Nazism and Religion: The Problem of “Positive Christianity”
Version of Record online: 21 MAR 2014
© 2014 The Author. Australian Journal of Politics and History © 2014 School of History, Philosophy, Religion and Classics, School of Political Science and International Studies, The University of Queensland and Wiley Publishing Asia Pty Ltd.
Australian Journal of Politics & History
Volume 60, Issue 1, pages 28–42, March 2014
How to Cite
Koehne, S. (2014), Nazism and Religion: The Problem of “Positive Christianity”. Australian Journal of Politics & History, 60: 28–42. doi: 10.1111/ajph.12043
- Issue online: 21 MAR 2014
- Version of Record online: 21 MAR 2014
Current debates on Nazism and religion are focused around the notion that the Nazis sought to promote a kind of Christian faith called “positive Christianity”. This article challenges such perspectives. It establishes that “positive Christianity” had an existing meaning in German society before the Nazi Party was formed — dogmatic Christian faith — and demonstrates that this was the same interpretation of religious faith that Hitler appeared to advocate in Mein Kampf. By contrast to recent revisionist accounts, the paper argues that “positive Christianity” had such a wide variety of interpretations that it cannot be considered as a cohesive construct.