The life, theological contribution, and mysterious disappearance of one of the more important New Testament scholars in the twentieth century
On February 15, 1946, the Soviet NKVD raided the home of Ernst Lohmeyer just hours before his inauguration as the president of Greifswald University in Germany. Lohmeyer had survived active duty in both World War I and World War II. A New Testament scholar and theologian, he resisted the rise of Nazi fascism as a member of the Confessing Church. But the Soviet occupation of Germany was even more repressive than Nazi domination. With the exception of correspondence from prison, Lohmeyer was never heard from again.
In Between the Swastika and the Sickle, James R. Edwards recounts the story of Lohmeyer’s life, his theological achievements, his courageous resistance to the forces of political repression, and the events surrounding his death. But the book also includes Edwards’s intrepid search for the legacy of this brilliant and courageous scholar, whose story is made even more compelling by the tumultuous interplay of faith and politics in twenty-first-century America.
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— author of The Aryan Jesus: Christian Theologians and the Bible in Nazi Germany
“James Edwards has composed an important and wonderfully written biography of a pivotal figure in the study of the New Testament, Ernst Lohmeyer. Even more: this book gives us a fascinating depiction of German theological scholarship before, during, and after the Nazi years.”
John P. Burgess
— author of The East German Church and the End of Communism and Holy Rus’: The Rebirth of Orthodoxy in the New Russia.
“This beautifully written book is more than a biography. It is, above all, an exercise in remembering and honoring the Christian struggle to live with truth and integrity under conditions of political repression. Edwards not only recovers Ernst Lohmeyer’s story but also draws us compellingly into his own life journey as a Christian scholar and pastor. Skillfully weaving together archival research, interviews, and personal experiences on ‘the other side,’ Edwards offers us a theological thriller that will interest scholars and, indeed, all who wish to learn from the Christian legacy of twentieth-century Germany.”