Pantheism News

Creationist Author Claims Adolf Hitler was a Pantheist in a New Book

Profile photo of Perry Rod

Richard Weikart, professor of history at California State University, Stanislaus, has penned a new book about Adolf Hitler, claiming, among other things, that Hitler was a pantheist. The book summary:

“Adolf Hitler was a pantheist who believed nature was God. In Hitler’s Religion, Weikart explains how the laws of nature became Hitler’s only moral guide—how he became convinced he would serve God by annihilating supposedly “inferior” human beings and promoting the welfare and reproduction of the allegedly superior Aryans in accordance with racist forms of Darwinism prevalent at the time.”

Weikart is a Senior Fellow of the Discovery Institute, a controversial organization based in Seattle, Washington, which advocates the pseudoscientific principle of intelligent design. The anti-evolution group aims to have public high schools teach religious anti-Darwin views alongside scientific theories.

Weikart has written similar books in the past, claiming that Darwinian teachings led to racism in Germany. The academic community has been widely critical of those books. Historian Daniel Gasman reviewed the book saying it should be read with “caution.” University of Chicago historian Robert Richards calls Weikart’s books, “a desperate tactic to undermine evolution,” concluding that, “There’s not the slightest shred of evidence that Hitler read Darwin,” and “Some of the biggest influences on Hitler’s anti-Semitism were opposed to evolution, such as British writer Houston Stewart Chamberlain, whose racial theory became incorporated into Nazi doctrine.” Several academics put out a statement about the author’s attempt to link Hitler and Darwin:

“Weikart’s claims regarding a lineage from Darwin to Hitler via Haeckel have been examined by historians of science and indeed have generally been found lacking. Numerous reviews have accused Weikart of selectively viewing his rich primary material, ignoring political, social, psychological, and economic factors that may have played key roles in the post-Darwinian development of Nazi eugenics and racism. Since there is no clear and unique line from Darwinian naturalism to Nazi atrocities, useful causal relationships are difficult to infer; thus, as Robert J. Richards observes, ‘it can only be a tendentious and dogmatically driven assessment that would condemn Darwin for the crimes of the Nazis’.”

Like “atheism”, pantheism has a long history as a term of theological abuse, according to author A.H. Armstrong and others. As recently as 2010, Pope Benedict XVI criticized the movie, Avatar, for “promoting pantheism.”

Adolf Hitler’s religious views have been studied extensively and include no links with pantheistic ideas nor evidence that Hitler ever explored such theological concepts according to the mainstream academic views .


UPDATE: A previous version of this article stated that the book was funded by the Discovery Institute. The author states that his religious anti-Darwin book is actually funded by a public university, California State University, Stanislaus.

8 Responses to Creationist Author Claims Adolf Hitler was a Pantheist in a New Book

  1. Profile photo of Paul Harrison
    Paul Harrison January 23, 2017 at 6:46 pm #

    Perry, every spirituality/religion has its black sheep.

    If you read Hitler’s Table talk – recorded by Martin Borman – for October 14th and 24th, 1941, it is very hard indeed not to come away with the idea that he was a pantheist. He was also a vegetarian and an animal lover.
    He was also a ruthless tyrant, mass murderer and crazed racist who wrecked most of Europe and caused the death or displacement of 100s of millions of people.
    As to his use or rather misuse of Darwin, “social Darwinism” was extremely popular among many right wing but also many liberal intellectuals in the second half of the 19th century.
    All social Darwinists say basically that Nature weeds out the unfit (which is true) and selects the fit.
    They go on to point out that humans, by taking care of the sick and handicapped, have put natural selection in abeyance. Which is also true.

    The key step is when they say that society should bring back natural selection and sterilize or even exterminate unfit humans.
    That is a non sequitur. It is not a scientific conclusion that follows from Darwinism. It is a political judgment.

    Today most people in Western countries (except the USA) accept the theory of evolution
    but they do not accept that society should reintroduce natural selection.

    Therefore Creationists cannot point to eugenics and Hitler to prove that Darwinism is undesirable or wrong.
    Darwinism thrives today, but no-one is suggesting we should kill or sterilize the weak and handicapped.

    Not can anyone point to Hitler to show that pantheism is wrong.
    He’s just one of our bad sheep, like Stalin or Pol Pot for atheism or Torquemada and the Borgias for Christianity.


  2. Dale November 14, 2016 at 2:11 am #

    As a pantheist myself, I couldn’t care less whether Hitler subscribed to pantheism or not. He apparently liked dogs too.

    So what?

  3. Richard Weikart November 3, 2016 at 9:48 pm #

    By the way, not all of the content of your article is accurate. The subtitle, in fact, is not accurate. My book was not funded by the Discovery Institute, though I am unashamedly a Senior Fellow of that organization. Your subtitle should have read, if you really want to be accurate: “Book is funded by California State University, Stanislaus.” I was also surprised by your claim: “I have looked at some of these authors you mentioned . . .” I mentioned four authors: Robert Pois, Andre Mineau, Derek Hastings, and Eric Kurlander. All of these are history professors at secular universities who are experts in Nazi Germany. They have all published works on Nazi Germany with prestigious scholarly presses, such as Oxford UP, Yale UP, Palgrave Macmillan, etc. Your claim, “My guess in regards to your book . . .” once again shows that you make judgments based on zero evidence, because that is the amount of evidence you have for that guess. By the way, that’s not a very scientific way of forming judgments.

    • Profile photo of Perry Rod
      Perry Rod November 5, 2016 at 11:29 am #

      Thanks for the correction regarding funding. I have updated the article to reflect that it was funded by the California public university (which is pretty shocking, frankly).

    • Richard Weikart November 6, 2016 at 3:58 pm #

      Perry, I don’t know why you think this is so shocking, but most public universities provide funding for research for professors (they didn’t provide any funding for publishing, just for research and writing). I am a tenured, full professor at my university, and many professors at my university receive funding for research. You might also be interested to know that my book received a very positive review at (, which is not exactly a pro-Intelligent Design site, so maybe you should read the book before passing judgment.

    • Profile photo of Perry Rod
      Perry Rod November 12, 2016 at 5:24 pm #

      Yes, it is shocking and disappointing that a California public institution provides research and writing funding (and tenure) for someone involved in a radical activist group aiming to brainwash public school children with anti-evolution, anti-science nonsense.

  4. Richard Weikart October 24, 2016 at 3:25 pm #

    Perhaps you should read the book before criticizing it??? Also, how about evidence, rather than ad hominems? As I explain in _Hitler’s Religion_, I am by no means the first to suggest that Hitler was a pantheist. The historian Robert Pois argued the same in his book, _National Socialism and the Religion of Nature_, and Andre Mineau argues likewise in _SS Thinking and the Holocaust_. Quite a few other scholars have noticed that Hitler and other Nazis were pantheists. Indeed Pope Pius XI accused Nazism of pantheism back in his 1937 encyclical. However, none have examined Hitler’s religion in as great a detail as I have. You might also be interested to know that my book is endorsed by leading scholars of Nazi religion, such as Derek Hastings and Eric Kurlander. Prof. Kurlander stated, “This fascinating and elegantly written new book will challenge scholars to rethink existing interpretations of ‘Hitler’s Religion.” In ten well-researched and tightly argued chapters, Weikart shows that Hitler was neither an atheist, a Christian, nor an occultist. Rather, he marshals convincing evidence that Hitler was a pantheist who embraced a brutal, Darwinian religion of nature.”

    • Profile photo of Perry Rod
      Perry Rod October 26, 2016 at 1:10 am #

      Thank you for your reply, Richard. I have not read your book nor am I an academic on the subject of Adolf Hitler. However, the contents of my article are accurate. You and your benefactors are proponents and activists of an idea – namely, creationism – that is considered pseudoscience by the scientific community. How can you be a credible teacher of history when you deny the evolutionary history of humanity and the planet?

      I have also looked at some of these authors you mentioned and they share your passion for trying to link Hitler’s pursuits with Darwinism, “nature mysticism,” etc. – and they receive similar criticisms as you have. It’s especially fitting that you highlight the authority of a 1937 Pope for “accusing” Nazism of pantheism. It’s 2016, sir, and far fewer people believe that the Pope is any kind of credible authority regarding philosophical or academic categories of theology. Only a few like yourself carry along the ancient backward tradition of using pantheism as a pejorative term.

      My guess in regards to your book is you cherry pick Hitler’s ramblings about God and due to your own clear lack of scientific sophistication, you likely confuse a wartime dictator’s appreciation for science as evidence of “pantheism”. But feel free to send me a copy and I’ll take a look. I certainly cannot bring myself to purchase something funded by an institution in favor of brainwashing and making our children less informed.

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