Even today, Bavaria is still considered the most »typical« Catholic region of Germany. Yet surprisingly little is known about Bavarian Catholicism after 1945. Now, for the first time, a source-based
scholarly study examines tradition and change within the Catholic Church in Bavaria into the 1960s. The Church and individual Catholics were anything but untouched by the effects of the societal
changes and modernization unleashed by World War II and postwar developments. Yet the transformation of a tradition-bound Catholic sphere transpired very differently in urban and rural areas.
The author uses a comparative perspective to investigate these processes in three representative cases: the rural district of Ebersberg, the tourism region of Berchtesgaden, and the metropolis of Munich.
He succeeds in showing how modernity, everyday religious culture, and pastoral care impacted on one another. In the process, he illuminates a remarkable symbiosis of consciously preserved Catholic Church
traditions and modern Bavaria. Thanks to this symbiosis, Catholicism in Bavaria – for all its decreasing cohesion – demonstrated great stability during the following decades of
social transformation and the changes brought on by Vatican II.
Fellner’s study makes an important contribution to the social and cultural history of Bavaria and the Federal Republic during the Adenauer Era.