Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Examining faith in the face of repression

At Princeton University Press, Susannah Heschel has authored The Aryan Jesus: Christian Theologians and the Bible in Nazi Germany. This is obviously an uncomfortable topic for many. Yet, German theologians, among them Dietrich Bonhoeffer, went to great lengths to defend their faith. In Bonhoeffer's case, of course, that also meant him giving his life.

While the Nazi Era of repression brought about horrors that directly attacked the message of Jesus Christ, it is a relatively recent event historically. Similarly, slavery and all of the abuses to life and human dignity remain difficult subjects, even today, when examining U.S. history, specifically in the American South. In the case of the development of the Evangelical Movement in the Southern United States, there are great works by theologians, among them New York Theological Seminary's Dr. Peter G. Heltzel, which examine the transformational possibilities of faith.

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