The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


PBS airs program on theologians and Hitler

Theologians Under Hitler addresses
Theologians Under Hitler addresses the Deutschen Christen movement that blended Christianity with German nationalism.
In November, PBS began airing Theologians Under Hitler, a program based on the research and book of the same name by Robert Ericksen, an associate professor of history at Pacific Lutheran University, Tacoma, Wash.

In addition to chronicling the roots of “resurrection” ideology associated with German nationalism, the film examines efforts to deny the Jewish roots of Christianity. It also introduces viewers to three theologians: Paul Althaus, Emanuel Hirsch and Gerhard Kittel, who in varying degrees supported Adolf Hitler and the ideology of the Nazi party.

Although the subject matter is difficult, “it doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t challenge ourselves to understand how Christians respond to important political questions or to look into the circumstances where Christians have responded badly,” Ericksen says. “Just because it’s difficult doesn’t mean we shouldn’t strive to be as honest and courageous as we can be to look at Christian practice and faith where times were hard and mistakes were made.”

See www.pbs.org for your local broadcast times. A study guide for Theologians Under Hitler can be purchased for $8.50 at www.vitalvisuals.com.


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