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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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