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Critique of Religion and Church

Karlheinz Deschner's chief critical work is unquestionably Christianity's Criminal History, starting with Volume 1 (1986) and continuing through Volume 7 (2002), with 10 volumes proposed in all.

What Do You Think of Christianity? (1957)

Eighteen replies to an opinion survey. With an introduction by the editor Karlheinz Deschner and contributions by H. Kesten, H. Böll, H.E. Nossack, J. Maass, J. Bernhart, M. Kessel, W. Weyrauch, M. Brod, A. Schmidt, H.U. von Balthasar, H.G. Brenner, J. Urzidil, A. Zweig, L. Marcuse, S. Andres, H. Risse, R. Neumann, A. Eggebrecht.

The Cock Crowed Once Again (1962)

A Critical Church History From the Beginnings to Pius XII

"Even respected representatives of the Catholic Church could not deny the irrefutable facts of this chronicle of scandal." Westdeutsche Allgemeine, Essen

With God and the Fascists (1965)

The Vatican in Alliance with Mussolini, Franco, Hitler and Pavelic

"This book is a walk through a dreadful historical museum with Deschner as our guide. Some readers may put the book down because they can't endure what it describes or because they find the book passionate and partisan or because they wish that these terrible events might finally be forgotten. All these objections to Deschner are in fact valid but one objection is not: that what he writes isn't true. It is true, and presented with a rare historical conscience. His account has withstood a hundred critiques and has proven itself in hundreds of debates. The reviewer has been a witness to this." Blätter für deutsche und internationale Politik, Cologne

Images of Jesus from a Theological Perspective (1966)

Published by Karlheinz Deschner with assistance from C. Schneider, U. Neueilschwander, E. Fuchs, O. Wolff, F. Pzillas, J.R. Geiselmann, A.U. Peters, H. Landau, H. Raschke


The Century of Barbarism (1966)

Published by Karlheinz Deschner with assistance from F. Heer, S. Friedländer, J.-C. Favez, H.G. Adler, H. Kalbitzer, B. Manstein

"We find the essay by Deschner about the politics of the papacy to be the most objective and factual. This hair-raising indictment is supported by a multitude of heretofore unrevealed facts and contributes thereby to a better understanding of the problematic nature of the Catholic Church in a number of countries. For example, a deeper understanding of the situation of the Church is Yugoslavia can be achieved by reading about the dreadful atrocities committed by the Ustachi Party in Croatia with the acquiescence of the Church." Volksstimme, Vienna


Church and Fascism (1968)

"From early on the Vatican supported the fascist movements in Italy, Germany, Spain and Croatia, offering no resistance to fascist-led atrocities. With an abundance of supporting materials at hand, the renowned and committed critic of the Church, Karlheinz Deschner, opens up a dark and largely unknown chapter of Church history." (book jacket)


Christianity in the View of Its Opponents (1969 - 1971)

Volume 1 (1969), Volume 2 (1971), revised edition in one volume (1986)

"The negative, sometimes outraged reaction to Deschner's books only shows how necessary it was that these books be written. Furthermore, Deschner's work makes available an abundance of original texts which until now have been difficult to find. A foundation to a long overdue debate." Reformiertes Kirchenblatt, Austria


Why I Left the Church (1970)

With contributions by G. von Frankenberg, K. Port, R. Mächler, J. Bjorneboe, F. Vester, G. Zwerenz, K. Harpprecht, W. Baranowsky, O.F. Gmelin, W. Beutin, H. Wollschläger, J. Kahl

Church and War (1970)

The Christian Way to Eternal Life
Published and introduced by Karlheinz Deschner. With contributions by K.H. Poppe, K. Ahlheim, H. Wollschläger, W. Beutin

"A useful and for many, certainly, a very sobering anthology which deserves a place on the shelf next to the Bible." Marburger Blätter


The Manipulated Faith (1971)

A Critique of Christian Dogma
With assistance from K. Ahlheim and H.E. Lampl

A revised edition, written by Karlheinz Deschner alone, appeared in 1980 under the title "The Fraudulent Faith".

On the Cross of the Church:

A Sexual History of Christianity

From the hierodules, the temple prostitutes and orgiastic cults of ancient Mediterranean peoples to the latest priestly marriages, everything can be found in Deschner. One of the most thorough collections of facts on the history of sexual morality and life and customs in the church. Süddeutscher Rundfunk


Church of the Unholy (1974)

A Case for Drawing Conclusions

"Assuming that a paperback of 120 pages could crumble Peter's Rock and bring down every other Christian church as well, what would it have to contain? Would it be simply a convincing, factual account critical of the Church, or would it also have to be a presentation of extraordinary stylistic power? This question came to occupy me as I read Karlheinz Deschner's The Christian Catastrophe. Regardless of its success, the five essays of this little book are impressive in both ways: abundance of factual information as well as polemical brilliance. This book needs to be read by everyone who is uninformed about church history." National-Zeitung, Basel

Why I Am a Christian/Atheist/Agnostic (1977)

Published by Karlheinz Deschner with assistance from F. Heer and J. Kahl

Is Christianity still credible? Are atheism and agnosticism the necessary alternatives of the future? Three authors, recognized as polemicists in these questions, give an account of their understanding of themselves and defend their respective positions." (book jacket)


A Pope Travels to the Scene of the Crime (1981)


This essay contrasts the saccharine phraseology of John Paul II (Wojtyla) in Latin America with the blood-drenched conquest of the continent by Catholics." (book jacket)

A Century of Sacred History (1982 - 1983)

Papal Policy in the Age of World Wars
Volume 1 (1982) From Leo XIII, 1878, to Pius XII, 1939

Volume 2 (1983) From Pius XII ,1939, to John Paul I, 1978

"For critical enlightenment, perhaps the most useful work of history of our day." Robert Mächler


The Offended Church (1986)

Or: Who is Disturbing the Public Peace? Expert depositions in the Buchum Paragraph-166 Trial

"Deschner shows the Church to be guilty of a long series of crimes and misdeeds stretching into our own century, including the horrifying mass murder of Orthodox Serbs during the years 1941 - 1943, where Jesuits as concentration camp commanders committed atrocities on their victims, shocking even hard-boiled SS-men." Alternativ-Magazin, Linz

Christianity's Criminal History (since 1986)

Volume 1 (1986) - The Early Period
Volume 2 1988) - Late Antiquity
Volume 3 (1990) - The Ancient Church
Volume 4 (1994) - Early Middle Ages
Volume 5 (1997) - 9th and 10th Centuries
Volume 6 (1999)- 11th and 12th Centuries
Volume 7 (2002) - 13th and 14 Centuries

Opus Diaboli (1987)

Fifteen Uncompromising Essays about Labor in the Lord's Vineyard

This book contains 15 critical essays on the history of the Church, partly consisting of materials from earlier works which are no longer available, but reworked and expanded.

What I Believe (1990)

Edited by Karlheinz Deschner

Prominent personalities, men and women, scientists and scholars, artists, writers, industrialists and theologians manifest the entire spectrum of contemporary faith with their fascinating, very personal answers to a fundamental question.

The Politics of the Papacy in the 20th Century (1991)

Newly Expanded and Updated Revision of A Century of Sacred History, Volume 1 and Volume 2

"This is the best and most comprehensive treatment of this subject that's appeared to date ... I am impressed not only by the splendid style but also by the meticulous documentation, making the book solid and credible. No one can speak of "unfounded accusations." No historian or writer who treats this topic in the future will be able to ignore this book. It will remain a standard work." Prof. Dr. Hubert Mohr, Berlin.

The Anti-Catechism (1991)

Two Hundred Reasons Against the Church and For the World

Edited by Horst Hermann and Karlheinz Deschner.

The Vicars of Christ (1994)

A History of 20th Century Popes

With deep expertise and his characteristic acerbic language, Deschner reveals the cynical power politics of devout men of the Church from Pius X to Pius XII. He thereby shows how the popes made a decisive contribution to the political catastrophes of the 20th Century.

World War of Religions: The Eternal Crusade in the Balkans (1995)

by Milan Petrovic and Karlheinz Deschner

The Yugoslav Civil War - a war of religion? Karlheinz Deschner and Milan Petrovic provide a convincing, fully new interpretation of this war in the heart of Europe. Is this horrible conflict the continuation of a simmering religious war from earlier days? Or is it the first sign of a new, worldwide awakening of fundamentalism?

Nobody On Top (1997)

A Plea for a Heaven Without God and a World Without Priests. Twenty-Two Attacks, Replies and Other Pieces to Chew On

These texts are a welcome feast for those who have learned to appreciate Deschner's lightning-fast fencing jabs and thundering cudgel blows against all so-called godly, in truth however all-too-worldly, dogmas and hierarchies: always radical, anticlerical, religiously skeptical-tolerant, an rebel of the Enlightenment, a restless spirit battling with poisoned pen and an impressive command of the facts.

Between Submission and Condemnation. Robert Mächler (1999)

Edited and introduced by Karlheinz Deschner

Like Robert Walser, with whom he was in contact, Robert Mächler was both an outsider and a prominent personality, living and working in Switzerland. The distinguishing feature of his critical philosophy is the demand for uncompromising integrity of thought. He finds every pious embellishment of hard truths inexcusable. Karlheinz Deschner is deeply sympathetic to this "believing antichrist" and invites the reader to investigate these very difficult but necessary insights.

Memento! (1999)

A Little Lesson About the "Great Act of Atonement" of the Pope in the Holy Year 2000

In the Holy Year 2000 the Pope plans to ask forgiveness for his organization in a "great act of atonement" from all the millions of victims of crimes committed in the name of Christ through the centuries. Deschner helps the Holy Father search his conscience. Every line of this deeply disturbing litany of crimes cries out "Remember!" - "Memento!"





Critique of Religion and Church






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