What in Heaven’s Name? Discussion Guide

1. How did the function of baptism in the New Testament contribute to breaking down racial barriers, as discussed by Glenn Stassen?

2. What was the significance of baptism in creating a church that was both gentile and jewish, according to the Christian story?

3. How did the views on the meaning of Christian baptism within traditional German Lutheran theology shape the understanding of baptism as a means of grace and sacrament?

4. What were the historical and political dynamics that influenced the church-state relationship in Germany, and how did it impact the role of the church during that time period?

5. How did the Nazis bureaucratize racial politics and integrate discriminatory principles into the legal and administrative systems of Germany?

6. What were the key laws and policies enacted by the Nazis, such as the Aryan paragraph and the Nuremberg laws, and how did these impact the lives of individuals in various sectors, including civil service, academia, and healthcare?

7. What was the impact of the definition of Jewishness through racial and ancestral criteria, as delineated in the Nuremberg laws, on the targeted persecution of individuals by the Nazis?

8. How did the Nazis’s classification of Jewishness create a legal framework for discrimination and exclusion based on racial identity, and what were the implications of this on the individuals affected?

9. In what ways did the concept of racial purity, as implemented by the Nazis, challenge Christian theology and ethical beliefs about human diversity and equality?

10. How can the historical context of the Nazis’ use of bureaucratic processes to enforce racial discrimination inform discussions about institutional racism, government policies, and the intersection of Christian theology with real-world circumstances of war, poverty, health, reproductive rights, and immigration?

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