From the Death of God to the Rise of Hitler

Research Seminars

Can weakened religiosity lead to the rise of totalitarianism? The Nazi Party set itself up as a political religion, emphasizing redemption, sacrifice, rituals, and communal spirit. This had a major impact on its success: Where the Christian Church only had shallow roots, the Nazis received higher electoral support and saw more party entry. "Shallow Christianity'' reflects the geography of medieval Christianization, which the authors use as a source of exogenous variation. Importantly, they also find predictive power at the individual level: Within each municipality, the likelihood of joining the Nazi Party was higher for those with less Christian first names.


ZEW – Leibniz-Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung




ZEW – Leibniz-Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung


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