The Christian churches in the Soviet Occupied Zone and the GDR, 1945-1989

Gehrold, Sebastian Michael (1997) The Christian churches in the Soviet Occupied Zone and the GDR, 1945-1989. MPhil(R) thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Abstract

This dissertation deals with the Christian Churches in the Soviet Occupied Zone and the GDR, 1945-1989. It consists of three main sections, with the first part providing background information, the second part focusing on the actual topic, and the third part comparing and analysing the previously reached results. The first part of the dissertation is sub-divided into three chapters. Chapter one deals with the German churches 1918-1945. The aim of this chapter is to provide in insight into the roles Protestantism and Catholicism played before Hitler came to power in 1933. The major changes of the 15 years after the First World War are elaborated and the churches' attempts to accommodate themselves under the various political systems are analysed. The second chapter of part one deals with the Christian churches in eastern Europe after the Second World War. Background information on the Communist governments' church policies is provided and patterns are established in order to allow comparison with the situation in the GDR. The last chapter of this part focuses on the Vatican's eastern policies. The approaches pursued by the various pontiffs and the consequences that the Vatican's policies had on the Catholics in eastern Europe are pointed out. Again, the aim is to establish a background against which the situation in the GDR can be compared. Part two of this dissertation is dedicated to the churches under Soviet military administration and the GDR. The first chapter analyses the period 1945-1949, when the foundations for the state/church relationship in the GDR were laid. The second chapter elaborates the changes in the GDR government's church policy over the first twenty years (until 1969), and points out the churches' diverse responses. The phase after 1969/70, is tackled in chapter three. This chapter also includes the 1980s, which bring the stagnation of the GDR and finally the collapse of the regime. The third part of this work, the conclusion, begins with an analysis of the Christians' contribution to the 1989 revolution. This is followed by a section that points out the similarities and differences between the GDR and the other eastern European countries in regard to their church policies. The final chapter also compares the role of the Protestantism and Catholicism in the GDR, and tries to evaluate their responses to the totalitarian challenge.

Item Type: Thesis (MPhil(R))
Qualification Level: Masters
Keywords: Religious history, European history.
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts
Supervisor's Name: Hope, Dr. Nicholas M.
Date of Award: 1997
Depositing User: Enlighten Team
Unique ID: glathesis:1997-71868
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 17 May 2019 09:31
Last Modified: 07 Sep 2022 15:13
Thesis DOI: 10.5525/gla.thesis.71868
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/71868

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