Religion Past and Present

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(2,870 words)

[German Version]

In the narrow sense, Kulturkampf (“culture struggle”) denotes the conflict between Prussia and the Catholic Church between 1871 and 1887; in the broader sense, it denotes the conflicts between church and state (I, 4) in other German and European states during the 19th century. In an extended sense, it often denotes any conflict between church and state, tradition and modernity. This extended usage has led to a kind of semantic inflation: in the face of National Socialism (I), Catholics feared a “second Kulturkampf,” thus using this term to interpret their situa…

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Blaschke, Olaf, “Kulturkampf”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 19 May 2022 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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