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book reviews359 ing EvangeUcal influence, resulting in the ideal of the "good Christian death." The "good Christian death" prevaUed most often in Victorian Uterature and reUgious tracts, requiring as it did "a rare combination of good luck, convenient Ulness and pious character" (p. 38). However, JaUand's case studies reveal an honest perception of the reality of human suffering and the reUgious ideal of a better afterlife, aided by a medical profession which recognized the limits of its science and worked to befriend and comfort the dying patient. This dominant EvangeUcal approach did change after 1870, and was shattered after 1914 when the Great War presented overwhelming instances of "bad deaths" (sudden, violent, or suicidal deaths). In the meantime, however, PatJaUand's descriptions ofthe varieties ofdeath experiences in nineteenth-century England offer a valuable contrast to current controversies over the ethics of death and dying. This book deserves a wide audience for its thoughtful and thoroughly professional approach to a topic of vital contemporary concern and interest. RichardJ.Janet Rockhurst College Kansas City, Missouri Christentum und Revolution. Die christlichen Kirchen in Württemberg 1848-1852. By StefanJ. Dietrich. [VeröffentUchungen der Kommission für Zeitgeschichte, Reihe B: Forschungen, Band 71.] (Paderborn: Ferdinand Schöningh. 1996. Pp. 490. DM 98, -.) Carl Becker once wrote that a historian does not stick to the facts; the facts stick to him. But surely he did not have Stefan Dietrich's Christentum und Revolution Ui mind. For here is a historian who does nothing if not stick to the facts. The subject of Stefan Dietrich's book is the reaction of Christians to the Revolution of 1848. Dietrich concentrates on the pubUshed opinion of Catholics and Protestants in the state ofWürttemberg. In this context, he has unearthed a great deal of otherwise obscure writings contained in church communications, Christian newspapers, high-minded theological treatises, and polemical pamphlets .With diUgence and a broad sweep,he has gathered this material together and has quoted it at length, letting the documents speak for themselves. The result is a more detaUed understanding of the reaction of the Christian churches in Württemberg to the Revolution of 1848. Not surprisingly, they thought the Revolution to be a turning point in the history of providence. The CathoUcs beUeved it to be a divinely inspired Revolution that would result Ln the Uberation of the CathoUc Church from state domination. Protestants had a dimmer view, seeing the Revolution as punishment for the EnUghtenment. As one moved deeper into the religious right, to Pietism, the theme of divine punishment became more prominent stiU, some Pietists beUeving that the Revolution prefigured the apocalypse. 360BOOK reviews Dietrich provides exhaustive detaU of the religious positions that structured the reaction to the Revolution. He also shows that Protestants and Catholics had quite different understandings of German nationaUsm. CathoUcs and Pietists still moved in the world of old régime patriotism; they were ready to offer sacrifice for the fatherland but were free of nationaUst excess. In the Protestant camp, by contrast, the beginnings of a confessionaUy-determined modern nationalism were already discernible. As Protestants beUeved their denomination to be an expression of German essence, they welcomed Prussia as the Protestant power fated to unify the nation. CathoUcs, for their part, stiU saw the glory of the nation in the old Empire and were, as such, backwards-looking. If Dietrich is right, it also means that religion, more than South-German particularism , structured ideas of German nationalism in Württemberg in 1848. "The course of the Revolution," Dietrich writes, "led to a new confessionalization " (p. 336). Partly a product of differing reUgious interpretations of the Revolution, the new confessionaUzation also resulted from the missionizing attempts of both churches. But here the Catholics proved more aggressive, as Protestants (but not necessarily Pietists) resisted the "superficial" Christianity that seemed to come along with organization. Catholics, however, felt no compunction on this score. Through missions and the formation of increasingly dense organizational networks, they began to form the unified mUieu that would serve as the basis for CathoUc poUtics in the second half of the nineteenth century. Dietrich's account is soUd and competent. He is also to be commended for...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1534-0708
Print ISSN
0008-8080
Pages
pp. 359-360
Launched on MUSE
2016-10-05
Open Access
No
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