Kittel, Althaus, et al

Every person who has study theology knows the name Kittel–sometimes as the name of a man, Gerhard Kittel, and sometimes as shorthand for his magnum opus, the ten volume Theological Dictionary of the New Testament. When a one volume abridgment was published, it quickly became known as the “Little Kittel.”

Althaus, of course, is Paul Althaus, known for his interpretations of Martin Luther’s thought.

Two German Lutheran theologians, often translated and much admired in the United States to this day.

But those who have studied them generally know the not-so-secret truth about them: they were Nazis.

I’ve just learned of a 2005 documentary about them, Theologians under Hitler (review), based on the 1985 book by Robert P. Ericksen (review; another).

It makes you wonder how much of Kittel’s linguistic work was influenced by his antisemitism.