This unit will expose students to the conflict that arose between the Nazi regime and the German Protestant Churches (the Kirchenkampf - ‘Church Struggle’) in the early 1930s. Students will explore both the theological and political causes of the Church Struggle, the differing ways in which the Nazi government dealt with Protestants and Catholics and the divisions that emerged within German Protestantism itself. By analyzing texts from, on the one hand, the German Christian movement and on the other, the Confessing Church, students will assess theologically the ways in which both sides sought to justify their responses to Nazism. Finally, through critical study of the Barmen Declaration, students will be asked to consider the relevance of the Kirchenkampf for our own day.

Unit Code: CH9809T

Points: 24.0

Unit Level: Postgraduate Elective

Unit Discipline: Church History

Delivery Mode: Online

Proposing College: Trinity College Theological School

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Learning Outcomes


Explain the main causes of the German Kirchenkampf


Distinguish the ways in which the Roman Catholic Church and the Protestant Churches in Germany, responded to Nazism


Articulate the key theological issues at stake


Critically assess the actions and attitudes of the Confessing Church


Analyse the Barmen Declaration and apply its principles in the modern world


Weekly lectures, seminars, online forum discussion, interaction with textual and visual artifacts


Type Description Wordcount Weight (%)
Document Study

Document Study (1,000 words)

0 30.0

Forum (equivalent to 1,000 words)

0 20.0

Essay (4,000 words)

0 50.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by John Capper on 18 Oct, 2018

Unit Record last updated: 2019-04-02 08:19:40 +1100