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Press Reaktion

to "Christianity's Criminal History" as a whole

"How a religion of love became a religion of worldly power -- provocative, discomforting, richly detailed: Karlheinz Deschner's ambitious Christianity's Criminal History"

Prof. Ludger Lütkehaus, Badische Zeitung, 29.11.1988

"A shocking panorama of fraud and deceit, blood and murder under the sign of the Cross ... The author recounts conscientiously, even in pedantic detail, the multitude of clerical, Christian crimes dating back to the earliest days of the Church. He demolishes with crushing blows monumental figures such as the great Constantine ... The venerable doctors of the Church such as Athanasius, Ambrose, and Augustine lose their halos entirely... Of course there is another side to the story ... But that does not negate Deschner's account. He brings to light what has been diligently suppressed, falsified, and played down through two Christian millennia."

Heinz Schönfeldt, «Mannheimer Morgen»

"Deschner doesn't believe in wounding blows. He goes for the throat ... And what is the result? A mammoth project. The crowing completion of a lifelong altercation: Christianity's Criminal History."

Dietmar Bittrich, «Hamburger Abendblatt»

"A standard work based on a thorough study of the sources ... The absolutely breathtaking descriptions, whose factual content are irrefutable, present a single, massive indictment of Christianity and show to what astonishing degree the gospel of love and mercy preached by Jesus was betrayed again and again. A book which will challenge and shake those above all who cherish a heartfelt commitment to the message of the Gospel."

Lieselotte von Eltz-Hoffmann, «Salzburger Nachrichten»

"Deschner is not a modern Don Quixote, nor a Michael Kohlhaas. He is a modern proponent of the Enlightenment who still believes in the power of reason. He does not perceive the necessity of a new myth to replace a demystified Christianity no longer able to offer salvation. This fact distinguishes him from some modern critics of the Church who still feel allegiance to some interpretation of primitive Christianity. Deschner is without compromise in this regard."

Rolf Gawrich, «Frankfurter Rundschau»

"Christianity's Criminal History is the name of this work which has now expanded to two volumes and which will eventually encompass a few more volumes as an opus maximum: in its projected entirety probably the most comprehensive critical history of Christianity ever. The title is intended in its absolute, literal sense. Deschner is set on laying forth an uncompromising account of Christianity's 'history of crime.' The spine title, formulated perhaps out of publication considerations, expresses extenuating circumstances which the book itself does not offer. And 'Christianity's Criminal History' is also to be understood in the sense of criminal detection, proof and exposure of the crime and the culprits. The halo which has customarily surrounded said criminal history is relentlessly attacked by Deschner as a monstrous hypocrisy.
The monumental figures of sacred history are in fact toppled right and left: the church doctors, the dogmatic patriarchs, the early popes, the "most" Christian emperors: Ambrose, Augustine, Athanasius, Basil, Clemens, Eusebius, Jerome, Irenaeus, Lactantius ... A litany of saints of blessed memory becomes an unholy litany of scoundrels one would prefer to forget. Volume 1 is already in its fifth printing and covers the time from Old Testament origins to the death of Saint Augustine. Volume 2 deals with that period from the Catholic "children emperors" to the extermination of the Arian Vandals and Ostrogoths under Justinian I. What these two books reveal is a blood-drenched trail as remote as one can imagine from a message of love and mercy, not a story of salvation but a monstrous catastrophe. In this context, the expression "Christian persecutions" acquires a painfully ironic twist: out of the victims arise the oppressors.
Marshalling arguments against this awful compilation of factual evidence will be difficult. It may be that Deschner in cases of doubt always decides against the accused. As a whole, however, this massive study, whose origins date back to the 1950s, is painstakingly thorough and researched with a scholarly diligence without equal. The first two volumes contain almost 2,000 secondary titles, 130 pages of footnotes and annotations, in addition to a user-friendly, detailed index, all of which makes this compendium of crime a fatally effective reference work. This impressive apparatus also conveys a simple message: the author knows that in spite of all the recognition he's received -- in 1988 he received the Arno-Schmidt-Prize for his uncompromising literary production -- he is not going to be easily, at any rate not voluntarily believed."

Prof Dr. Ludger Lütkehaus, «Freiburger Universitätsblätter»
herausgegeben im Auftrag des Rektors der Albert-LudwigsUniversität Freiburg

"Deschner's Christianity's Criminal History should not be absent from any serious scholarly library. It is a standard work, an organon including all the major themes, a necessary corrective of great value belonging on the shelf next to the works of Augustine, the Summa Theologiae of Thomas Aquinas and the Lexica für Theologie und Kirche of our own day."

Helmut Häußler, Freigeistige Aktion, Hannover

"The quintessence, the end sum of it all."

Werner Rhode im Sender Freies Berlin

"I am reminded of 18th Century proponents of the Enlightenment such as the Frenchmen Pierre Bayle, Claude Helvetius, and Voltaire or the German poet Heinrich Heine. Now the 20th Century also has its book, Deschner's Christianity's Criminal History. ... Thanks to Deschner's back-breaking research, the suspicion that Christianity has skeletons in its closet becomes an absolutely certainty. Widely known facts are beginning to replace mere suspicions, and what we learn about reality exceeds even the products of our fantasy."

Prof. Dr. theol. Horst Herrmann, Der Spiegel

"The Criminal History is a massive work, a life's work, perhaps the century's work. So brilliant is the analysis and captivating the style, bold, cutting, skilful, never looking back or down; independent, creative greatness at work."

Volker A. Zahn, Kölner Illustrierte

"Deschner's Criminal History not just fills a huge gap. It is THE standard work of alternative church history. With his stupendous, comprehensive grasp of detail, the author of this work of the century makes a pressing, existential issue out of the lives and views of those who have defied the Church through the centuries."

Prof. Dr. theol. Hubertus Mynarek


Christianity's Criminal History

Press Resonance

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