Document Details

Document Type:   Thesis
Title:   A Wolf Amongst the Sheep: A Sociological Approach to Understanding the German Church Struggle
Author:   Kevin Lee Dingess
College:   Liberal Arts
Degree Program:   Sociology, M.A.
Degree:   Master of Arts
Committee Director:   Dr. Richard Garnett
Document Availability:   Document available for World-Wide access.
Date of Defense:   04-25-07

Researchers pursuing the Kirchenkampf, Church Struggle, have persistently concentrated on anti-Semitism to explicate why the Protestant Churches failed at stopping the Holocaust. Former studies indicate that the Protestant Churches were ineffective at limiting the Nazi regime. Essentially, this failure was accredited to the following: anti-Semitism (both past and modern), post-war resentment, common enemies or shared values between the regime and the Protestant Churches (including, Communists, Bolsheviks, Jews, and the secularism/liberalism of the Weimar Republic), and a strongly ingrained nationalism. Despite the facts that the validity of this past research has been supported numerous times over, this research observes features of why the Protestant Churches failed from a structural perspective. The Mainstream Protestant Churches were a bureaucracy when Adolf Hitler and the Nazi regime took control. This study emphasizes that the organizational structures of the Protestant Churches were perhaps the most crucial cause of the Protestant Churches’ inability to sufficiently bind the Nazi regime’s tactics.  

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