God, Britain, and Hitler in World War II: The View of the British Clergy, 1939-1945

God, Britain, and Hitler in World War II: The View of the British Clergy, 1939-1945

God, Britain, and Hitler in World War II: The View of the British Clergy, 1939-1945

God, Britain, and Hitler in World War II: The View of the British Clergy, 1939-1945

Synopsis

Many Britons had distinct religious or theological interpretations of World War II. They viewed Fascism, especially the German National Socialism, as a form of modern paganism, a repulsive worship of Leader, Race, and State--a form of idolatry. However, for the most part, British clerics did not defend the war as a simple matter of Christian Britain versus Pagan Germany, because they saw only too well the pagan elements in British culture. Instead, the clergy defended the war as a defense of "Christian civilization," a particular religious culture that had grown up under the aegis of the Christian faith.

Excerpt

Richard V. Pierard

World War II was the most extensive conflict in human history. Never before had so many nations in so many parts of the world engaged in a struggle of such titanic proportions. Neither had the loss of life and property as the result of a war ever been greater. It changed the entire course of global development by bringing an end to European imperial and economic hegemony and ushering in the age of American dominance. Thereafter conflicts were more limited in scope, and even the struggle between communism (in its various forms) and Western democracy never erupted into a global war, which in the nuclear age would have meant the total destruction of humanity.

No other topic is the subject of so much scholarly and popular literature as this one. The two-volume Handbook of Literature and Research on World War II, edited by Loyd E. Lee and published by Greenwood Press in 1997 and 1998, provides the best overview of the scholarship on the conflict available today, but it is inconceivable that anyone will ever produce a bibliography encompassing all the millions of relevant literary works that have appeared in various languages. Still, the unceasing flow of books, articles, films, videos, and other materials on World War II bears testimony to the continuing grip it has on the public.

Although a torrent of literature has been produced on the military, political, and social aspects of the war, writers have devoted much less attention to its . . .

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