> Resonance



"Karlheinz Deschner is considered the most significant critic of the Church of our century."

Tages-Anzeiger, Zurich

"The only German who has earned the title of "church critic."

Martin Budich, taz, Berlin

"The only person in this republic, who with brilliance and the greatest of expertise has described the religious situation in our society as it truly is."

Prof. Dr. Johannes Neumann, University of Tübingen

"Karlheinz Deschner, recognized as the best informed and the most thoroughly documenting church critic of our time."

Freidenker, Schweiz

"The most significant church critic of the century."

Prof. Dr. Dr. Wolfgang Stegmüller

"The most brilliant, resolute and substantial church critic of this century, Friedrich Nietzsche's most courageous heir and successor."

Prof. Dr. Hermann Josef Schmidt, University of Dortmund

"Unquestionably the most outstanding critic and historian of western Christianity and the Roman Catholic Church produced by the 20th Century."

Prof. Dr. Milan Petrovic, University of Nis, Yugoslavia

"In the meantime I have become a Deschnerologist. I buy everything of his that I can find."

Prof. Dr. Jehuda Bauer, University of Jerusalem

"Deschner is an ethicist, of the kind you'll never find within the walls of the Church...I am certain that it is Deschner alone who will find a place in the schoolbooks of the future."

Börsenblatt des Deutschen Buchhandels

"You can name him in the same breath as Auguste Comte, Ludwig Feuerbach, Karl Marx, Sigmund Freud und Max Stirner."

Schwäbische Post

"The writer and historian Deschner is probably the most uncompromising author and thinker in the German-speaking world."

Die Weltwoche, Zurich

"The enfant terrible of European culture."

Obrys-Kmem, Prag

"The most significant church critic of the present day."

Michael Horvath, Austrian Radio, Vienna

"One of the most unique and original personalities of the German literary world."

La Stampa, Turin

"Probably the sharpest and best informed church critic of the 20th Century."

El Independiente, Madrid

"In fact there is probably no other critic of our day who is so radical, sharp and irreconcilable."

Norbert Ahrens, Sender Freies Berlin

"The reader is convinced and swept away by the magnificent blend of passionate engagement, crystal clear logic, biting sarcasm and overwhelming knowledge. This man is a modern Voltaire."

Nella Moia, Tagesblatt, Luxembourg

"He excels the philosophers of the 18th Century Enlightenment as a revealing psychologist of religion and as a sarcastic opponent of every abuse of the idea of God."

Robert Mächler, Basler Zeitung

"He is really unique in this world."

Prof. Horst Hermann, University of Münster, in The Hate-Filled Eyes of Mr. Deschner, film by Ricarda Hinz and Jacques Tily, University of Essen

"Measured by Karlheinz Deschner, the critical churchmen and other Drewermann-types of our day are nothing but kindly gentlemen with religious scruples."

Michael Bauer, Süddeutsche Zeitung

"The most knowledgeable among the advocati diaboli."

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

"For me Deschner is the greatest critic of Church and religion of all time, and not just because of his expertise in the portrayal of facts and history, but because of the greatness of his style of presentation, the great flow of his passion."

(in the film by Ricarda Hinz and Jacques Tilly , The Hate-filled Eyes of Mr. Deschner) Prof. Dr. Dieter Birnbacher, University of Düsseldorf

"He is considered one of the most well-grounded living church historians. He achieved fame because his immense mastery of source material and his scholarly integrity produced a devastating and irrefutable critique of above all the Catholic Church."

Badische Zeitung, Freiburg

"Karlheinz Deschner, today's most critical, radical observer of the problematical nature of the Church, from the very beginning, from Jesus -- and correspondingly the red flag of the Church establishment."

National-Zeitung, Basel

"Experts who do not fear a confrontation with him compare him to Luther -- which to be sure would not particularly please him -- Voltaire and Nietzsche. It would be easy to dismiss Deschner as a pure polemicist, were it not for the fact that behind his sharply pointed rebukes stands a scholarly work of church criticism without equal. Probably the most comprehensive critique of Christianity of the present day."

Andreas Stirnemann, Radio Zurich

"Probably the most significant, most feared and best known Church critics of our time."

Diakonie, Diakonisches Werk Bayern

"Deschner is one of the most uncompromising, dynamic and discomfiting literary critics of our time."

Dieter Fringeli, Basler Nachrichten

"As a provocation, as a challenge to individual conscience and self-education, Deschner's life work stands in a continuum stretching from the 12th Century through Luther, Nietzsche, and to the 20th Century."

Friedrich Heer

"The greatest German historian and critic of Roman Catholicism of modern times."

Grafit, Nis, Yugoslavia

"By his decisive works of historical criticism and his well documented assaults, the most prominent and sharpest Church critic of today."

Hans Kühner-Wolfskehl, Weltwoche, Zurich

"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'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

"Whoever has read Deschner's widely circulated literary polemic Kitsch, Convention and Art recognizes his direct, concise diction and will be able to do without superlative declarations. It only remains to recognize the radicalness of his demand for truth and to hope that he will be able to complete the huge task of writing the successive volumes of his monumental Criminal History."

Henner Voss, taz - Berlin

"Karlheinz Deschner, Doctor of Philosophy, belongs to the few writers in this country who consistently disdains popular trends and who under great personal sacrifice writes books whose quality stands in inverse ratio to the perplexity which they should actually elicit."

Henryk M. Broder, Frankfurter Rundschau

"There are many a church history. He writes a criminal history of Christianity which is suitable to the story."

Jan Philipp Reemtsma

"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 Zahn, Kölner Illustrierte

"One of the great German authors since 1900, of the few who deserve gratitude and who, as well as they become known, find too small an audience."

Kurt Hiller

"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

"The most important frontal attack of this century against the Christian Church."

Lieselotte von Eltz-Hoffmann, Evangelisch-lutherische Kirchenzeitung für Österreich

"Deschner has aimed his colossal work like a huge cannon at the present-day Catholic Church, and the Church would have to provide an army of historians to defend it in view of its history of the last two thousand years."

Max Schoch

"If one reads your writings, I mean especially those critical of the Church and religion, then one can, if one is honest, only come to the conclusion that you are actually a person who take the Church and religion much, much more seriously than most baptized Christians - priests, prelates, bishops included."

Norbert Ahrens in a conversation with Karlheinz Deschner in the Sender Freies Berlin

"An author who gives no quarter, fearing no taboos, whose knowledge lends credibility to the seriousness of his critical presentation. And Deschner can write brilliantly formulated, concentrated criticism."

Österreichischer Rundfunk

"The most important Church critic of our day."

Österreichischer Rundfunk, Vienna

"Karlheinz Deschner - criticism of the Church is unthinkable without his name. His works have a secure place in the literature of Enlightenment since the 18th Century, even outside the German speaking world. Hardly anyone else in today's literary world has worked so intensively, patiently and so committed to a self-imposed task, without protection, without commission, without gainful employment, and this for over 20 years."

Peter Roos, in the Westdeutschen und Norddeutschen Rundfunk

"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
published under mandate from the President of the Albert-Ludwigs Universität, Freiburg

"Perhaps the most prominent contemporary critic of the history of Christianity."

Prof. Dr. Ludger Lütkehaus, Süddeutsche Zeitung, Munich

"Without doubt Karlheinz Deschner belongs to today's most knowledgeable and diligent, most critical and perceptive researchers in the field of the entire history of Christianity."

Prof. Dr. lic. he. Carl Schneider

"This is very impressive and I ask myself why this could not have been written and published earlier."

Prof. Dr. Anton Grabner-Haider, University of Graz

"Ever since all arguments for the truth of Christianity have collapsed, you hear calls for its necessity in maintaining a humane morality. Whoever reads Karlheinz Deschner must come to the opposite conclusion: if Christianity were true, one would have to shield people from it for reasons of humanity."

Prof. Dr. Dr. Norbert Hoerster, University of Mainz

"He's familiar with theological questions and scholarly methodology. That's clear on every page ... Concerning the contents, one would have difficulty accusing Deschner of erroneous allegations."

Prof. Dr. Fritz Blanke, University of Zurich

"The portrayal is grandiose. The picture is frightful."

Prof. Dr. Gerhard Streminger, University of Graz

"The fact that he has produced his extensive work without any institutional support by untiring private research -- totally independently -- deserves great admiration."

Prof. Dr. Hans Albert

"Deschner has informed himself. That's what he is after: information."

Prof. Dr. Hans Conzelmann, in Evangelische Theologie, Munich

"In the first decades of our century it was perhaps Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche who, through his refractory and revolutionary manner of asking profound questions, managed to provoke more people to independent thinking than any other person. And who would doubt that in this country for decades now it has been Karlheinz Deschner who, as a polemical writer with more than 30 books and 2500 lectures, readings and so forth behind him, has inspired more people than any other to break away from traditional and possibly even lucrative ideological restrictions and to have the courage to answer the call of conscience and to go their own way?"

Prof. Dr. Hermann Josef Schmid, University of Dortmund

"Deschner ... is well oriented. Granted that it is the most provocative and vexing presentation of church history ... But the decisive facts of his Skandalchronik remain irrefutable."

Prof. Dr. Kurt Aland, Sonntagsblatt, Hamburg

"All of modern theology makes it appearance here."

Prof. Dr. Kurt Aland, Sonntagsblatt, Hamburg

"Probably the most comprehensive critical history of the church which exists."

Prof. Dr. Ludger Lütkehaus

"Probably the most striking contemporary critic of the history of Christianity."

Prof. Dr. Ludger Lütkehaus, Süddeutsche Zeitung, Munich

"Deschner has always made it difficult for himself. He's a rarity in literary life."

Prof. Dr. Ludwig Marcuse, Die Zeit, Hamburg

"Seen as a whole, an unpleasant picture arises from the Church and its long evolutionary history. But it is historically accurate."

Prof. Dr. Martin Werner, University of Bern, Schweizerische Theologische Umschau

"Not a single one of the historical facts reported by Deschner has ever been refuted by the Church."

Prof. Dr. med. Hoimar von Ditfurth

Because this dark, mostly secret, intentionally glorified although always falsified side of history has never been presented in a careful, scholarly, ethically unimpeachable fashion on the basis of irrefutable factual evidence, the author deserves the gratitude of all cultivated humanity for his work on this massive, deeply human project... Deschner's work is one of the most magnificent modern contributions to the story of mankind."

Prof. Dr. med. Udo Köhler, Erfahrungsheilkunde

"Above all the author proves what he says with an immense body of source material."

Prof. Dr. Richard Völkl, Caritas, Freiburg

"The most knowledgeable among the advocati diaboli."

Prof. Dr. theol. Georg Denzler, University of Bamberg, Frankfurther Allgemeine Zeitung

"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

"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

"There hasn't been a German author since Nietzsche who has written more spirited lampoons against Christianity."

Reinhard Margreite, Schopenhauer-Studien 3 (1989)

"Probably the most important critic of the Church of this century."

Roland Tschrepp, Radio Italy, Bozen

"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 welcome feature distinguishes him from many a modern critic of the Church who still feels allegiance to some interpretation of primitive Christianity. Deschner is without compromise in this regard."

Rolf Gawrich, Frankfurter Rundschau

"Deschner polarizes -- deliberately! In spite of this he belongs in the series of great critics of Church and religion. He can be placed in one breath with Auguste Comte, Ludwig Feuerbach, Karl Marx, Sigmund Freund and Max Stirner."

Schwäbische Post

"The sharpest and most sharp-sighted critic not just of the Christian Church, but of the teachings of Christianity period."

Stadt-Revue, Cologne

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

Werner Rohde, Sender Freies Berlin











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This page was last updated on 12/23/03 - subject to alterations -