Katholische Vereine in Baden Und Wurttemberg, 1848-1914: Ein Beitrag Zur Organisationsgeschichte Des Sudwestdeutschen Katholizismus Im Rahmen der Entstehung der Modernen Industriegesellschaft

By Yonke, Eric John | The Catholic Historical Review, January 1997 | Go to article overview

Katholische Vereine in Baden Und Wurttemberg, 1848-1914: Ein Beitrag Zur Organisationsgeschichte Des Sudwestdeutschen Katholizismus Im Rahmen der Entstehung der Modernen Industriegesellschaft


Yonke, Eric John, The Catholic Historical Review


Katholische Vereine in Baden und Wurttemberg, 1848-1914:Ein Beitrag zur Organisationsgeschichte des sudwestdeutschen Katholizismus im Rahmen der Entstehung der modernen Industriegesellschaft. By Winfrid Halder. [Veroffentlichungen der Kommission fur Zeitgeschichte, Reihe B: Forschungen, Band 64.] (Paderborn: Ferdinand Schoningh. 1995. Pp. xxix, 409.)

Although the title suggests a rather narrowly defined monograph, this book makes a substantial contribution to the field. Winfrid Halder defines the function and meaning of the Verein (association or club), the Verband (association, federation, or union) and the Gewerkschaft (trade union) for modern German Catholicism. He delineates the various forms of association, traces their development, and examines the relationship between clergy and laity in them. As a product of the Commission for Contemporary History, it is solidly grounded in archival research. This work is the first comprehensive and systematic treatment of German Catholic voluntary associations to appear in a long time.

Halder describes the Vereine as the infrastructure of nineteenth-century German Catholicism, relying heavily on the interpretations of Heinz Hurten, Klaus Schatz, and others. Beginning in the 1840's, a network of clubs, organizations, newspapers, and journals arose under the nominal leadership of the Catholic Association of Germany. The most successful Vereine-and there were hundreds of them-were devoted primarily to charity and to the missions. The Catholic political clubs of 1848 failed to take hold among the faithful, however, and vanished almost as quickly as they appeared. The voluntary associations did not curb secularization as the ultramontanists hoped, nor did they "emancipate" the laity as progressive reformers hoped. These were by no means tightly organized. They were simply a Catholic presence in society helping shape social conscience during industrialization, without realizing any potential for mass political movement.

According to Halder, the Kulturkampf did not forge any union of all classes into a mass movement. Some Catholic organizations actually declined, perhaps because of the economic depression. …

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