"Landry's carefully researched book contributes to our understanding of nineteenth-century German history. While other narratives have focused on and assumed confessional difference, Landry shines light on ecumenical efforts not often considered."—Lutheran Quarterly Journal
"Historians of nineteenth-century German national identity tend to emphasize confessional conflict between Protestants and Catholics above all else. In this wide-ranging book, Stan Landry spotlights an important new side to the story."—Brian E. Vick, author of Defining Germany: The 1848 Frankfurt Parliamentarians and National Identity
"Shows vividly how memories of the Reformation were critical to the development of modern German nationalism. Stan Landry also offers compelling evidence for alternative solutions to the vexing problems of confessional division lingering from the sixteenth century, which contemporaries understood as a prerequisite to unification. Martin Luther, in particular, became central to German national identity, not so much because of his actions themselves, but because of the contested memories of his actions. Readers interested in the history of either the Reformation or modern Germany will be rewarded by seeing just how intimately the two eras are linked."—Jesse Spohnholz,Washington State University
Ecumenism, Memory, and German Nationalism, 1817–1917, explores the relationship between the German confessional divide, collective memories of religion, and the construction of German national identity. Landry argues that nineteenth-century proponents of church unity used and abused memories of Martin Luther and the Protestant Reformation to imagine German unity during an era when the meaning of the German nation was still hotly contested.
Framed by the third and fourth centennials of the Reformation, this book explores a wide range of primary historical sources at key points of crisis throughout the nineteenth century. Landry demonstrates the frequent appeals made to Germany’s famous Protestant history in an attempt to unify the country’s churches and, ultimately, the country itself. He argues that in a nation deeply split by religious difference, ecumenism was essential to the unification of the German nation as a whole.
Stan M. Landry is a lecturer in history at Arizona State University. His work has appeared in numerous journals, including Church History, Journal of Religion and Society, Lutheran Quarterly, and Religious Studies Review.
Series: Religion and Politics
6 x 9, 208 pages