The Germans as a Chosen People: Old Testament Themes in German Nationalism by Hartmut Lehmann

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In the article, “The Germans as a Chosen People: Old Testament Themes in German Nationalism,” Hartmut Lehmann attempts to show to what extent the Protestant denominations of Germany contributed to the rise of German nationalism. He focuses on religion, theology, and how various Protestant groups developed the idea that major events in Germany were directly influenced by god. This idea of divine intervention among Protestants eventually transformed into the notion that Germans had developed a special connection with God, and that they were the “chosen people.” He argues that there were four distinct phases in which the chosen people theme spread throughout Germany. The first phase began at the end of the Napoleonic Wars and lasted until …show more content…
This period was characterized by German Protestants fully embracing the Idea of a special covenant with god, all the while developing a deep hatred for the French, and giving more support to Prussia. He ends the article by explaining how the chosen people theme was eventually corrupted by power-politics, social darwinists, and anti-semitism. PIETISM AND NATIONALISM: Focusing on Pietism, Hartmut Lehmann contributes a great piece of revisionist history in his article, “Pietism and Nationalism: The Relationship between Protestant Revivalism and National Renewal in Nineteenth-Century Germany.” In the first of two sections, he begins by summarizing two of the best known works on Pietism's contribution to nationalism, by Koppel S. Pinson and Gerhard Kaiser. (content for book titles). Lehmann argues that Pinson and Kaiser failed to address the regional and theological differences within different splinters of pietism, as well as the social compositions and phases of development these currents underwent. Lehmann departs from his criticism of Pinson and devotes the second portion of his article to his own interpretation of nineteenth-century Pietism and its relationship with nationalism. He defines five main currents of Pietism that Pinson and Kaiser neglected to acknowledge. Of the five, Lehmann contends that the most important current of Pietism to contribute to nationalism was started by Johann Hinrich Wichern, called the Inner Mission.

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