Paul Althaus (4 February 1888-18 May 1966) was a German Lutheran theologian, son of Adolf Paul Johannes Althaus. He was born in Obershagen in the Province of Hanover, and he died in Erlangen. He held various pastorates from 1914 to 1925, when he was appointed associate professor of practical and systematic theology at the University of Göttingen, becoming full professor two years later. Althaus was moderately critical of Lutheran Orthodoxy and evangelical-leaning Neo-Lutheranism. He termed it a “mistake” to “defend the authenticity and infallibility of the Bible.”
- Luther und das Deutschtum [Luther and Germanness], Leipzig 1917
- Kirche und Volkstum. Der völkische Wille im Lichte des Evangeliums [Church and Nationality: the National Will in the Light of the Gospel], Gütersloh 1928
- Grundriß der Ethik [Outline of Ethics], Erlangen 1931 (earlier edition: Leitsätze)
- Die deutsche Stunde der Kirche [The Church's German Period], Göttingen 1934
- Obrigkeit und Führertum. Wandlungen des evangelischen Staatsethos in Deutschland [Authority and Führerism: Changes in the Evangelical State Ethos in Germany], Gütersloh 1936
- Der Christenglaube und das Sterben [Christian Faith and Death], Gütersloh 1941
- Vom Sterben und vom Leben [On Death and Life], Gütersloh 1950 (earlier edition: Der Christenglaube und das Sterben)
- Die Theologie Martin Luthers [The Theology of Martin Luther], Gütersloh 1962
- Die Christliche Wahrheit. Lehrbuch der Dogmatik [Christian Truth: Textbook of Dogmatics], 8th edition, Gütersloh 1969
- Die Ethik Martin Luthers [The Ethics of Martin Luther]
Erickson, Robert, Theologians under Hitler. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1985.
- Detzler, Wayne A. The Changing Church in Europe. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1979. p.17. Quotation from Manfred Kober, Theology in Germany, from the Reformation Review, April 1969.
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Dimitrije Najdanović was born in Kragujevac, on the 7th of June 1897, into a comfortable middle-class circumstances. He was the son of a devoutly Serbian Orthodox mother and a strict but personable schoolteacher-father.
He followed the events of the escalating conflict between Austria and Serbia, but until 1914 he was not yet ready to participate in anything other than relief work and home training. Soon after he turned seventeen -- old enough for wartime military -- a relative managed to arrange an appointment to an officers' training program. He saw action on the Eastern Front, the retreat over the Albanian mountains and the opening of the Salonika Front, and the eventual hard-earned victory in 1918.
From the grammar-school in Kragujevac he passed to gymnasium in Belgrade, where the study of Plato appears especially to have engrossed him. He graduated at Saint Sava Seminary in 1935; and studied philosophy and theology at the University of Belgrade in 1935-1938. He went to the University of Berlin to pursue his post-graduate studies in philosophy and theology. Here Nicolai Hartmann and Eduard Spranger were lecturing. Najdanović found in them the very impulse which he needed, while Hartmann and Spranger found a pupil of thoroughly congenial feeling, and one destined to carry out their views in a higher and more effective Christian form than they themselves were capable of imparting. Najdanović's doctoral thesis was entitled: Die Geschichtsphilosophie Immanuel Hermann Fichtes.
Between wars, he founded three magazines and journals, Svetosavlje (Holy Sava) Put (Path), and Hriscanske misli (Christian Thoughts). At the same time, he entered upon his work in Belgrade as a theological teacher at the 4th École normale superieure; being in charge of the classes of his mentor, Veselin Cajkanović, at the faculty of Philosophy of the University of Belgrade; and in 1943 he was appointed professor at the Belgrade's Theological Faculty. His eloquence made him the most prominent theologian of the Serbian Orthodox Church after Nikolaj Velimirovic and Justin Popovic, and his attacks on the Vatican's proposed Concordat evoked a prohibition by the government.
Dimitrije Najdanović, like Veselin Cajkanović, taught at the University of Belgrade throughout German occupation of Yugoslavia, teaching at the Faculty of Theology and, before the Soviet troops entered Belgrade and before the provisional government of the so-called Democratic Federal Yugoslavia put Tito in power (for life), Najdanović and his wife Jelena left Yugoslavia for Austria in 1944. There, at the Lienz camp along with Russian refugees from Yugoslavia, they bore witness to that terrible occasion when the Occupation Forces betrayed the Cossack refugees to the Soviets, to be carried away and shot. That grim episode of forced Repatriation of Cossacks after World War II in 1945 became common knowledge only when Nikolai Tolstoy wrote "Minister and Massacres", blaming Harold Macmillan for handing them over to the Soviets. At the end of the hostilities, from the displaced persons camp in Austria Najdanović and Jelena left Linz for Rome, where he published Serbian Orthodox liturgical text books at the expense of the Vatican's generous printer. In 1947 Najdanović and his wife went to England, being recommended by the Patriarch Gavrilo IV of Serbia to the confidence of Bishop of Gibraltar in Europe, the Right Reverend Harold Baxton. Once in London, Harold Baxton, and Arthur Foster were waiting for him at Victoria Station to escort Mr. and Mrs. Najdanović to a village called Dorchester-On-Thames, near Oxford, where a Serbian Theological College had been opened, to help the Serbian Orthodox Church-in-exile. Najdanović was named dean of faculty by Patriarch Gavrilo IV of Serbia before he left London for Belgrade where he died a few years later (1950). As dean he also taught Dogmatics, Religion, Christian Apologetics and Ethics. He was a Serbian Orthodox parish priest in Darby, England (1948-1960) before emigrating to Montreal, Quebec in 1960.
Shortly after his arrival in Montreal Najdanović encouraged his parishioners to purchase a building and property in the center of Montreal at 4259 de Bullion Street. The second floor of the building was adapted for a chapel and an apartment while the ground floor space was turned into a hall and a fellowship room. The commissions for the iconostasis and icons were given to master woodcarver Vladimir Barač and artist José Majzner respectively. The repair work on the Holy Trinity Serbian Orthodox Church was completed in 1961, but the consecration took place on September 6, 1964, officiated by Bishop Stefan Lastavica of the Eastern American Serbian Orthodox Diocese. Nikola Budimir of Windsor, Ontario was the Godfather.
In 1967 Najdanović and Jelena moved to the United States where he was a priest in New York City and Phoenix, Arizona before retiring at the Glendora Health Care Center in Wooster, Ohio. He died on the 24th of March 1986. He was 89.
Writing in Books Abroad, Vol. 50, No. 2 (Spring, 1976) p. 439, Mateja Matejić wrote: "The name Dimitrije Najdanović may not be easy to remember for those who are not native speakers of Serbian, but once one has read a single work by the author, neither he nor his work can be forgotten. In Three Serbian Giants (Tri srpska velikana) Najdanović analyses the literary heritage of three outstanding Serbian writers (and philosophers): Djuro Jakšić, Petar II Petrović-Njegoš and Bishop Nikolaj Velimirović. It is a penetrating analysis, consisting of literary criticism and philosophical meditation. Najdanović not only shows the reader the art of these three great authors, but also reaches the very spirit and soul of their work, and does so with a stylistic excellence unmatched by most authors. There is in his works a perfect harmony between beauty of language and profundity of thought."
Tri srpska velikana remains the greatest monument of Najdanović's genius. In this his chief aim was everywhere to understand what was individual in history.
Najdanović's theological position can only be explained in connection with Nikolaj Velimirović, and the manner in which while adopting he modified and carried out the principles of his master. Characteristically meditative, he rested with a secure footing on the great central truths of Christianity, and recognized strongly their essential reasonableness and harmony. Alive to the claims of criticism, he no less strongly asserted the rights of Christian feeling.
The war years in Yugoslavia had a decided effect in forming his judgment on political questions of high moment. He was an eye-witness on more than one occasion of the folly and excesses of the Third Reich as well as the Three Super Powers; and these scenes not only increased his love for the church, but strongly impressed him with that dread of anarchy, of popular movements ending in bloodshed, and of communistic, socialistic and fascistic views which characterized him in after life (no differently than Nikolaj Velimirović and Patriarch Gavrilo IV of Serbia). To these experiences, too, we may partly ascribe the reverence for law and order, for the rights of property, and for the democratic, monarchical form of government which he appears to have sincerely felt; and, orator as he became in a certain sense, gave his mind a deep conservative tinge.
- Svetosavlje: http://sh.wikipedia.org/wiki/Svetosavlje
- Dr. Dimitrije Najdanović: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_O5DpE649jg
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