HDS 2293

The Holocaust and the Churches, 1933-45

Kevin James Madigan


This seminar will approach the Nazi persecution of European Jewry from several disciplinary perspectives. Initially the seminar will explore the topic historically. In these weeks, the seminar will use a variety of historical materials dealing with the history of European anti-semitism, German history from Bismarck to the accession of Hitler, the evolution of anti-Jewish persecution in the Third Reich, and the history of the Holocaust itself. Sources to be used will include primary sources produced by the German government 1933-1945, by Jewish victims-to-be or survivors, documentary films, and secondary interpretations. The aims of this part of the seminar will be to understand the basic background to and narrative of the Holocaust, to introduce students to the critical use of primary historical sources, and to familiarize them with some of the major historiographical debates. Then the members of the seminar will ponder religious and theological reactions to the Holocaust. The seminar will also consider the historical question of the role played by the Protestant and Catholic churches and theologies in the Holocaust. The seminar will conclude with an assessment of the role played by the Holocaust in today's world, specifically in the United States. Throughout the seminar, participants will use various literary and cinematographic sources and test their limits in helping to understand and to represent the Holocaust.

Enrollment Limited: Limited to 15 students. Instructor's permission required.
Open to BTI Students: Yes
Jointly offered as Religion 1529


0.50 credits
Spring 2014
Tues 2pm-4pm
Andover Hall Room 103

Relationship to Program Requirements

Program Requirement Area / Category / Art / Designation
MTS Area(s) of Focus
  • History of Christianity
  • Jewish Studies
MDiv Distribution Category/ies
  • Christianity
  • Judaism
MDiv Art(s) of Ministry None
Language Course Designation(s) None