German and Scandinavian Protestantism, 1700-1918

German and Scandinavian Protestantism, 1700-1918

German and Scandinavian Protestantism, 1700-1918

German and Scandinavian Protestantism, 1700-1918

Synopsis

This book is the first history in English of the Lutheran Church in Germany and Scandinavia from 1700 to the end of the First World War. Hope details how the social and political upheaval of the period challenged the structure and ethos of the Reformation churches, and how Protestantism evolved to meet these profound challenges.

Excerpt

On 24 June 1945 a declaration appeared inCopenhagen Politiken, signed by Halfdan Hogsbro (1894-1976; bishop of Lolland and Falster 1950-64), director of Copenhagen's Pastoral College, and three other clergymen in the name of Danish parish clergy who had been officially appointed by the Danish Ministry of Social Affairs to look after roughly 240,000 German refugees, who were mainly from Lutheran East and West Prussia and Pomerania. This was a very large number (90,000 settled in greater Copenhagen alone) in a small Lutheran country (4.3 million) which had experienced Nazi occupation since April 1940. Hogsbro argued for the need to show compassion despite all that had happened under occupation; these refugees were not to be seen as 'inferior': they were mostly Lutheran countryfolk attached to home values and an old Christian and common Reformation tradition. How close and yet how far apart Lutheran Danes and Lutheran German neighbours were at this time. To write a history of German and Scandinavian Protestantism after 1945 without ire is hard.

It is this old, poor, customary, contemplative, and unhurried, mainly Lutheran, churchscape of country and home-town Krähwinkel, defined by many German sixteenth-century local church orders and liturgies, and similar national church orders and liturgies in Lutheran Sweden and Denmark (the Dual Monarchies SwedenFinland until 1809, and Denmark-Norway until 1814) which is the chief subject of this book. It survived the rise of modern economies after 1870, the First World War, and constitutional and social reorganization in the interwar period, only to be destroyed by German racial dictatorship, and by the course of a brutish Second World War at the end of which a displacement of parishioners on a colossal scale took place.

Germany's Reformation churchscape and its iconography is no longer so easy to see today, despite the recent opening-up of the heartland, Saxony and Thuringia, and central and eastern Europe. So . . .

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