“Catechism, Bayonet, and Scepter”: The Protestant Churches and the State
Relations between church and state in Germany had a complex history. Martin Luther had unleashed a cultural revolution that shook all of Europe, liberating many regions from Roman domination. The loss of members also partly reflected the displacement of traditional religious outlooks by modern science, including the natural and social sciences as well as the application of scientific philology and historiography in biblical studies and church history. In 1906, Max Weber remarked that only a minority of working-class people leaving the churches were leaving because of modern science. Some liberal Protestants and Catholics supported the expansion of parliamentary powers against the crown and the mainstream Protestant churches. The influence of the churches on the elementary schools was sweeping and provided the foundation for its social influence. Within this arena it did its best to instill obedience to the crown.