Table of Contents

-- List of Figures.
Caution to the Reader.
Frequently Used German Words.
Chapter 1: Guilt in Klara Schlink's Thought, 1920-1947.
Chapter 2: Public Confessions of German National Guilt, 1945-1947.
Chapter 3: Mother Basilea Schlink's Theology of Guilt.
Chapter 4: The German Volk.
Chapter 5: Schlink's Pseudo-Judaic, Germanic Vision of Nationhood.
Chapter 6: Defining Repentance in Schlink's Theology.
Chapter 7: Schlink and the Sisters' Repentance as a Priestly and Monastic Service.
Chapter 8: The Place of Gender in Schlink and the Sisters' Repentance.
Chapter 9: The Creation of Sacred Space in Schlink and the Sisters' Repentance.
Appendix 1: The Barmen Declaration.
Appendix 2: The Stuttgart Confession.
Appendix 3: The Darmstadt Statement.
Archival and Unpublished Primary Sources.
Published Primary Sources.
Secondary Sources. During the Allied bombing of Darmstadt, Germany, in 1944, some Lutheran young women perceived their city's destruction as an expression of God's wrath. In 1947, a small number of them formed the Ecumenical (now "Evangelical") Sisterhood of Mary, one of the first postwar Protestant religious orders. They sensed God's call on them to embrace lives of radical repentance for the sins of the German people (Volk) against God and against the Jews. Under Mother Basilea, born Klara Schlink, the sisters embraced an ideology of collective national guilt for the Holocaust. According to Schlink, a handful of true Christians, such as the sisters, were called to lead their nation in repentance, interceding and making spiritual sacrifices as priests on its behalf, saving it from looming destruction. Schlink explained that these ideas were rooted in her reading of the Hebrew Bible; in fact, they also bore the influence of German nationalism. Schlink's vision resulted in penitential practices that dominated the life of her community. Though the women of the sisterhood were subject to each other, they elevated themselves and their spiritual authority above that of any male leaders. They offered female and gender-neutral paradigms of self-sacrifice as normative for all Christians. In order to create a space for others to join them in repentance, the sisters built Kanaan, a series of Jesus-centered, Israel-inspired prayer gardens and guest accommodations surrounding their Motherhouse. In short, the sisters up-ended German Protestant norms for gender roles, communal life, and nationalism in their pursuit of redemption.