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Theology, Sociology and Politics

The German Protestant Social Conscience 1890-1933

University of Durham

This book discusses the political setting of Protestant theology in the German-language area (including Switzerland), and the efforts made in the period 1890-1933 to develop forms of social thought and action on Christian presuppositions. It discusses the theoretical challenge posed by Max Weber, and the more far-reaching challenges offered by the outbreak of war in 1914 and the political instability of the 1920s. Central to the argument are the efforts of theologians from Stoecker and Harnack to Barth and Tillich to assess Socialism from a Christian point of view, and their difficulties in coming to terms with the daily politics of operative political systems. The book treats the subject from an historian's viewpoint as has not previously been attempted in English or German.