Religion In Germany 1830-1930 (With Glimpses At Neighbouring Lands) -- By: Hugh G. Bevenot

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 087:346 (Apr 1930)
Article: Religion In Germany 1830-1930 (With Glimpses At Neighbouring Lands)
Author: Hugh G. Bevenot

Religion In Germany
(With Glimpses At Neighbouring Lands)

Hugh G. Bevenot

Die Kirche Deutchlands im 19. Jahrhundert. 392 pp. By Reinhold Seeberg, Leipzig, 1903.

Um Kirchliche Einheit: Stockholm-Lausanne-Rom. 332 pp. By Max Pribilla, S.J. 8.50 mk. Herder. Freiburg, 1929.

Ringen der Gegenwart: Collected Essays of Erich Przywara, S.J., 2 vols., 962 pp. Filser Verlag, Augsburg, Germany, 1929.

Stockholm, International Review; publ. Chicago, London, Göttingen.

Vorwärts Zur Einheit. By Prof. Albert von Ruville, Kirchheim, Mainz, 1929.

Apostatenbriefe. By R. K. Lewin (Letters of a Jewish Convert to Catholicism), 1928, Wiesbaden.

Protestant Europe, Its Crisis and Outlook. By A. Keller and G. Stewart, Hodder & Stoughton, London, 1927.

As there are ebbs and flows in the religious spirit of individuals, so are there too in the spiritual mentality of nations. They are as a surging sea with currents and cross currents and perplexing eddies. This is peculiarly the case with German religiosity because the German mind is at times so crudely matter-of-fact, at times so wildly speculative. When, therefore, the present writer undertakes to epitomize as it were in these pages the religious currents of opinion in Germany today, he is conscious that his remarks can supply no complete idea of the subject. As the Apostle says: “We know in part.”

Both outward organization and creeds (the inner meaning) will call for examination, a division of the subject corresponding to what philosophers sometimes call form and matter. And though indeed it is generally “the mat-

ter that matters,” yet form is important enough too, especially as, in our case, it implies VISIBLE CHURCH. So it is hoped that the reader will not pass over what follows.

Part I. Religious Bodies

(A) Lutheran And Reformed Churches

To understand the religious grouping of pastors and their flocks in Germany, it will not be necessary to go quite so far back as Luther. The reader will be aware that roughly the northern half of the German Empire (the greater part of future Germany) ended by becoming Protestant, with just a Catholic stronghold on East (Silesia) and West (Rhineland and Westphalia); while old Bavaria and Austria were definitely saved for Catholicism by the “Counter Reformation,” though there were Protestant strongholds there too.

That was roughly the position till the days of Napoleon, though to be sure the Protestant forces were not quite homogeneous. This...

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