The word “Church” has in our day again become more J. significant and more powerful. In 1926 Otto Dibelius, then General Superintendent and now Bishop of Berlin, published a book under the title The Church's Century. By that was meant our twentieth century. The author was surely right in maintaining that the Church has been more talked about during the three decades since the First World War, which we have behind us, than in the whole of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries put together. Who would have dreamt about 1910, when the writings of Hermann Kutter were at their height, that this could happen? Perhaps this has something to do with the almost complete collapse of the political, economic and cultural shape of the old Europe, which began with the First World War and with which the question is closely related: whether it may not once again be given to the Church to save this old Europe, perhaps in a new form, as she helped to found it? In this respect the Roman Catholic Church seems to be in very good spirits and to raise many open and secret expectations. Her greatly improved position and her vigorous pushing forward in certain places is also a sign that the word “Church”, even outside of her particular folds, has again come to the forefront of Christian consciousness and theological discussion. For it is undoubtedly part of her strength that she knows much better than anyone else how to give the impression that one is dealing with the Real Church when dealing with her. During the great crisis 1933–45, however, it was nevertheless true that there was in the Evangelical Churches, first in Germany, then in Holland and Norway, as well as in other countries, “demonstration of the Spirit and of power”. This was neither to be overestimated nor underestimated, but was really rather unexpected everywhere. From it more than one inside and outside of this Church could see that the dissolution of the Evangelical Church was not as far advanced as one might on occasion have previously supposed. From a totally different side the idea is thus once again forced upon us that for nearly a quarter of a century we have had an ecumenical movement in which the weak Churches are encouraged to have more confidence in their own affairs through contact with really, or allegedly stronger, and in any case more self-conscious Churches. And finally it may well be that the abandonment by evangelical theology, at least in certain quarters, of the traditional liberalism and individualism of the eighteenth and nineteenth century fathers has helped to bring about a new understanding for the communio sanctorum and to turn the thoughts of many in this direction, in spite of the diverse way in which it brought about this change.