Why Niebuhr Matters
Reinhold Niebuhr was a Protestant preacher, an influential religious thinker, and an important moral guide in mid-twentieth-century America. But what does he have to say to us now? In this title, the author analyzes why interest in Niebuhr is rising and how Niebuhr provides the a... read full description below.
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Full details for this title
|Library of Congress
||Niebuhr, Reinhold, Niebuhr, Reinhold - Influence
||College/higher education;Professional and scholarly
Description of this Book
Reinhold Niebuhr (1892 - 1971) was a Protestant preacher, an influential religious thinker, and an important moral guide in mid-twentieth-century America. But what does he have to say to us now? In what way does he inform the thinking of political leaders and commentators from Barack Obama and Madeleine Albright to David Brooks and Walter Russell Mead, all of whom acknowledge his influence? In this lively overview of Niebuhr's career, Charles Lemert analyzes why interest in Niebuhr is rising and how Niebuhr provides the answers we ache for in the face of seismic shifts in the global order. In the middle of the twentieth century, having outgrown a theological liberalism, Niebuhr challenged and rethought the non-socialist Left in American politics. He developed a political realism that refused to sacrifice ideals to mere pragmatism, or politics to bitterness and greed. He examined the problem of morality in an immoral society and reimagined the balance between rights and freedom for the individual and social justice for the many. With brevity and deep insight, Lemert shows how Niebuhr's ideas illuminate our most difficult questions today.
Awards, Reviews & Star Ratings
||A gifted and creative expositor, Lemert provides careful analyses of Niebuhr's most important works, the develoment of his thinking in response to his own life history and concurrent world events, and his study of thinkers like Augustine and Max Weber. . . . Scholars and laypersons alike will find this volume valuable. Highly recommended./i>--P. L. Urban, Jr. Choice (06/01/2012)
Charles Lemert is University Professor and Andrus Professor of Social Theory Emeritus at Wesleyan University and Senior Fellow of the Center for Comparative Research at Yale University.