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German is at present the classic land of moral and cultural contrasts as stated by Francke (2009). According to Francke this is “because nowhere is the conflict between the powers cultural, temporal and spiritual, between traditional creeds and personal convictions, between autocracy and freedom being waged with greater intensity or deeper rooted bitterness” (p.9). He thus continues to say that the strife between church and state which in the seventies flamed up with more conflicts is at the present smoldering under the ashes. This means that there is much evolution and change which has occurred in the past in the German culture. Besides this, people may view German culture as one in which at present is giving signs of evolution because of the variety of opposing ideals which are struggling for supremacy in the national heart of cultural beliefs and practices (Francke, 2009).


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Thompson (2003) stated that the Nazi regime banned all forms of modernity in art and drama thus what was going on during that period was the Nazification of German culture. In this context many people have always wondered in what circumstances cultured people as the Germans could accept the Nazi rule. Thompson (2003) continues to say that the Nazis obliterated much of that culture just as they interfered with the Christian religion. At the same time Bernstein (2004) outlined that religion had ceased to play an important cultural role considering the number of times those German intellectuals had declared that God is dead. Bernstein thus found out that with all predictions not withstanding the Christian religion has remained a vital force in Germany. According to Bernstein Christianity and religion is “too deeply anchored in German culture and history” (p. 81).

In addition Bernstein (2004) established that apart from Christianity there was a small but once again growing Jewish community and a large Muslims population in Germany. Thus all religions and their role in contemporary Germany culture had key contributions to the evolution of the countries culture. Bernstein (2004) further says that “although religious freedom in Germany is guaranteed by the constitution and adherents of the major world religions as well as followers of numerous smaller religious groups, they are free to practice their faith, religious life in Germany is dominated by two Christian denominations” (p .81). These denominations include Roman Catholic and Evangelical Church of Germany (EDK), an association of Lutheran and Reformed Calvinist churches, which are also called Protestantism.

Religion in Germany and especially Christianity is deeply embedded in their culture. Bernstein (2004) thus says this is because of the well functioning synergic relationship between state and churches which goes beyond providing an indispensible service to the needy, handicapped, infirm and old and the young as well.  Religion is taught in public schools; catholic priests and protestant pastors are trained in publicly financed universities. Bernstein (2004) further established that while some individuals continue to see religion as important, they have become selective about what features of the established churches and their rituals they are prepared to integrate in into their own culture and life styles (p. 84). Hence he continues to say that though religion might still have a role to play as cultural and social institutions in German, their role as spiritual guidance has been greatly diminished (Bernstein, 2004).   

Brady, Crawford &Wiliarty (1999) outlined that there are two alternative explanations for what conditioned Germany’s success and triggered its weakness. Firstly they said that new institutions have power to transform the society hence from this perspective, institutions are constitutive of social practices and cultural beliefs (Brady, Crawford &Wiliarty, 1999). They also said that using the cultural approach claims that cultural belief in Germany has determined more than institutions and carries more weight in explaining outcomes. Cultural beliefs in Germany have made the claim that they can explain why institutions change as a result of struggles among various social actors representing divergent beliefs, values, and interpretations of reality.

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