Reinhold Niebuhr and Paul Ramsey
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Reinhold Niebuhr and Paul Ramsey : Idealist and Pragmatic Christians on Politics, Philosophy, Religion, and War

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Description

The work explores the distinctive influences of philosophical pragmatism and absolute idealism on Reinhold Niebuhr and Paul Ramsey, two influential twentieth-century theologians, who learned from and transformed these philosophies in the light of contemporary theological trends. It explores how these theologians shaped their moral theologies, political theories, and approaches to war in the light of these philosophies.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 302 pages
  • 160.02 x 228.6 x 25.4mm | 589.67g
  • Lexington Books
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • New.
  • 0739144758
  • 9780739144756

About Kevin Carnahan

Kevin Carnahan is assistant professor of philosophy and religion at Central Methodist University.show more

Review quote

Reinhold Niebuhr and Paul Ramsey were towering figures of twentieth century religious thought whose influences remain widely felt?if not also contested?well into the next century. This book makes an invaluable contribution to the recent renaissance in Christian realism. Indeed, Kevin Carnahan perspicuously shows us how much we have yet to learn about Reinhold Niebuhr and Paul Ramsey's complex theological frameworks and ethical outlooks. This book fills the gaps by examining the intellectual and personal relationship between these two men. With a masterful command of their formidable thought?supplemented by painstaking review of their letters, lecture notes, and private papers?Carnahan probes the pragmatic Jamesian and idealist Hegelian foundations of Niebuhr and Ramsey's respective intellectual outlooks. He expertly reveals as well how the insights and limits of one are offset by the other, particularly when it comes to their views of war and the use of force. This is exactly the right time to revisit Niebuhr and Ramsey's work in the comprehensive way that Carnahan's cogent study provides. He offers a sorely needed approach often overlooked by other scholars who choose sides between Niebuhr and Ramsey. Undertaking a deep retrieval of the early contexts an -- John D. Carlson, Arizona State University and President of The Niebuhr Society Kevin Carnahan's Idealist and Pragmatist Christians is an excellent addition to the scholarship on both Niebuhr and Ramsey. Carnahan really "gets" the subtleties of both theologians' thought and presents the origins of their approaches quite well. By drawing these distinctions, the author illuminates both the individual contributions of Niebuhr and Ramsey, as well as the relationships and tensions between their particular approaches. This volume has the potential to be a crucial contribution to the literature on the subject matter of Niebuhr, Ramsey, and Christian ethics of war. -- Scott R. Paeth, DePaul University An enormously interesting, richly textured study that has both historical and constructive value. Ramsey has fallen off the radar screen of contemporary Christian ethics, much to our loss, and this study will do much to critically rehabilitate him. Furthermore, by framing the study as an example of the complicated relationship between 'pragmatists' such as Niebuhr and 'idealists' such as Ramsey, Carnahan offers a very fruitful and thought-provoking picture of Christian ethics in America in the past and today. This is a very substantial contribution to several conversations from a young author who will clearly be a formidable thinker in Christian ethics for decades to come. -- Charles Mathewes, University of Virginia Reinhold Niebuhr and Paul Ramsey were towering figures of twentieth century religious thought whose influences remain widely felt-if not also contested-well into the next century. This book makes an invaluable contribution to the recent renaissance in Christian realism. Indeed, Kevin Carnahan perspicuously shows us how much we have yet to learn about Reinhold Niebuhr and Paul Ramsey's complex theological frameworks and ethical outlooks. This book fills the gaps by examining the intellectual and personal relationship between these two men. With a masterful command of their formidable thought-supplemented by painstaking review of their letters, lecture notes, and private papers-Carnahan probes the pragmatic Jamesian and idealist Hegelian foundations of Niebuhr and Ramsey's respective intellectual outlooks. He expertly reveals as well how the insights and limits of one are offset by the other, particularly when it comes to their views of war and the use of force. This is exactly the right time to revisit Niebuhr and Ramsey's work in the comprehensive way that Carnahan's cogent study provides. He offers a sorely needed approach often overlooked by other scholars who choose sides between Niebuhr and Ramsey. Undertaking a deep retrieval of the early contexts and patterns of reasoning that shape both thinkers' broader theologies, he helps us appreciate how indebted we still remain to both figures-and that the choice between Niebuhr and Ramsey is not simply false but risky as well. -- John D. Carlson, Arizona State University and President of The Niebuhr Societyshow more

Table of contents

Chapter 1 Introduction Part 2 I: From Philosophical Ethics to Moral Theology Chapter 3 1: Pragmatism and Idealism Chapter 4 2: From Pragmatism to Relevant, Impossible Love Chapter 5 3: From Idealism to Covenant Love Chapter 6 4: A Constructive Dialogue Part 7 II: Political Society Chapter 8 5: Providence, Sin, Institutions and Authority Chapter 9 6: Pluralism, Social Principle and Christianity Part 10 III: War Chapter 11 7: War as the Judgment of God Chapter 12 8: War as an Act of Covenant Love Chapter 13 9: Two Moral Conceptions of War in Dialogueshow more