Konfession und Nationalsozialismus: Evangelische und katholische Pfarrer in der Pfalz 1930-1939by Thomas Fandel (review)
- The Catholic Historical Review
- The Catholic University of America Press
- Volume 85, Number 1, January 1999
- pp. 95-97
- View Citation
- Additional Information
book reviews95 where Ward, a convent-educated gentrywoman, could share a Hyde Park podium with a cockney charwoman, an Australian law student (her future husband , Frank Sheed), and a growing number ofvolunteers from the working and professional classes dedicated to explaining what it meant to be Catholic to anyone who would listen. The Guild, which reached its peak in the 1930's, helped Ward to find her voice and her vocation as a Catholic writer and publisher and led to her marriage and collaboration with Frank Sheed, with whom she founded Sheed and Ward in 1926. Sheed and Ward, both the publishers and the traveling lecturers, provided access to the works of the Catholic intellectual revival underway in Europe, England, and America for a growing readership, and thereby transformed the meaning and experience of theology and spirituality for the generations ofAmerican and English Catholics who came ofage between the late 1920's and the early 1960's, the eve of Vatican Council II. In 1956, when Sheed and Ward were at the peak of their success and Ward was sixty-seven, she established the Catholic Housing Aid Society, which signaled her recognition that the changing world of Catholic literature, theology, and spirituality constructed in Sheed and Ward publications led necessarily to "a new theological understanding that insisted on engagement in and for a suffering world" (p. 161). Here Ward, ally of the French priest-worker Henri Perrin and of Dorothy Day, Catherine de Hueck, and Caryll Houselander, helped to point the way to a new post-conciliar Catholic world. Ward, whose "pattern was not to replace one engagement with another, not to jettison anything, but to add commitment on commitment" (p. 130), thrived spiritually amidst the turbulence of the 1960's and '70's, even as her health deteriorated . She could always make the connections: between early Christian saints and martyrs and struggling mothers in the secular city, between the dilemma of the modernist and the challenge of the priest-worker. Greene's biography , which pays close attention to the coherence of Ward's private and public lives and richly reconstructs the contours ofher life, constitutes a model for biographers of modern Catholic women to follow. Debra Campbell Colby College Konfession und Nationalsozialismus: Evangelische und katholische Pfarrer in der Pfalz 1930-1939. By Thomas Fandel. [Veröffentlichungen der Kommission für Zeitgeschichte, Series B: Forschungen, Band 76.] (Paderborn: Ferdinand Schöningh. 1997. Pp. 669- DM 98,-.) In the field of German church history, Catholics and Protestants tend to be almost completely isolated from each other. Practitioners ofthe confessional subfields use different archives; they receive funding from different sources and publish in different series. In some cases, they work in different departments and institutions. As a result, comparisons between Catholics and Protestants are underexplored, and the story of Catholic-Protestant interaction in Germany— 96BOOK reviews the largest European nation in which the two groups are close to equal in number —remains for the most part untold. This deficiency is especially noticeable for the Nazi period because of the vast literature on the churches under Hitler. It is especially regrettable when so much recent attention has turned to the involvement of "ordinary Germans" in the Third Reich. Surely relations between the churches that together accounted for over 95% of Germany's population and whose mutual suspicions ran deep in the culture must be part ofthat history too. Since the 1960's there have been efforts to remedy the dearth of integrative studies, in English most notably by John S. Conway, in German by Haus Scholder. Thomas Fandel's superb account of Catholic and Protestant clergy in the Palatinate from 1930 to 1939 is a significant and appropriate continuation of the labors of those masters. Fandel demonstrates how much we can learn about both churches and the society in which they existed by examining Catholics and Protestants in a specific regional setting. His is an account of segregation, coexistence, and conflict, but also of occasional surprising cooperation and often destructive rivalry. Fandel's ambitious and compelling book merits wide circulation, not only among church historians, but among anyone interested in the dynamics of Nazi society. Fandel's book is big but it is...