Saving Germany

North American Protestants and Christian Mission to West Germany, 1945-1964

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James C. Enns
McGill Queen's Studies in the History of Religion
  • Montreal, Quebec: 
    McGill Queen's University Press
    , March
     328 pages.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.


Historians have mainly concentrated on the significance of the Marshall Plan, the creation of NATO, and exports of pop culture to describe the role of North Americans in the development of West Germany after the devastation of the Second World War. In Saving Germany, James Enns brings an entirely new focus to West Germany’s recovery by demonstrating how North American missionaries played a formative role in cultivating the humanitarian and spiritual conscience of postwar Germany.

Enns explores a range of Protestant missionary agencies active in West Germany, from mainline churches overseeing ecumenical humanitarian and church reconstruction projects to independent evangelical mission agencies working alongside local church groups. He then identifies notable themes that contextualize the spectrum of missionary responses, including the degree to which missionaries intentionally functioned as agents of Western democracy. In addition to discussions of well-known figures such as US evangelist Billy Graham, Enns highlights the important contributions of the Janz Quartet from the Canadian prairies and Robert Kreider of the Mennonite Central Committee.

Tracking thirty years of transnational Christian missionary work, Saving Germany demonstrates the significant role of North American missionary agencies in the reconstruction of Germany.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

James C. Enns is professor of history at Prairie College.

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