ABSTRACT

Let me show my colours right here at the beginning: it is my conviction that at tiie heart of the problem ‘Church, Religion and the German Resistance’ lies the challenge of secularization. Secularization no doubt denotes an almost inevitable, irreversible, and certainly pervasive process affecting the whole of Western society and mind; it marks the declining influence of church, religion and faith on social life and politics as well as on thought and the arts. It may be understood as a distinct historical reality that could be seen as a concomitant to ‘modernity’. As a concept it can also be accompanied with a dose of sentimentality, of the ‘lament’, of ‘retrospective brooding’, as Owen Chadwick puts it, 1 which would lend it an illusory quality. But we have reason to face up to the enthronement of the goddess of reason in the Cathedral of Notre Dame and the modern neopagan miracle, the counter-miracle in fact, of turning wine into water.