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This article redresses the interpretative lacunae of historians’ conceptions of Nazi racism by overcoming their attempts to comprehend it from either a secular/scientific or a religious/theological perspective. Drawing on a variety of anthropological, philosophical, and political-theoretical works, the article illustrates how Nazi racial ideas were formulated not only in accordance with the latest discoveries in the field of human heredity, but also in correspondence to contemporary debates over secularization, value-free science, and biological determinism. It argues that the Nazi conception of race constituted a new form of religiosity, which did not draw on supernatural beliefs or theological narratives, but rather on vitalist-oriented metaphysics, shifting the object of faith from the transcendent realm of God to the immanent sphere of racial inwardness. Redefining faith in vitalist-existentialist terms corresponded with the Nazi aspiration to overcome the fragmentation of modernity, overturn the nihilistic threat posed by materialist society, and carry out a spiritual renaissance built upon immanent-biological foundations.
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