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The Legacy of the Barmen Declaration: Politics and the Kingdom

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In 1934, during the Nazi regime in Germany, members of the Confessing Church issued the Declaration of Barmen, which reaffirmed their primary loyalty to the word of God. With their action, they established a legacy for future generations to follow in similar situations.This volume examines the historical, political, and theological context of the creation of the Barmen Declaration, as it constituted an act of theological and political resistance against tyranny, terror, and fascism. The work of the Barmen Declaration demonstrated clearly and powerfully the "this-worldly" ethical and political salience of religion and theology to empower witness, resistance, and solidarity. Containing contributions from an inclusive array of renowned scholars, the volume unfolds the lasting legacy and continued relevance of Barmen.


Introduction: Political Theology and Barmen

  1. Evangelical Synod 1934: Theological Declaration of Barmen
  2. Presbyterian Church, Book of Order: Barmen Declaration (short version)
  3. The Barmen Theological Declaration in May 1934: Its Formulation and Significance, Eberhard Busch
  4. Historical Overview: The Barmen Declaration of 1934, Wolf Krötke
  5. Democratic Faith: Barth, Barmen and the Politics of Reformed Confession, Derek Woodard-Lehman

6.Confess and Resist: Karl Barth and Dietrich Bonhoeffer in the Church Struggle, Wolfgang Huber

  1. Two Types of Religious Faith: A Conversation with Martin Buber, Fred Dallmayr
  2. Thy Kingdom Come: The Prayer of the Church Community For God’s Kingdom on Earth, Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Conclusion: Political Theology Again

General Bibliography Relating to the Barmen Declaration

About of Contributors

In this crisp volume, we find a focused, careful account of Barmen in its historical context and a circumspect parsing of what the Barmen Declaration can and cannot promise us today. . . . As I read this volume explicating Barmen, this lesson stands up most of all: Barmen is inspiring, but it is also a slow work, enabled by decades of faithful training and ministry before the time of crisis. Apart from that, Barmen would have remained simply a whisper floating on the Rhine.

As a rule Christians seldom know they are in trouble until it is too late to know the trouble they are in. That is why it is so important we have this book on the process that led Christians in Germany to the Barmen Declaration. From Barmen we learn how to discern pathologies that can only be diagnosed from a Christological perspective. This is a book we have long needed because it helps us see how difficult the process was that resulted in this extraordinary text. May it help us see where we are today.

Bravo! These insightful, interrelated essays shed new light on the Barmen Declaration and its underlying, once-again urgent issue: how do we sustain independent, challenging interactions between the churches and the state, between true faith and patriotism?

[T]his volume provokes Christians and other people of good will to be inspired by the example of those who gathered in Barmen to counter all-too-comfortable religious accommodations to dictatorship.

Product Details

  • Title : The Legacy of the Barmen Declaration: Politics and the Kingdom
  • Authors:
    • Dallmayr, Fred
    • Dallmayr, Fred
    • Busch, Eberhard
    • Krötke, Wolf
    • Huber, Wolfgang
    • Woodard-Lehman, Derek
    • Bonhoeffer, Dietrich
  • Publisher: Lexington Books
  • Publication Date: 2019
  • ISBN: 9781793601346

Fred Dallmayr is professor emeritus of University of Notre Dame and is member of the board of the Dialogue of Civilizations-Research Institute in Berlin.


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