It has often been revealed, in the great historical upheavals of contemporary history, that a quick, situational ad-hoc assessment and reaction is not the strength of German Protestantism. This was the case after the collapse of Imperial Germany (Kaiserreich) and the sovereign church regiment (Landesherrliches Kirchenregiment; summus episcopus) in 1918, as well as after the end of the Second World War, when German Protestantism was long at odds with democracy and Adenauer's ties to the West.4 The Peaceful Revolution in the GDR in 1989 (during the civic uprisings of 1989/90 in the other Central European countries) also surprised the leaders of the Protestant Church in West Germany and left them momentarily speechless.5 An unexpected political eruption has a paralyzing effect on the otherwise eloquent German Protestantism. Part of it–and this seems to be a historical continuity at least in the 20th and early 21st century–is that at the moment of change, the Protestant Church of Germany looks to a gold-gilded past to generate their position. It takes a while for the new present to be accepted.



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