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Preaching in Hitler's Shadow: Sermons of Resistance in the Third Reich

Edited By: Dean G. Stroud
Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. / 2013 / Paperback

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Product Description

A revealing window into Christian opposition inside Nazi GermanyWhat did German preachers opposed to Hitler say in their Sunday sermons? When proclaiming Christ could cost a pastor his life, what words encouraged and challenged him and his congregation?

Preaching in Hitler's Shadow begins with an extended exploration of preaching inside the Third Reich that enables readers to better understand the danger each pastor confronted every time he went into the pulpit. Dean Stroud pays special attention to the role language played in the battle over the German soul, pointing out the use of Christian rhetoric in opposition to Nazi language.

The second part of the book presents thirteen translated full length sermons by a variety of preachers, including Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Karl Barth, Rudolf Bultmann, and others not as well known. A running commentary on each text offers cultural and historical insights, and each sermon is preceded by a short biography of the preacher.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 208
Vendor: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.
Publication Date: 2013
ISBN-13: 9780802869029
Availability: In Stock

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Publisher's Description

What did German preachers opposed to Hitler say in their Sunday sermons? When the truth of Christ could cost a pastor his life, what words encouraged and challenged him and his congregation? This book answers those questions.

Preaching in Hitler's Shadow begins with a fascinating look at Christian life inside the Third Reich, giving readers a real sense of the danger that pastors faced every time they went into the pulpit. Dean Stroud pays special attention to the role that language played in the battle over the German soul, pointing out the use of Christian language in opposition to Nazi rhetoric.

The second part of the book presents thirteen well-translated sermons by various select preachers, including Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Karl Barth, Rudolf Bultmann, and others not as well known but no less courageous. A running commentary offers cultural and historical insights, and each sermon is preceded by a short biography of the preacher.

Author Bio

Dean G. Stroud is professor emeritus of German studies at the University of Wisconsin in LaCrosse. As a former Presbyterian pastor, he has long been interested in sermons preached by opposition pastors in Hitler's Germany.

Endorsements

After his thorough and superb presentation of the historical context, Dean Stroud provides captivating examples of biblical preaching and prophetic witness by pastors of the Confessing Church in Nazi Germany. He leaves no doubt about the life-threatening crisis the Nazis presented to Germany and the church. Neither is there any doubt about the response of the prophets here brought to life. One is simply stunned by the courage of prophetic faithfulness and by the sheer power of the Word preached in persistent obedience and at enormous risk. Here are voices that cannot be stilled. . . . Preaching in Hitler's Shadow is simply a towering book. It will inform, provoke, unsettle, move, and inspire.
-Allan Boesak
Author of Dare We Speak of Hope? Searching for a Language of Life in Faith and Politics

In these sermons we see (and hear) pastors staying true to their calling, despite the pressures to remain silent or -- far worse -- to praise evil. Dean Stroud, who has gathered these sermons and who situates them for us, is attentive to moral complexity, as is clear in the range of responses represented in the sermons and the diverse fates of the pastors who preached them. At once sobering and inspiring, this book is a treasure.
-John Wilson
Editor of Books & Culture

In this book we see what it is like to proclaim the gospel courageously in the midst of dire political circumstances. The idea that preaching must always avoid being political is exposed for the falsehood that it is. This is a sobering and a heartening book.
-George Hunsinger
Editor of Torture Is a Moral Issue

Stroud's book is a reminder that historians attempting to understand the legacy of Protestantism under the Third Reich would do well to seriously examine the theological underpinnings of these sermons of resistance.
-Gregory Paul Wegner
Author of Anti-Semitism and Schooling under the Third Reich

Editorial Reviews

Allan Boesak
-- author of Dare We Speak of Hope? Searching for a Language of Life in Faith and Politics
"After his thorough and superb presentation of the historical context, Dean Stroud provides captivating examples of biblical preaching and prophetic witness by pastors of the Confessing Church in Nazi Germany. He leaves no doubt about the life-threatening crisis the Nazis presented to Germany and the church. Neither is there any doubt about the response of the prophets here brought to life. One is simply stunned by the courage of prophetic faithfulness and by the sheer power of the Word preached in persistent obedience and at enormous risk. Here are voices that cannot be stilled. . . . Preaching in Hitler’s Shadow is simply a towering book. It will inform, provoke, unsettle, move, and inspire."

John Wilson
-- editor of Books & Culture
"In these sermons we see (and hear) pastors staying true to their calling, despite the pressures to remain silent or -- far worse -- to praise evil. Dean Stroud, who has gathered these sermons and who situates them for us, is attentive to moral complexity, as is clear in the range of responses represented in the sermons and the diverse fates of the pastors who preached them. At once sobering and inspiring, this book is a treasure."

George Hunsinger
-- editor of Torture Is a Moral Issue
"In this book we see what it is like to proclaim the gospel courageously in the midst of dire political circumstances. The idea that preaching must always avoid being political is exposed for the falsehood that it is. This is a sobering and a heartening book."

Gregory Paul Wegner
-- author of Anti-Semitism and Schooling under the Third Reich
"Stroud’s book is a reminder that historians attempting to understand the legacy of Protestantism under the Third Reich would do well to seriously examine the theological underpinnings of these sermons of resistance."

Theology Today
"Preaching in Hitler’s Shadow will appeal to pastors, students, and scholars interested in the history of the Confessing Church as well as anyone interested in prophetic and doctrinal preaching."
 

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