united academics in pursuing a synthesis of German Christian theology and Nazi ideology that would justify the spiritual and later physical eradication of all J ...more
M.J. Perry
Jan 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book is one of several fairly recent studies into the culpability of Protestant Chrisitian churches in Nazi Germany's 'Final Solution'. Heschel's approach is unique in that she focuses on the work of German Christians in The Institute for the Study and Eradication of Jewish Influence on German Church Life and the academic work of Intitute members at the Univeristy of Jena. Her research is made possible because of the reunification of Germany and the release of certain documents that were he ...more
C. Christopher
Dec 12, 2010 rated it really liked it
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In a nutshell:
We need to have our eyes opened to the ways in which we are formed into ideologies of race, nation, political party, etc. and The Aryan Jesus is highly recommended as a thorough, historical account that reminds us that above all else, we are God’s people, and called to seek the shalom and reconciliation of all God’s creation – and that when we rebel against this mission or seek to reduce its scope, the fruits will likely be those of violence
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Dave McNeely
Feb 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
An incredibly disturbing read about the direction in which the cultural winds of the day shaped biblical interpretation among German Christian leaders during the Third Reich. This book does an especially good job at indirectly forcing contemporary readers to ask the question, "How does my culture shape my interpretation of the Bible?" and exposing our arrogance and blind spots.
David Hancock
Mar 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
Very technical read, but so informative to the complicity of theologians in Germany that fueled the anti-semitic actions of the Holocaust. Hard to swallow the truth that Ms. Heschel shares, but no doubt about the seeds that sprouted in the garden of the church. May this book provide us insight to not repeat the same mistakes again.
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