Isolate or Engage? The Theological Declaration of Barmen and Casablanca in 2023
Sunday, Mar. 12 – Apr. 16 | 9:40-10:40 AM
Led by Guy & Cynthia Guidici
In 1934, a group of church representatives met in Barmen, Germany, to discuss how the greater church should react to the rise of fascism in their nation. Should they retire for a time to “the holy mountain,” acquiesce to the state, or resist? They released the Theological Declaration of Barmen as a call to churches to resist accommodation to Nazism. This declaration is part of our Book of Confessions.
In 1942, Warner Brothers debuted the now iconic film Casablanca, which won the Oscar for best picture the next year. Its protagonist, Rick Blaine, must decide whether to engage in some way in World War II or stay tucked in his popular café, away from the whole mess. What do these historical sources have to do with each other, and with us today? We’ll explore the question by studying the declaration and the film over several weeks.
If you haven’t seen Casablanca in a while—or ever—a copy is available in the Church Library. Please return it quickly so others can borrow it. Georgetown Public Library has a copy (call number DVD CASA), and you can also view the movie at Prime for a small rental charge. You can read the Theological Declaration of Barmen in the Book of Confessions, available in the church library and online below. It’s only five pages, so watching Casablanca takes much longer than reading this brief but important statement of faith.