Hermann Sasse

Hermann Sasse (1895 – 1976) Lutheran theologian, author
In the early 1930s, Hermann Sasse emerged as a vocal critic of the National Socialist Party and Germany’s new chancellor, Adolf Hitler. While he did not sign the 1934 Barmen Declaration, he did author, with Dietrich Bonhoeffer and others, the first draft of the lesser known Bethel Confession of 1933.

In 1949 Professor Hermann Sasse accepted a call to teach church history in Adelaide. An emigrant from Europe and from the faculty of theology at Erlangen university, he had previously been an active pastor in Berlin and a young ecumenist in the Faith and Order movement. He was a delegate to the first world conference of Faith and Order at Lausanne, Switzerland, in 1927.

Hermann Sasse was among the earliest to speak out clearly against Nazism. His objection to the requirement of the party programme that religious bodies must refrain from offending ‘the German race’s sense of decency and morality’ was rigorous and challenging: this demand ‘excludes any possibility of dialogue with the church’, he wrote. In line with this stance he became an active member, though a critical one, of the Confessing Church movement in Germany. With his younger Berlin colleague, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Sasse was in 1933 called upon to strengthen its confessional position; together they produced the so-called Bethel Confession, a precursor of the more famous Barmen Statement of a year later.

After the war Professor Sasse’s unease with the ways of the unity movement in Germany led him to join the Lutheran Free Church there and, soon afterwards, to migrate to Australia (1949). Robert Banks (:40) called him ‘Australia’s most distinguished acquisition from the Continental theological scene’.

Biblical truth and the Lutheran confession of the gospel were his motivating passions. They nourished his zeal as a preacher and stimulated his continuous love for ‘the one holy catholic and apostolic church’.

From the moment of his arrival in Australia Dr. Sasse actively assisted in the unification of the two Lutheran churches (1966). His contribution to theological education, both within and across denominational borders, was also notable. He did this through his lectures, but more particularly via his writings on the Holy Scripture, the Eucharist and interchurch relations, – and also by means of a wide correspondence with overseas and Australian figures. Thus, consistent with his earlier role on the Continent, he remained a productive theologian as well as a critical ecumenical figure in the Australian scene.

Source : http://intranet.cbhslewisham.nsw.edu.au:82/sor/austrelcomms/contents/lutherans/lub3.htm

In the early 1930s, Hermann Sasse emerged as a vocal critic of the National Socialist Party and Germany’s new chancellor, Adolf Hitler. While he did not sign the 1934 Barmen Declaration, he did author, with Dietrich Bonhoeffer and others, the first draft of the lesser known Bethel Confession of 1933.

In 1949, Sasse emigrated to Adelaide, Australia, where he served on the faculty of the seminary of the United Evangelical Lutheran Church of Australia (later merged into the Lutheran Church of Australia) until his death in 1976.

refer also : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hermann_Sasse

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