Local author signing books at Newberg library
It's a compelling story: German Christians who failed to stop the Nazis in World War II, but having learned from past experience, helped to lead the peaceful destruction of the Berlin Wall and the reunification of Germany.
"Keine Gewalt! No Violence!" is the latest book by local author Roger Newell, who will share from his book and sign copies at 7 p.m. Nov. 29 at the Newberg Public Library.
A study tour to Leipzig in the former East Germany (GDR), raised new questions for Newell about the long struggle of the Protestant church with the German state in the 20th century. He researched how an institution marginalized in every way possible by the communist state became the catalyst for a transformation that enabled a great but troubled nation to be peacefully re-united.
The book tells the back story of the theological debates and personal acts of faith and courage that led the church to become the cradle for the German revolution.
The book begins by exploring the ambivalence of renowned theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer toward the Nazis and how, "with remarkable political savvy, Hitler turned his full attention toward the Protestants, enticing and intimidating the children of Luther to join his revival of national honor and military-industrial strength."
Newell also examines other prominent theologians, such as how Karl Barth and Martin Niemoller responded to the Nazis, as well as how the church dealt with the Cold War.
Newell was ordained in the United Reformed Church of England in 1984 and is now Professor Emeritus of Religion at George Fox University. He holds a doctorate in systematic theology from the University of Aberdeen, Scotland, and has served churches in California, Oklahoma, England and Portland.
The event, sponsored by the Library Foundation of Newberg, will include refreshments and an opportunity to chat with the author. For more information, visit www.libraryfoundationofnewberg.org call the library at 503-537-1256.