Date of Award

1-1-2013

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A.

Department

Religious Studies

First Advisor

Sarah Pessin

Keywords

Hitler, Nazi Church, Nazism, Religiosity, Third Reich

Abstract

ABSTRACT

"German Christianity is a distortion. You are either a German or you are Christian."

~ Adolph Hitler

In the last decade, scores of religious scholars have dissected the concept of the Third Reich as a religion. Their theories depict a vast range of extremes from National Socialism portrayed as a secular or political religion to painting the Nazis as anti-Christian pagans. The "Nazi Church" was neither a political religion nor was it simply paganism; instead, National Socialism became its own religion which replaced traditional German Christianity at a time when a nation, ripe for questioning God, was suffering from the aftermath of a disastrous war.

Hitler's Third Reich was as much a religion to the citizens of war-torn Germany as is extremist Islam to lost young men in North Africa. Just as fundamentalist religious leaders bait their chosen followers with a chance for the afterlife, Hitler convinced an entire nation that he would lead the Master Race into the thousand year millennium.

It was exactly what his countrymen needed to hear, but to rule the world, Hitler thought it was necessary to annihilate another culture.

Provenance

Recieved from ProQuest

Rights holder

Carol Mckinley Harris

File size

61 p.

File format

application/pdf

Language

en

Discipline

Religion, Philosophy of Religion

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