The function of "spirit" in German Christian theology and the Volkstestament

Ryan Buesnel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The German Christians (Deutsche Christen) were a factional group within the German Evangelical Church who incorporated völkisch and National Socialist ideology into theology and Church life. Throughout the 1930s until the close of the Second World War, German Christian leaders would express a robust theological agenda in a plethora of monographs, policy statements, and speeches. Much of this theology has a strongly Christological emphasis, especially as this concerned the crafting of Germanic Jesus. Accompanying this was a frequent evocation of the "Spirit" as a way of imbuing the National Socialist revolution with religious significance. The following article traces such uses of Spirit language within German Christian proclamation and explores how this had distinct implications for the Christian doctrine of the Holy Spirit.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)422-437
Number of pages16
JournalChurch History and Religious Culture
Issue number3-4
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 15 Dec 2022


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