Jakob Wilhelm Hauer

Jakob Wilhelm Hauer (4 April 1881 in Ditzingen, Württemberg – 18 February 1962 in Tübingen) was a German Indologist and religious studies writer. He was the founder of the German Faith Movement.

Bundesarchiv Bild 183-2004-0413-501, Prof. Jakob Wilhelm Hauer
Jakob Wilhelm Hauer.


Initially trained in the family trade as a plasterer, he entered the missionary school at Basel in 1900 and served as a missionary in British India from 1907 to 1911.[1] His time in India and his study of indigenous religions saw him lose faith in Christianity and instead he returned to his studies, reading religious studies and Sanskrit at a doctorate level at the University of Oxford and the University of Tübingen, before going on to teach at the University of Marburg (1925) and Tübingen itself (1927).[1] Under his tutelage religious studies at Tübingen became increasingly close to Nazism and by 1940 he was heading up an 'Aryan Seminar'.[2]

In 1920 he formed the Bund der Köngener, a youth movement that grew out of groups of Protestant Bible circles who had come into contact with the Wandervogel tendency. Initially little more than a more organized version of the Wandervogel, the Bund, which was for a time led by Rudolf Otto, became attracted to the ideals of the Völkisch movement, especially as Hauer began to move more towards developing his own religion.[3]

Hauer began to look into his own forms of religion in 1927 when he set up the Religiöser Menschheitsbund, which aimed for a greater unity amongst Germany's faiths towards common goals.[1] He joined with Ernst Graf zu Reventlow in this endeavour and in 1934 founded the German Faith Movement (Deutsche Glaubensbewegung), which combined a number of existing communities in a Völkisch faith influenced by Hinduism.[1] Hauer's admiration for Hinduism centred on the Bhagavad Gita, to which he had been particularly drawn. He described it as "a work of imperishable significance", arguing that it called on people to "master the riddle of life". By July 1934 the religion had been ratified as Hauer celebrated his first wedding without other clergy.[4]

It had initially been hoped that it might be adopted as the state religion of the Third Reich but this did not happen and as it began to decline Hauer left in 1936. Hauer remained close to the Nazis however. He became a member of the NSDAP in 1937 and liked to portray the German Faith Movement as the true religious expression of Nazism. He expected members of the movement to work together with Catholics and Protestants.[5] He wrote to Heinrich Himmler immediately after Rudolf Hess' flight to Scotland, denouncing Hess for his supposed adherence to anthroposophy, an esoteric philosophy which Hauer felt was at odds with his own occult vision.[6]

In later years Hauer would seek not only to distance himself from the Nazis but also to portray himself as an anthroposophist. In 1935, however, he wrote that:

every undertaking and activity of anthroposophy necessarily arises out of the Anthroposophical world view. The anthroposophical world view is in the most important points directly opposed to National Socialism. Therefore, schools which are built out of the anthroposophical world view and led by anthroposophists mean danger to true German education.[7]

Hauer was removed from his university position after World War II and was interned from 1945 to 1949.[5] He continued to agitate for his own religion, forming the Arbeitsgemeinschaft für freie Religionsforschung und Philosophie in 1947 and the Freie Akademie in 1955.[1]


  • 1922: Werden und Wesen der Anthroposophie
  • 1922: Die Anfänge der Yogapraxis im alten Indien
  • 1932: Indiens Kampf um das Reich
  • 1932: Der Yoga als Heilweg
  • 1934: Eine indo-arische Metaphysik des Kampfes und der Tat, die Bhagavadgita in neuer Sicht mit Übersetzungen
  • 1934: Dt. Gottschau
  • 1934: Was will die D.G.
  • 1937: Glaubensgeschichte der Indogermanen
  • 1941: Glaube und Blut
  • 1941: Religion und Rasse
  • 1950: Die Krise der Religion und ihre Überwindung
  • 1952: Glauben und Wissen


  1. ^ a b c d e Friedrich Wilhelm Bautz (1990). "Hauer, Jakob Wilhelm". In Bautz, Friedrich Wilhelm (ed.). Biographisch-Bibliographisches Kirchenlexikon (BBKL) (in German). 2. Hamm: Bautz. cols. 593–594. ISBN 3-88309-032-8.
  2. ^ The Study of Religion under the Impact of National Socialism
  3. ^ Hans-Christian Brandenburg & Rudolf Daur, Die Brücke zu Köngen. Fünfzig Jahre Bund der Köngener, Stuttgart, 1970
  4. ^ Pagans and Gags from Time
  5. ^ a b C.P. Blamires, World Fascism - A Historical Encyclopedia, ABC-CLIO, 2006, p. 299
  6. ^ Uwe Werner, Was Rudolf Hess an Anthroposophist?
  7. ^ Uwe Werner, Anthroposophy in the Time of Nazi Germany


  • Karla Poewe, Irving Hexham "Jakob Wilhelm Hauer's New Religion and National Socialism", in: Journal of Contemporary Religion 20 (2005), pp. 195–215 online
  • James Webb, The Occult Establishment, (La Salle, Illinois: Open Court, 1976), pp. 398–401, discuss Hauer and his influence on Carl Jung.

External links


Anthroposophy is a philosophy founded by the 19th-century esotericist Rudolf Steiner that postulates the existence of an objective, intellectually comprehensible spiritual world, accessible to human experience. Followers of anthroposophy aim to develop mental faculties of spiritual discovery through a mode of thought independent of sensory experience. They also aim to present their ideas in a manner verifiable by rational discourse and specifically seek a precision and clarity in studying the spiritual world mirroring that obtained by natural historians in investigations of the physical world.

The philosophy has its roots in German idealist and mystical philosophies. Steiner chose the term anthroposophy (from anthropo-, human, and Sophia, wisdom) to emphasize his philosophy's humanistic orientation. Anthroposophical ideas have been employed in alternative movements in many areas including education (both in Waldorf schools and in the Camphill movement), agriculture, medicine, banking, organizational development, and the arts. The main organization for advocacy of Steiner's ideas, the Anthroposophical Society, is headquartered at the Goetheanum in Dornach, Switzerland.

The historian of religion Olav Hammer has termed anthroposophy "the most important esoteric society in European history." Authors, scientists, and physicians including Michael Shermer, Michael Ruse, Edzard Ernst, David Gorski, and Simon Singh have criticized anthroposophy's application in the areas of medicine, biology, agriculture, and education to be dangerous and pseudoscientific. Others including former Waldorf pupil Roger Rawlings, activist Dan Dugan, and historian Geoffrey Ahern have criticized anthroposophy itself as a dangerous cult that is fundamentally anti-rational and anti-scientific.

Esotericism in Germany and Austria

This article gives an overview of esoteric movements in Germany and Austria between 1880 and 1945, presenting Theosophy, Anthroposophy and Ariosophy, among others, against the influences of earlier European esotericism.

Friedrich Hielscher

Friedrich Hielscher (31 May 1902, Plauen, Vogtland – 6 March 1990, Furtwangen) was a German intellectual involved in the Conservative Revolutionary movement during the Weimar Republic and in the German resistance during the Nazi era.

He was the founder of an esoteric or Neopagan movement, the Unabhängige Freikirche (UFK, "Independent Free Church"), which he headed from 1933 until his death.

Geirr Tveitt

Geirr Tveitt, born Nils Tveit (19 October 1908 – 1 February 1981) was a Norwegian composer and pianist. Tveitt was a central figure of the national movement in Norwegian cultural life during the 1930s.

German Christians

German Christians (German: Deutsche Christen) was a pressure group and a movement within the German Evangelical Church that existed between 1932 and 1945, aligned towards the antisemitic, racist and Führerprinzip ideological principles of Nazism with the goal to align German Protestantism as a whole towards those principles. Their advocacy of these principles led to a schism within 23 of the initially 28 regional church bodies (Landeskirchen) in Germany and the attendant foundation of the opposing Confessing Church in 1934.

German Faith Movement

The German Faith Movement (Deutsche Glaubensbewegung) was a religious movement in Nazi Germany (1933–1945), closely associated with University of Tübingen professor Jakob Wilhelm Hauer. The movement sought to move Germany away from Christianity towards a religion based on Germanic paganism and Nazi ideas.

Hans Endres

Hans Endres (born 26 February 1911 in Stuttgart – died 11 June 2004 in Heidelberg) was a German religious philosopher and author. He was a pioneer in the para-scientific areas of transpersonal psychology and integral management.

Endres studied at Heidelberg University, the University of Vienna, the University of Graz and in London, studying philosophy, psychology, pedagogy, anthropology and psychiatry, amongst other subjects. Prior to commencing his studies at Graz he became a member of the Nazi Party.He completed his doctorate in psychology and psychiatry at Heidelberg under Ernst Krieck, his thesis focusing on the issues of inter-racial marriage and children. He was then an assistant to Jakob Wilhelm Hauer in the Indological Institute of the University of Tübingen, subsequently teaching comparative religion at the university. With his writing advocating the use of experimentation on humans, Endres became a member of the Schutzstaffel in 1939 and in 1942 worked with their SS-Rasse- und Siedlungshauptamt. On account of his wide academic interests, he was recruited by Bruno Beger for a role in the latter's study of the tribes of the Caucasus in 1942. His role was to perform "racial intelligence examinations" in order to help codify the inhabitants of the region as Nordic, Asian or mixed.After the Second World War Endres worked as a private psychologist and had a number of business and writing interests.


Hauer is a surname, and may refer to:

Brett Hauer (born 1971), American ice hockey player

Elena Hauer (born 1986), German footballer

Erwin Hauer (1926-2017), Austrian-born American sculptor

Franz Ritter von Hauer (1822–1899), Austrian geologist

Jakob Wilhelm Hauer (1881–1962), founder of the German Faith Movement

Jerome Hauer, American politician and businessman

Joachim Hauer (born 1991), Norwegian ski jumper

Josef Matthias Hauer (1883–1959), Austrian composer and music theorist

Karen Hauer (born 1982), Venezuelan dancer

Rutger Hauer (born 1944), Dutch actor

Torodd Hauer (1922–2010), Norwegian speed skater

Heathenry (new religious movement)

Heathenry, also termed Heathenism, contemporary Germanic Paganism, or Germanic Neopaganism, is a modern Pagan religion. Scholars of religious studies classify Heathenry as a new religious movement. Its practitioners model it on the pre-Christian belief systems adhered to by the Germanic peoples of Iron Age and Early Medieval Europe. To reconstruct these past belief systems, Heathenry uses surviving historical, archaeological, and folkloric evidence as a basis, although approaches to this material vary considerably.

Heathenry does not have a unified theology but is typically polytheistic, centering on a pantheon of deities from pre-Christian Germanic Europe. It adopts cosmological views from these past societies, including an animistic view of the cosmos in which the natural world is imbued with spirits. The religion's deities and spirits are honored in sacrificial rites known as blóts in which food and libations are offered to them. These are often accompanied by symbel, the act of ceremonially toasting the gods with an alcoholic beverage. Some practitioners also engage in rituals designed to induce an altered state of consciousness and visions, most notably seiðr and galdr, with the intent of gaining wisdom and advice from the deities. Although many solitary practitioners follow the religion by themselves, members of the Heathen community often assemble in small groups, usually known as kindreds or hearths, to perform their rites outdoors or in specially constructed buildings. Heathen ethical systems emphasize honor, personal integrity, and loyalty, while beliefs about an afterlife vary and are rarely emphasized.

A central division within the Heathen movement concerns the issue of race. Some groups adopt a "universalist" perspective which holds that the religion is open to all, irrespective of ethnic or racial identity. Others adopt a racialist attitude—often termed "folkish" within the community—by viewing Heathenry as an ethnic or racial religion with inherent links to a Germanic race that should be reserved explicitly for people of Northern European descent or white people in general. Some folkish Heathens further combine the religion with explicitly racist, white supremacist, and far right-wing perspectives, although these approaches are repudiated by many Heathens. Although the term Heathenry is used widely to describe the religion as a whole, many groups prefer different designations, influenced by their regional focus and ideological preferences. Heathens focusing on Scandinavian sources sometimes use Ásatrú, Vanatrú, or Forn Sed; practitioners focusing on Anglo-Saxon traditions use Fyrnsidu or Theodism; those emphasising German traditions use Irminism; and those Heathens who espouse folkish and far-right perspectives tend to favor the terms Odinism, Wotanism, Wodenism, or Odalism.

The religion's origins lie in the 19th- and early 20th-century Romanticist movement which glorified the pre-Christian beliefs of Germanic societies. In this period, organised groups venerating the Germanic gods developed in Germany and Austria; these were part of the Völkisch movement and typically exhibited a racialist interpretation of the religion, resulting in the movement largely dissolving following the defeat of Nazi Germany in World War II. In the 1970s, new Heathen groups emerged in Europe and North America, developing into formalized organizations in order to promote their faith. In recent decades, the Heathen movement has been the subject of academic study by scholars active in the field of Pagan studies. Scholarly estimates put the number of Heathens at no more than 20,000 worldwide, with communities of practitioners active in Europe, the Americas, and Australasia.

Herman Wirth

Herman Wirth (alternatively referred to as Herman Wirth Roeper Bosch, or Herman Felix Wirth or Hermann) (6 May 1885 in Utrecht – 16 February 1981 in Kusel) was a Dutch-German historian and scholar of ancient religions and symbols. He co-founded the SS-organization Ahnenerbe but was later pushed out by Heinrich Himmler.

Hinduism in the West

The reception of Hinduism in the Western world begins in the 19th century, at first at an academic level of religious studies and antiquarian interest in Sanskrit.

Only after World War II does Hinduism acquire a presence as a religious minority in western nations, partly due to immigration, and partly due to conversion, the latter especially in the context of the 1960s to 1970s counter-culture, giving rise to a number of Hinduism-inspired new religious movements sometimes also known as "Neo-Hindu" or "export Hinduism".

Karla Poewe

Karla Poewe (born 1941) is an anthropologist and historian. She is the author of ten academic books and fifty peer reviewed articles in international journals. Currently Poewe is Professor Emeritus in Anthropology at the University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada and Adjunct Research Professor at Liverpool Hope University, Liverpool, England. She is married to Irving Hexham.

Kristian Vilhelm Koren Schjelderup Jr.

Kristian Vilhelm Koren Schjelderup (18 January 1894 – 28 March 1980) was a Norwegian Lutheran theologian, author, and bishop of the Diocese of Hamar in the Church of Norway from 1947 to 1964. He was noted as a warm-hearted and intellectual, liberal theologian.

List of Nazi ideologues

This is a list of people whose ideas became part of Nazi ideology. The ideas, writings, and speeches of these thinkers were incorporated into what became Nazism, including antisemitism, eugenics, racial hygiene, the concept of the master race, and Lebensraum. The list includes people whose ideas were incorporated, even if they did not live in the Nazi era.

Mathilde Ludendorff

Mathilde Friederike Karoline Ludendorff (born Mathilde Spiess; 4 October 1877 – 24 June 1966) was a German psychiatrist. Her third husband was General Erich Ludendorff. She was a leading figure in the Völkisch movement known for her esoteric and conspiratorial ideas. Together with Ludendorff, she founded the Bund für Gotteserkenntnis ‹See Tfd›(in German) (translated: Society for the Knowledge of God), a small and rather obscure esoterical society of theists, which was banned from 1961 to 1977.

Neopagan music

Neopagan music is music created for or influenced by modern Paganism. It has appeared in many styles and genres, including folk music, classical music, singer-songwriter, post-punk, heavy metal and ambient music.

Neopaganism in German-speaking Europe

Since its emergence in the 1970s, Neopaganism (Neuheidentum) in German-speaking Europe has diversified into a wide array of traditions, particularly during the New Age boom of the 1980s.

Schmid (2006) distinguishes four main currents:

Celtic Neopaganism/Neo-Druidism

Germanic neopaganism/Ásatrú



Positive Christianity

Positive Christianity (German: Positives Christentum) was a movement within Nazi Germany which mixed the belief that the racial purity of the German people should be maintained with Nazi ideology and elements of Christianity. Adolf Hitler used the term in article 24 of the 1920 Nazi Party Platform, stating: "the Party represents the standpoint of Positive Christianity". Nondenominational, the term could be variously interpreted. Positive Christianity allayed fears among Germany's Christian majority as expressed through their hostility towards the established churches of large sections of the Nazi movement. In 1937, Hans Kerrl, the Nazi Minister for Church Affairs, explained that "Positive Christianity" was not "dependent upon the Apostle's Creed", nor was it dependent on "faith in Christ as the son of God", upon which Christianity relied, rather, it was represented by the Nazi Party: "The Führer is the herald of a new revelation", he said. To accord with Nazi antisemitism, positive Christianity advocates also sought to deny the Semitic origins of Christ and the Bible. Based on such elements, positive Christianity separated itself from Nicene Christianity and as a result, it is considered apostate by all historically Trinitarian Christian churches, regardless of whether they are Catholic, Orthodox, or Protestant.

Hitler identified himself as a Christian in a 12 April 1922 speech. Hitler also identified himself as a Christian in Mein Kampf. However, historians, including Ian Kershaw and Laurence Rees, characterize his acceptance of the term positive Christianity and his involvement in religious policy as being driven by opportunism, and by a pragmatic recognition of the political importance of the Christian Churches in Germany. Nevertheless, efforts by the regime to impose a Nazified "positive Christianity" on a state-controlled Protestant Reich Church essentially failed, and it resulted in the formation of the dissident Confessing Church which saw great danger to Germany from the "new religion". The Catholic Church also denounced the creed's pagan myth of "blood and soil" in the 1937 papal encyclical Mit brennender Sorge.

The official Nazi ideologist Alfred Rosenberg played an important role in the development of "positive Christianity", which he conceived in discord with both Rome and the Protestant church, whom he called "negative Christianity". Richard Steigmann-Gall queries whether this made Rosenberg a genuine anti-Christian. Rosenberg conceived of positive Christianity as a transitional faith and amid the failure of the regime's efforts to control Protestantism through the agency of the pro-Nazi "German Christians", Rosenberg, along with fellow radicals Robert Ley and Baldur von Schirach backed the neo-pagan "German Faith Movement", which more completely rejected Judeo-Christian conceptions of God. During the war, Rosenberg drafted a plan for the future of religion in Germany which would see the "expulsion of the foreign Christian religions" and replacement of the Bible with Mein Kampf and the cross with the swastika in Nazified churches.


Samkhya or Sankhya (Sanskrit: सांख्य, IAST: sāṃkhya) is one of the six āstika schools of Hindu philosophy. It is most related to the Yoga school of Hinduism, and it was influential on other schools of Indian philosophy. Sāmkhya is an enumerationist philosophy whose epistemology accepts three of six pramanas (proofs) as the only reliable means of gaining knowledge. These include pratyakṣa (perception), anumāṇa (inference) and śabda (āptavacana, word/testimony of reliable sources). Sometimes described as one of the rationalist schools of Indian philosophy, this ancient school's reliance on reason was exclusive but strong.Samkhya is strongly dualist. Sāmkhya philosophy regards the universe as consisting of two realities, puruṣa (consciousness) and prakṛti (matter). Jiva (a living being) is that state in which puruṣa is bonded to prakṛti in some form. This fusion, state the Samkhya scholars, led to the emergence of buddhi ("intellect") and ahaṅkāra (ego consciousness). The universe is described by this school as one created by purusa-prakṛti entities infused with various combinations of variously enumerated elements, senses, feelings, activity and mind. During the state of imbalance, one or more constituents overwhelm the others, creating a form of bondage, particularly of the mind. The end of this imbalance, bondage is called liberation, or kaivalya, by the Samkhya school.The existence of God or supreme being is not directly asserted, nor considered relevant by the Samkhya philosophers. Sāṃkhya denies the final cause of Ishvara (God). While the Samkhya school considers the Vedas as a reliable source of knowledge, it is an atheistic philosophy according to Paul Deussen and other scholars. A key difference between Samkhya and Yoga schools, state scholars, is that Yoga school accepts a "personal, yet essentially inactive, deity" or "personal god". However, Radhanath Phukan, in the introduction to his translation of the Samkhya Karika of Isvarakrsna has argued that commentators who see the unmanifested as non-conscious make the mistake of regarding Samkhya as atheistic, though Samkhya is as much as theistic as Yoga is.Samkhya is known for its theory of guṇas (qualities, innate tendencies). Guṇa, it states, are of three types: sattva being goodness, compassion, illumination, and positivity; rajas being activity, chaos, passion, and impulsivity, potentially good or bad; and tamas being the quality of darkness, ignorance, destruction, lethargy, negativity. All matter (prakṛti), states Samkhya, has these three guṇas, but in different proportions. The interplay of these guṇas defines the character of someone or something, of nature and determines the progress of life. The Samkhya theory of guṇas was widely discussed, developed and refined by various schools of Indian philosophies. Samkhya's philosophical treatises also influenced the development of various theories of Hindu ethics.


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