Holocaust Theology

Holocaust theology (from the Greek ὁλόκαυστος holókaustos: hólos, "whole" and kaustós, "burnt"), refers to a body of theological and philosophical debate and reflection, and related literature, primarily within Judaism, that attempts to come to grips with various conflicting views about the role of God in the universe and the human world in light of the Holocaust of the late 1930s and 1940s when approximately 11 million people, including 6 million Jews, were subjected to genocide by the Nazi regime and its allies. "Holocaust theology" is also referred to as "Theologie nach Auschwitz" (German: "Theology after Auschwitz" or "Post-Auschwitz Theology"), due to the common practice of using Auschwitz to represent the Holocaust as a whole.

Judaism, Christianity, and Islam have traditionally taught that God is omniscient (all-knowing), omnipotent (all-powerful), and omnibenevolent (all-good) in nature. However, these claims seem to be in jarring contrast with the fact that there is much evil and suffering in the world. Perhaps the most difficult question that monotheists have confronted is how one can reconcile this view of God with the existence of evil and suffering. This fundamental inquiry is known as the problem of evil.

Within all of the monotheistic faiths many answers (theodicies) have been proposed. Although in light of the magnitude of depravity seen in the Holocaust, many people have re-examined classical views on this subject. A common question is, "How can people still have any kind of faith after the Holocaust?"

Part of a series on
The Holocaust
Part of: German, Jewish,
Polish, Romanian, and LGBT history
Responsibility
Nazi Germany
People
Major Perpetrators
Adolf Hitler
Heinrich Himmler
Reinhard Heydrich
Adolf Eichmann
Odilo Globocnik
Theodor Eicke
Richard Glücks
Ernst Kaltenbrunner
Rudolf Höss
Christian Wirth
Joseph Goebbels
Organizations
Nazi Party
Gestapo
Schutzstaffel (SS)
Sturmabteilung (SA)
Verfügungstruppe (VT)
Wehrmacht
Collaborators during World War II
Nazi ideologues
Early policies
  • Racial policy
  • Nazi eugenics
  • Nuremberg Laws
  • Haavara Agreement
  • Madagascar Plan
  • Forced euthanasia
Victims
  • Jews in Europe
  • Jews in Germany
  • Romani people (Gypsies)
  • Poles
  • Soviet POWs
  • Slavs in Eastern Europe
  • Homosexuals
  • People with disabilities
  • Freemasons
  • Jehovah's Witnesses
Ghettos
  • Białystok
  • Budapest
  • Kaunas
  • Kraków
  • Łódź
  • Lublin
  • Lwów
  • Minsk
  • Riga
  • Warsaw
  • Vilnius
  • Jewish ghettos in German-occupied Poland
  • List of selected ghettos
Atrocities
Pogroms
Kristallnacht
Bucharest
Dorohoi
Iaşi
Jedwabne
Kaunas
Lviv (Lvov)
Tykocin
Vel' d'Hiv
Wąsosz
Einsatzgruppen
Babi Yar
Bydgoszcz
Częstochowa
Kamianets-Podilskyi
Ninth Fort
Odessa
Piaśnica
Ponary
Rumbula
Erntefest
"Final Solution"
Wannsee Conference
Operation Reinhard
Holocaust trains
Extermination camps
End of World War II
Wola massacre
Death marches
Camps
Nazi extermination camps
Auschwitz-Birkenau
Bełżec
Chełmno
Jasenovac
Majdanek
Maly Trostenets
Sobibor
Treblinka
Nazi concentration camps
Bergen-Belsen
Bogdanovka
Buchenwald
Dachau
Gonars (Italy)
Gross-Rosen
Herzogenbusch
Janowska
Kaiserwald
Mauthausen-Gusen
Neuengamme
Rab
Ravensbrück
Sachsenhausen
Sajmište
Salaspils
Stutthof
Theresienstadt
Uckermark
Warsaw
Transit and collection camps
Belgium
Breendonk
Mechelen
France
Gurs
Drancy
Italy
Bolzano
Netherlands
Amersfoort
Westerbork
Divisions
SS-Totenkopfverbände
Concentration Camps Inspectorate
Politische Abteilung
Sanitätswesen
Extermination methods
Inmate identification
Gas van
Gas chamber
Extermination through labor
Human medical experimentation
Inmate disposal of victims
Resistance
  • Jewish partisans
  • Bricha
Ghetto uprisings
Warsaw
Białystok
Łachwa
Częstochowa
Allied response
  • Joint Declaration by Members of the United Nations
  • Auschwitz bombing debate
  • Nuremberg Trials
  • Denazification
Aftermath
  • Bricha
  • Displaced persons
  • Reparations Agreement between Israel and West Germany
Lists
  • Holocaust survivors
  • Deportations of French Jews to death camps
  • Survivors of Sobibor
  • Timeline of Treblinka
  • Victims of Nazism
  • Rescuers of Jews
Resources
  • Bibliography of The Holocaust
  • The Destruction of the European Jews
  • Functionalism versus intentionalism
  • Auschwitz Protocols
  • Vrba-Wetzler report
Remembrance
  • Days of remembrance
  • Memorials and museums

Read more about Holocaust Theology:  Jewish Theological Responses: Background To The Diversity of Views, Orthodox Jewish Responses, Post-Holocaust and Child Abuse Theology

Other articles related to "holocaust theology, theology, holocaust":

Holocaust Theology - Criticisms - Christian Criticisms
... political or secular events such as the Shoah which are not part of theology as traditionally understood, that is, theology as a hermeneutic of the deposit of faith and of divine revelation, and not theology as ...
Aftermath Of The Holocaust - Impact On Culture - Holocaust Theology
... On account of the magnitude of the Holocaust, many theologians have re-examined the classical theological views on God's goodness and actions in the world ... believers question whether people can still have any faith in God after the Holocaust, and some of the theological responses to these questions are explored in Holocaust theology ... it orthodox Jews state their reasons for why they believe the Holocaust happened and, to a more extreme degree, why they felt the Jews of Europe deserved to die ...
Ignaz Maybaum - Holocaust Theology
... Maybaum wrote many reflections on Judaism, Christianity, the Holocaust and Zionism ... (1965) that the suffering of Jews in the Holocaust was vicarious atonement for the sins of the rest of the world ...

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