Reinhold Niebuhr and Contemporary Politics

Reinhold Niebuhr and Contemporary Politics : God and Power

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When Barack Obama praised the writings of philosopher theologian Reinhold Niebuhr in the run up to the 2008 US Presidential Elections, he joined a long line of top politicians who closely engaged with Niebuhr's ideas, including Tony Benn, Jimmy Carter, Martin Luther King Jr. and Dennis Healey.

Beginning with his early ministry amongst industrial workers in early twentieth century Detroit, Niebuhr displayed a passionate commitment to social justice that infused his life's work. Rigorously championing 'Christian Realism' he sought a practically orientated intellectual engagement with the political challenges of his day. His ideas on International Relations have also helped to shape debate amongst leading academic thinkers and policy makers. In both Christian and secular contexts he
continues to attract new readers today.

In this timely re-evaluation both critics and disciples of Niebuhr's work reflect on his notable contribution to Christian social ethics, the Christian doctrine of humanity, and the engagement of Christian thought with contemporary politics. The authors bring a wide range of expertise from both sides of the Atlantic, indicating how a re-evaluation of Niebuhr's thought can help inform contemporary debates on Christian social ethics and other wider theological issues.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 274 pages
  • 161 x 241 x 22mm | 572g
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • New
  • 019957183X
  • 9780199571833
  • 2,115,093

Table of contents

Introduction ; 1. Reinhold Niebuhr in Historical Perspective ; 2. On Recent Political Uses of Reinhold Niebuhr: Toward a New Appreciation of his Legacy ; 3. Niebuhr's 'Nature of Man' and Christian Realism ; 4. Radical Orthodoxy's Critique of Niebuhr ; 5. The Nature and Destiny of Serious Theology ; 6. Reinhold Niebuhr's 'Outsider Ecclesiology' ; 7. Niebuhr, Liturgy and Public Theology ; 8. Falling Far Short: Taking Sin Seriously? ; 9. Distinguishing Hope from Utopian Aspiration: Revisiting Reinhold Niebuhr ; 10. Reinhold Niebuhr and the Political Possibility of Forgiveness ; 11. What Makes Us Think That God Wants Democracy? ; 12. Realism and Progress: Niebuhr's Thought and Contemporary Challenges ; 13. Reinhold Niebuhr and the Use of Force ; 14. The Irony of American Evangelical Politics ; 15. Reinhold Niebuhr and the Problem of Religious Pluralism ; Conclusion: Realism Revisited
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Review quote

This transatlantic collection focuses more narrowly on Neibuhr's political importance, though the essats support the subtitle's implicit claim that Neibuhr's politics are not properly understood without some reference to his theology. * Eric Biddy, Meadvill Lombard Theological School *
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