Studia Historiae Ecclesiasticae
On-line version ISSN 2412-4265
SPOHN, Elmar and SAUER, Christof. War zeal, nationalism and unity in Christ: Evangelical missions in Germany during World War I. Studia Hist. Ecc. [online]. 2009, vol.35, n.2, pp. 1-8. ISSN 2412-4265.
World War I brought unspeakable destitution to humankind. The question arises: Which ideals drove people to march so enthusiastically toward battle and death? Church history research has called attention to the role of theology and the church. World War I was not merely welcomed; rather, it was understood to be God's word and was vigorously glorified theologically. To date, however, the role played by the evangelical missions has not been addressed by church history research. The historical evaluation of mission journals of important evangelical mission societies of that era demonstrated that the evangelical missions also welcomed the war and justified it, as did the other Protestants. They shared in the over-glorification of their own nation and the propounding of negative platitudes about the wartime enemy. They professed to uphold the unity of all evangelical Christians; nevertheless, irritations arose between German missionaries and their international partners.