The End of Illusions: Religious Leaders Confront Hitler's Gathering Storm / Edition 1

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The rise of Islamic radicalism has led to heated discussions about how best to address the threat of religious terror. Disputes covering the right and wrong of war with Iraq, and the even bigger war on terrorism, continue to rage across America. But this is not the first argument of this nature—America was faced with a similar moral dilemma on the eve of World War II. Fascism was conquering Europe, and religious leaders across the nation vehemently debated how to confront Nazi Germany. In The End of Illusions: Religious Leaders Confront Hitler's Gathering Storm, Joseph Loconte brings together pieces from the most significant religious thinkers of the pre-war period. In these essays, the writers eloquently and passionately present their arguments for going to war or maintaining the peace. In doing so, they explore issues vibrantly relevant today, including the Christian cause for war, the problem of evil, and America's role in the world. These urgently written pieces connect the past with the present and resonate with renewed clarity and poignancy.

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Editorial Reviews

Michael Novak
With this vital documentation, Joseph Loconte brings back to life the intense intellectual battle that bitterly divided religious thinkers in the 1930s: How should they respond to the total war against the West, mounted by the Third Reich and its Axis partners? Reinhold Niehbur and others fought manfully against the overwhelming numbers of pacifists, doves, perfectionists, and just plain appeasers, and took many rhetorical blows for doing so. These documents tell the tale most eloquently.
Jean Bethke Elshtain
Congratulations to Joseph Loconte for bringing together this indispensable collection of writings by American theologians and churchmen who either opposed or supported America's involvement in the war against Nazi Germany. Then, as now, a significant cohort of the clergy preached a 'moral equivalence' between the United States and its foes; then, as now, many averted their gaze from the horrors unfolding in another part of the world; then, as now, many cried 'peace' when there was no 'peace' for the victims of Nazism. Opposition to this position, spearheaded by Reinhold Niebuhr, located interventionism within the heart of the Christian tradition and its understanding of the role of the state in protecting citizens from, and punishing, evil. Loconte's briskly written, energetic introduction helps to frame our understanding of who the writers were and what issues were at stake. Anyone who wishes to deepen his or her appreciation of American church opinion between World Wars I and II should read this volume.
The Weekly Standard - Joseph Bottum
Joseph Loconte gathered surprising material for his excellent historical study.
Wilfred M. McClay
Although its subject is the fierce debate among religious leaders about America’s entry into the Second World War, Joseph Loconte’s powerful and timely book also sheds light on the conduct of religious leaders in our current struggles. Rarely has a collection of historical documents had more immediate relevance, or offered more self-evident parallels to the present. Then, as now, one is dismayed by the failure of so many of our most prominent religious spokesmen to give responsible guidance to those burdened by the terrible obligations of statecraft. Then, as now, one is grateful for the clear-thinking remnant who did provide such guidance, and who understood that genuine love for one’s neighbors can never mean abandoning them to barbarism and murder.
The Weekly Standard
Joseph Loconte gathered surprising material for his excellent historical study.
— Joseph Bottum
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780742534995
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/28/2004
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 5.84 (w) x 8.94 (h) x 0.61 (d)

Meet the Author

Joseph Loconte is the William E. Simon Fellow in Religion and a Free Society at the Heritage Foundation's Center for Religion and Civil Society.

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Table of Contents

Part 1 I The Peacemakers Chapter 2 A Road Away From War Chapter 3 Putting Christianity in Cold Storage Chapter 4 On Saving Civilization Chapter 5 What Can America Do for Peace? Chapter 6 A War for Imperialism Chapter 7 The Same Old War Chapter 8 The Causes of War—Hitler Chapter 9 Nazi Atrocities and the American War Fever Chapter 10 All Will Be Lost By War Chapter 11 A Clash of Imperialisms Chapter 12 What Can Christians Do? Chapter 13 What, Then, Should Churches Do? Chapter 14 Keeping Christ Above the Strife Part 15 II The Prophets Chapter 16 An End to Illusions Chapter 17 Why the Church is not Pacifist Chapter 18 Christian Faith and the World Crisis Chapter 19 First Letter to the French Protestants Chapter 20 Second Letter to the French Protestants Chapter 21 A Letter to Great Britain Chapter 22 Five Mournful Years for Jewry Chapter 23 Enemy of Human Freedom Chapter 24 The Crime of Crimes Chapter 25 The Darkest Political Tyranny Chapter 26 Irresponsible Idealism Chapter 27 The Christian as Citizen Chapter 28 Defending Justice Despite Our Own Injustice Chapter 29 The Barbarian Alternative Chapter 30 The Aftermath of Utopianism Part 31 III The Gathering Storm Chapter 32 War and Peace Chapter 33 America's Responsibility in the Present Crisis

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