Assistant Professor of History, University of Wisconsin-Madison


Harvard University

Forschung und Projekte

Aktuelle(s) Projekt(e)

My current book manuscript, Reinventing Protestant Germany: Religion, Nation, and Democracy after Nazism, takes a fresh look at the formation of West Germany’s post-1945 democracy on the ashes of Nazi dictatorship. It argues that political transformations in Germany’s Protestant churches—historically aligned with conservative ethno-nationalism—were central to the construction of post-Nazi democratic institutions and national identities. The project follows a cohort of pastors and lay intellectuals who were born around the turn of the twentieth century, served as collaborators, witnesses, and occasional resisters under National Socialism, and spearheaded the reconstruction of German politics after 1945. It shows how Protestant activists recast longstanding religious symbols, as well as their own record under Nazism, to imagine Germany’s Protestant heritage as a fount of democratic values. Protestants played crucial roles in the expansion of West Germans’ constitutional rights, even as they forestalled a forthright reckoning with the Nazi past and promoted exclusionary visions of German citizenship.


Monographien (und Dissertation)

"Faith for This World: Protestantism and the Reconstruction of Constitutional Democracy in Germany, 1933-1968" (PhD Dissertation, Harvard University, 2018)


"'The Limits of Human Jurisdiction': Protestantism, War Crimes Trials, and Human Rights in Occupied Germany," forthcoming in Journal of Modern History

"In the Presence of Absence: Transformations of the Confessional Divide in West Germany after the Holocaust," in Germany and the Confessional Divide, 1871-1989, ed. Mark Edward Ruff and Thomas Großbölting, under contract with Berghahn Books (forthcoming 2021)

"The Unfinished Project of Enlightenment," review essay on Jürgen Habermas, This Too a History of Philosophy, Boston Review, June 18, 2020 (

"The Origins of Adorno's Psycho-Social Dialectic: Psychoanalysis and Neo-Kantianism in the Young Adorno," Modern Intellectual History 16, vol. 2 (Aug. 2019): 501-529 (

"Justifying Democracy: Johannes Heckel, Ernst Wolf, and the Recasting of Luther's Theology of Resistance in Postwar Germany," in Tagungsbände zum Kongress "Kulturelle Wirkungen der Reformation" / Proceedings of the Congress "Cultural Impact of the Reformation", ed. Christopher Spehr, Klaus Fitschen, and Ernst-Joachim Waschke, vol. 1 (Leipzig: Evangelische Verlagsanstalt, 2019), pp. 451-460

Forschungsinteressen und Arbeitsgebiete

Modern German History, Modern European Intellectual History