Robert E. Norton offers the first comprehensive study in any language devoted to Ernst Troeltsch (1865-1923) and his activities during the First World War. Troeltsch was one of the most famous figures of his day, a renowned historian, philosopher, sociologist, and theologian. But he did not just comment on events, he also actively served in a number of public roles before, during, and after the war. Throughout the last decade of his life, Troeltsch was a central participant in many of the most significant political debates and struggles that took place in his country, and in the process he became one of the most forceful and committed proponents of democracy in Germany.
Tracing the gradual rise and growth of democratic thought during the war, Robert E. Norton shows how democracy itself emerged as the pivotal question within German domestic politics around which everything else came to revolve. In this process, Ernst Troeltsch emerged as one of the most eloquent and persuasive voices advocating for democracy and peace, and always promoting the ideals of freedom and human dignity for all peoples.