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Sailing on the Next Tide

Missions, Missiology, and the Third Reich


Werner Ustorf

When German missiologists started to re-import their dream of a dominant Christianity to central Europe, there were more similarities between the missionary and the national socialist utopias than the post-war consensus would like to admit. Fascism to many missiologists became the desired breaking point of modernity, a revival of the Volk’s deep emotions and a breakthrough of the archaic spirituality they had long been waiting for. Upon this tide they wanted to sail and conquer new territories for Christ. This study, therefore, will address the issue of mission and Nazism primarily in the light of the struggle of Christianity for a place or a home within and vis-à-vis the culture of the West as it was approaching the end of modernity.
Contents: Christian missionary thinking in its broad historical context – Explicitly missionary but non-Christian movements in Germany at the time (Hitler’s missiology and Hauer’s neopaganism) – Attempts in the US, in Britain and the wider ecumenical movement (William Hocking, Joe Oldham, the Oxford conference of 1937) at rethinking Christianity.