Religion and the Search For Meaning, 1945–1990

Benjamin Ziemann

in The Oxford Handbook of Modern German History

Published in print September 2011 | ISBN: 9780199237395
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in History

 Religion and the Search For Meaning, 1945–1990

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This article encapsulates some of the problems that rampaged Germany apart from politics. The ongoing relevance of religion in the search for meaning in postwar Germany, amidst growing discontent with the churches as organized bodies and their professional representatives; the ways in which their lack of resistance against the anti-Jewish policies of the Nazi regime haunted the Christian churches after 1945. Amidst the rubble of the society of the immediate postwar period, bishops, priests, and theologians of both Christian churches agreed that a rebuilding of the moral and political order could only succeed through a reaffirmation of Christian values. Rebuilding the moral compass and the international authority of the Germans would, hence, require a rechristianization of society. Statistics showing that people rejoined the churches in droves seemed to support these claims for a rechristianization of German society. This article analyses the culmination of religions within the German society post Second World War.

Keywords: religion; church; postwar period; theologians

Article.  10449 words. 

Subjects: History ; Social and Cultural History

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