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date: 23 January 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The political ideology of the Third Reich was the culmination of years of lingering hope for an ideal German ethnic community populated with ideal German humanity. The theology of the German Christian movement turned Jesus into a divine representation of the racially pure Aryan, enabling race-hatred to become a core part of German religious life. That social reality was also the context in which Bonhoeffer was raised, and trained as a theologian and a pastor. Bonhoeffer had to confront that ideology within himself, and to grow beyond what he had received as a child growing up in Germany in order to come to see racism as a defining problem for genuine Christianity in Nazi Germany.

Keywords: ideal ethnic community, Aryan, ideology, Nazi Germany, racism

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