'Positive Christianity': Theological rationales and legacies

Ryan Buesnel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In response to the 1933 election of Adolf Hitler as German Chancellor, the various German Christian movements set about the task of constructing a national Reich Church which would complement Nazi policy – an effort that required removing the legacy of Judaism from both dogma and ecclesial tradition. To achieve this, the German Christians were able to draw on an established legacy of 'Positive Christianity' in order to offer a theological rationale for Nazi ideology. This paper traces the development of Positive Christianity and examines key themes as they are expressed in two of its representative works: Ludwig Müller's What is Positive Christianity? and Cajus Fabricius's Positive Christianity in the New State. The paper will close an analysis of contemporary debates relating to Positive Christianity's influence on Nazism and the Church.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere12353
Number of pages8
JournalReligion Compass
Issue number7
Early online date23 Apr 2020
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2020


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