On the basis of newly available sources, Christoph Weber examines the resolution of the Kulturkampf in Prussia. At the center of this study is the subject – previously all but ignored – of
political links between Leo XIII and Bismarck to the diverging currents within the Church. The length and difficulty of the negotiations to settle this most serious domestic political crisis of the
Bismarckian empire resulted not only from differences between church and state but also from the internal struggle between »ultramontanes« and the »liberal« wing of the Church in Germany.
For Weber’s presentation of how Prussian and Vatican foreign policy was interwoven with the intellectual history of the Catholic Church, the Diocese of Trier represents a suitable case study, on
account of the available sources and the personas involved. On the one side, the government-oriented Cathedral Provost Holzer and the liberal, ambitious church and art historian Professor Kraus allied
with the adroit, power-conscious prince-bishop Kopp of Breslau, endeavored to achieve a full reconciliation between the Catholic Church and the Reich government. Opposing them stood the unbending vicar
general de Lorenzi, the calculating and shrewd professor of canon law, Reuß, and the uncompromising bishop Korum. These prelates maintained contact with the political leadership in Berlin and Rome.
The author outlines the events and results of grand politics, showing how these connect to social, party, and intellectual historical conditions, as well as the personal
circumstances of the people who shaped them.