Adolf Keller (1872-1963)
Ecumenist, World Citizen, Philanthropist
By Marianne Jehle-Wildberger
Translated by Mark Kyburz with John Peck
Due for release: 25/07/2013
“All those who did great work among men and women were ardent,” wrote Adolf Keller, the Swiss theologian hailed as one of the most important pioneers of ecumenism. In this biography by Marianne Jehle-Wildberger, newly translated by Mark Kyburz with John Peck, Keller’s own ardent beliefs are explored through their demonstration in his life and achievements.
Keller’s primary goal was to promote peace and reconciliation among the nations of Europe, and in pursuing this he succeeded in establishing dialogue between America, Europe and the Soviet Union as well as among various Christian denominations, to better combat hunger and misery, and to protect minorities and refugees. Keller was one of the first public figures to speak out against the ideals of National Socialism and to inform the world about the Nazi regime. His influence and initiative fathered many organizations including the Association Protestante Internationale de Prets, the International Christian Social Institute and the Ecumenical Seminar. However, Keller is best known for his leadership of the ecumenical relief agency Inter-Church Aid, which supported churches in France and Germany that had suffered the devastating effects of World War I. Keller placed particular emphasis on coming to the aid of Protestant minorities in Eastern Europe and in particular supported their efforts to recruit and train young ministers.
This new study of the ecumenist, pastor and philanthropist employs research from forty archives in Europe and the United States. The result is not only a clearer picture of this highly influential man but also a more nuanced understanding of the origins of his ideas. Friends with many of the leading minds of his day – Karl Barth, Carl Jung, Thomas Mann, and Albert Schweitzer among others – Jehle-Wildberger discerns their influence on Keller’s own works.
This book forms an important contribution to twentieth-century church and world history. It is ideal for anyone interested in the inter-war period, ecclesiastical history, and the study of Keller, his friends and their still relevant and influential ideas.
About the Author: Marianne Jehle-Wildberger is a renowned Swiss historian. She has written many books and articles on the Reformation, Pietism, and modern church history. She is a specialist on the period of National Socialism and the church struggle in Germany and taught history at the College of Sargans.
About the Publisher: The Lutterworth Press has been trading since the eighteenth century and is one of the longest established and best-known independent publishers in the United Kingdom. It has been associated with James Clarke & Co. since 1984.