CJ Politics and Political Science

Evangelisches Staatslexikon [Protestant Political Handbook]. Ed.Werner Heun. 4th ed. Stuttgart: Kohlhammer, 2006. xxv p. 2956 cols. 25 cm. ISBN 978-3-17-018416-9: EUR 128 [08-1/2-270]

This compact and comprehensive handbook is unusual in that it offers a specifically “Protestant” perspective on various legal and social issues. The preface explains that the work has been compiled by lawyers and theologians who belong to the Protestant tradition. The articles found here do not hesitate to take a stand on the issues, particularly controversial ones, and to differentiate the Protestant viewpoint from the Catholic, though in carefully worded language. Articles address difficult topics such as marriage between homosexuals, ecumenism, and religious sects in a balanced and nuanced manner. The handbook is aimed primarily at lawyers, students, and church workers, as well as anyone seeking guidance on the beliefs of the Protestant church. In general, the articles first attempt to clarify concepts and then treat related topics in more depth. There are limited bibliographical references to relevant literature, which seem to be current to about 2005.

A useful feature of the work is that many topics are discussed from two different viewpoints, first from a social/legal perspective, then from a religious/theological one—for example, for concepts such as the “state,” “woman,” “freedom,” and so forth. There are also articles about important basic teachings of the Protestant church, as well as significant historical events and movements, such as “atheism” and “Enlightenment.” There are no biographical articles in the handbook, not even for Luther himself. The Evangelisches Staatslexikon brings together a comprehensive body of useful information regarding social and political issues and thereby offers a compendium of contemporary thought from a “Protestant” perspective in a broad sense. Obviously, there will be disagreement on opinions expressed here, even among Protestants. This unique handbook provides a ready reference guide to important social issues of the day. [tk/akb]

Helmut-Schmidt-Bibliographie 1947-2008 [Helmut Schmidt Bibliography 1947-2008]. Ed. Johannes Marbach and Frank Josef Nober. Preface Klaus von Dohnanyi. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 2008. 399 p. ill. 25 cm. ISBN 978-3-447-05880-3: EUR 39.80 [08-1/2-276]

The library of the Helmut-Schmidt-University/University of the Bundeswehr in Hamburg honored the former chancellor with this bibliography on the occasion of his 90th birthday in December 2008.

The work lists no fewer than 5,034 documents pertaining to Helmut Schmidt. These include not only publications by and about him, but also hundreds of telegrams, personal greetings, and similar communications that were sent to him as Chancellor. The works are listed chronologically. The keyword indexing is weak, and too many of the items will have little research value. A selected bibliography, with a more inclusive index, would have been preferable. An on-line version of the catalog is available at http://ub.hsu-hh.de/DB=1.1/SET=1/TTL=1/SHW?FRST=5. [sh/ldl]

Reden und Schriften: Politik; Geschichte; Literatur, 1897-1926 [Speeches and Writings: Politics, History, Literature, 1897-1926]. Gustav Stresemann. Ed. Hartmuth Becker. 2d ed. Berlin: Duncker & Humblot, 2008. 486 p. 24 cm. ISBN 978-3-428-12139-7: EUR 98 [08-1/2-280]

Gustav Stresemann (1878-1929) was the Weimar Republic’s leading statesman and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1927. This re-issue of Stresemann’s speeches and writings confines itself to the texts that date from 1897-1926 (most of them date between 1907 and 1926). Important documents written after 1926, such as his 1927 Nobel Prize acceptance speech, are not included, but the bibliography does offer a newly-created comprehensive name and subject index and, for the first time, some of Stresemann’s literary writings and excerpts from his diaries. Rochus Freiherr von Rheinhaben’s introductory biographical essay from 1926 has been included in the second edition, and the preface to this edition refers to some of the more recent publications pertaining to Stresemann and seeks to interpret Stresemann’s political and diplomatic legacy. [tk/ldl]

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