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Hitler's Religion: The Twisted Beliefs that Drove the Third Reich
     

Hitler's Religion: The Twisted Beliefs that Drove the Third Reich

by Richard Weikart
 

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For a man whom history can never forget, Adolf Hitler remains a persistent mystery on one front—his religious faith. Atheists tend to insist Hitler was a devout Christian. Christians counter that he was an atheist. And still others suggest that he was a practicing member of the occult.

None of these theories are true, says historian Richard Weikart.

Overview

For a man whom history can never forget, Adolf Hitler remains a persistent mystery on one front—his religious faith. Atheists tend to insist Hitler was a devout Christian. Christians counter that he was an atheist. And still others suggest that he was a practicing member of the occult.

None of these theories are true, says historian Richard Weikart. Delving more deeply into the question of Hitler's religious faith than any researcher to date, Weikart reveals the startling and fascinating truth about the most hated man of the 20th century: Adolf Hitler was a pantheist who believed nature was God. In Hitler's Religion, Weikart explains how the laws of nature became Hitler's only moral guide—how he became convinced he would serve God by annihilating supposedly "inferior" human beings and promoting the welfare and reproduction of the allegedly superior Aryans in accordance with racist forms of Darwinism prevalent at the time.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
11/28/2016
The myth that Adolf Hitler was a Christian persists, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary—but perhaps that’s not so surprising, given that Hitler, especially early on, pretended to piety to gain power. Weikart (The Death of Humanity) carefully documents Hitler’s hatred and contempt of Christianity and his desire to destroy the Christian church. He also shows that Hitler, unlike some of his closest associates, was not an occultist or neo-pagan. Nor was he an atheist. Instead, argues Weikart, Hitler was a pantheist, but not of the gentle daffodil-loving variety. Hitler’s “pantheism,” Weikart argues, was ruthlessly Social Darwinist, and he believed that the “ironclad” laws of nature demanded endless strife in a bloody struggle for survival. Weikart offers no new scholarship: his strength is in his ability to organize existing, mostly primary-source, documentation into a readable and convincing whole. The book is middlebrow in a positive way: written in layman’s language but carefully argued, always acknowledging the core opacity of what Hitler really thought about the spiritual. The work is thoughtfully documented and a gift to those interested in an introductory overview of Hitler’s religious beliefs. (Nov.)
From the Publisher

"Atheists who claim that Hitler was a Christian will be sorely disappointed by this excellent and well documented book. It clearly shows the anti-Christian nature of Hitler’s ideology and religious beliefs. Given today’s culture wars it is essential reading for all Christians and anyone interested in knowing the truth about National Socialism."
— IRVING HEXHAM, professor of religious studies, University of Calgary, and author of Understanding World Religions

"This fascinating and elegantly written new book will challenge scholars to rethink existing interpretations of 'Hitler’s Religion.' In ten well-researched and tightly argued chapters, Weikart shows that Hitler was neither an atheist, a Christian, nor an occultist. Rather, he marshals convincing evidence that Hitler was a pantheist who embraced a brutal, Darwinian religion of nature."
— DR. ERIC KURLANDER, professor of modern European history, Stetson University, and author of Living with Hitler and (forthcoming) Nazi Monsters: A Supernatural History of the Third Reich

"Many prominent Western intellectuals have dispensed with the view that humans are created in the image of God and thus have immeasurable value and inalienable rights,’ writes Professor Weikart. In my four decades of speaking in university open forums, I have witnessed the logical consequences of this belief that humanity is a cosmic accident: wherever I go I meet student after student troubled by haunting questions of meaning and purpose. Weikart demonstrates the impoverishment of philosophies that reject the Judeo-Christian worldview—but ‘still retain some of the vestiges of the Judeo-Christian morality that they claim to spurn'—and shows how Christianity uniquely makes sense of our questions of meaning, purpose, morality, and dignity. His book [The Death of Humanity] will sober and challenge you."
— RAVI ZACHARIAS, speaker and author of Why Jesus? Rediscovering His Truth in an Age of Mass Marketed Spirituality, and other books

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781621575511
Publisher:
Regnery Publishing
Publication date:
11/22/2016
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
352
Sales rank:
513,165
File size:
3 MB

Meet the Author

Richard Weikart is an associate professor of modern European history at California State University, Stanislaus. In 1994, he received his Ph.D. from the University of Iowa in modern European history with specializations in modern Germany and modern European intellectual history. His prior books include From Darwin to Hitler: Evolutionary Ethics, Eugenics, and Racism in Germany and the 2016 book Death of Humanity: And the Case for Life, also published by Regnery.

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