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’Politische Religion‘

Zur Herkunft eines Interpretationsmodells totalitärer Ideologien

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'Political religion' as an analytical model was not first introduced by Voegelin and Aron but initially reestablished as a critical term in the discussion of nationalism and imperialism (Dicey, Lehmann, Ular, Schütz). With the rise of totalitarian dictatorships, this religious interpretation was transferred to aspects of Bolshevism (Russell, Gerlich, Berdjajew, Tillich, Gurian, Schütz) and National Socialism (Dehn, Barth, Sasse, Jacob). Protestant theologians played a decisive part in this procedure. They probably used for the first time explicitly the term 'political religion' in connection with the “Third Reich” (Jacob, Schütz). The perception of religious sentiments and structures in politics, the presence of a differentiated term of religion and the possibility to change perspective through transcultural experiences was decisive for the acceptance of this interpretation model. Up to now the term 'political religion' was and still is used with different intentions in Christian and atheist-liberal models of thinking.

Language: German

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: September 1, 2012

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  • Die Zeitschrift für Theologie und Kirche (ZThK) erörtert zentrale Themen theologischen Denkens und kirchlicher Praxis. Sie wendet sich an Studierende wie Lehrende, an Pfarrer und Pfarrerinnen, Lehrerinnen und Lehrer, die regelmäßig Einblick in die wichtigsten aktuellen Forschungen in allen theologischen Disziplinen gewinnen wollen. Sie ist eine wissenschaftliche Zeitschrift, die gründlich informiert und zu eigener theologischer Arbeit anregen will.
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