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Preaching in Hitler’s Shadow: Sermons of Resistance in the Third Reich
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Preaching in Hitler’s Shadow: Sermons of Resistance in the Third Reich


Eerdmans 2013

Runs on Windows, Mac and mobile.

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What did German preachers opposed to Hitler say in their Sunday sermons? When proclaiming Christ could cost a pastor his life, what words encouraged and challenged him and his congregation?

Preaching in Hitler’s Shadow begins with an extended exploration of preaching inside the Third Reich that enables readers to better understand the danger each pastor confronted every time he went into the pulpit. Dean Stroud pays special attention to the role language played in the battle over the German soul, pointing out the use of Christian rhetoric in opposition to Nazi language.

The second part of the book presents 13 translated full-length sermons by a variety of preachers, including Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Karl Barth, Rudolf Bultmann, and others. A running commentary on each text offers cultural and historical insights. Each sermon is also preceded by a short biography of the preacher.

In the Logos edition, Preaching in Hitler’s Shadow is enhanced by amazing functionality. Scripture citations link directly to English translations, and important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Powerful searches help you find exactly what you’re looking for. Take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.

Key Features

  • Sermons reflecting various oppositional responses to Nazism
  • Commentary on Nazi Christian attitudes
  • A sermon about the loyalty oath to Adolf Hitler


  • Dietrich Bonhoeffer: Gideon
  • Karl Barth: A Sermon about Jesus as a Jew
  • Paul Schneider: Christ Crossing the Stormy Lake and Jesus’ Glory
  • Martin Niemöller: A Sermon about the Relevance of Christianity in Nazi Germany
  • Paul Schneider: A Sermon about Giving Thanks in the Third Reich
  • Julius von Jan: O Land, Land, Land: Hear the Word of the Lord
  • Helmut Gollwitzer: A Sermon about Kristallnacht
  • Helmut Gollwitzer: A Sermon about Faith as War Begins
  • Gerhard Freling: A Sermon for a Victim of Aktion T4
  • Rudolf Bultmann: A Sermon about the Parable of the Great Banquet
  • Clemens August von Galen: A Sermon about Aktion T4
  • Wlhelm Busch: The Way of True Faith

Praise for the Print Edition

After his thorough and superb presentation of the historical context, Dean Stroud provides captivating examples of biblical preaching and prophetic witness by pastors of the Confessing Church in Nazi Germany. He leaves no doubt about the life–threatening crisis the Nazis presented to Germany and the church. Neither is there any doubt about the response of the prophets here brought to life. One is simply stunned by the courage of prophetic faithfulness and by the sheer power of the Word preached in persistent obedience and at enormous risk. Here are voices that cannot be stilled. . . . Preaching in Hitler's Shadow is simply a towering book. It will inform, provoke, unsettle, move, and inspire.

—Allan Boesak, cleric, politician, and anti-apartheid activist

In these sermons we see (and hear) pastors staying true to their calling, despite the pressures to remain silent or—far worse—to praise evil. Dean Stroud, who has gathered these sermons and who situates them for us, is attentive to moral complexity, as is clear in the range of responses represented in the sermons and the diverse fates of the pastors who preached them. At once sobering and inspiring, this book is a treasure.

—John Wilson, editor, Books&Culture

In this book we see what it is like to proclaim the Gospel courageously in the midst of dire political circumstances. The idea that preaching must always avoid being political is exposed for the falsehood that it is. This is a sobering and a heartening book.

George Hunsinger, editor, Torture Is a Moral Issue

Stroud’s book is a reminder that historians attempting to understand the legacy of Protestantism under the Third Reich would do well to seriously examine the theological underpinnings of these sermons of resistance.

—Gregory Paul Wegner, professor in the department of educational studies, University of Wisconsin

Product Details

  • Title: Preaching in Hitler’s Shadow: Sermons of Resistance in the Third Reich
  • Author: Dean G. Stroud
  • Publisher: Eerdmans
  • Publication Date: 2013
  • Pages: 215

About Dean G. Stroud

Dean G. Stroud is professor emeritus of German studies at the University of Wisconsin in LaCrosse. As a former Presbyterian pastor, he has long been interested in sermons preached by opposition pastors in Hitler’s Germany.

Sample Pages from the Print Edition