Religion, Politics and Ideology in the Third Reich
By Uriel Tal
Foreword by Saul Friedlander
Routledge – 2004 – 240 pages
In a perceptive analysis of diverse source material, the essays of the late Uriel Tal in this volume uncover the dynamics of the secularization of religion, and the sacralization of politics in the Nazi era. Through a process of inversion of meaning, concepts such as race, blood, soil, state, nation and Führer were brought into the realm of faith, mission, salvation, sacredness and myth, thereby acquiring absolute significance. Within this Nazi worldview, the Jew epitomised the arch enemy, both as a symbol and as the concrete embodiment of all that Nazism sought to negate: Western civilisation, monotheism, critical rationalism and humanism.
1. Political Faith of Nazism Prior to the Holocaust 2. Structures of German Political Theology in the Nazi Era 3. Law and Theology: On the status of German Jewry at the outset of the Third Reich 4. Aspects of Consecration of Politics in the Nazi Era 5. On the study of the Holocaust and Genocide 6. Religious and Anti-religious Roots of Modern Anti-semitism 7. Violence and the Jew in Nazi Ideology 8. Jewish and Universal Social Ethics in the Life and Thought of Albert Einstein
Uriel Tal (d. 1984) was Professor of Modern Jewish History at Tel Aviv University and Fellow at the Oxford Centre for Postgraduate Hebrew Studies. He lectured widely in the United States and Europe and was visiting professor in several American universities. His work focused on modern Jewish history and European history, primarily the history of ideas and religious thought. His publications include: Christians and Jews in Germany: Religion, Politics and Ideology in the Second Reich, 1870-1914 (1975); Myth and Reason in Contemporary Jewry (1987, Hebrew); Political Theology and the Third Reich (1991, Hebrew).