Why Niebuhr Matters

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 what way

  • Title: Why Niebuhr Matters
  • Author: Charles Lemert
  • ISBN: 9780300175424
  • Page: 496
  • Format: Hardcover
  • 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 acknowledgReinhold 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 nonsocialist 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.

    One thought on “Why Niebuhr Matters”

    1. For several years, I’ve had Reinhold Niebuhr’s “Moral Man and Immoral Society” and “The Nature and Destiny of Man,” by far his two most well-known books, resting on my bookshelf, but never felt it urgent enough to read them any time soon. In some ways, Charles Lemert’s book about the elder Niebuhr brother changed this. This book’s main strength is Lemert’s hagiographic voice, one that is almost always prepared to mount a passionate and reasoned defense of Niebuhr’s views; its [...]

    2. Reinhold Niebuhr is a titan of modern American theology, ethics and societal analysis and thus is deserving of deft and insightful consideration. Charles Lemert, the author, is a distinguished scholar and societal observer in his own right and he delivers the appropriately trenchant, nuanced and fair assessment of his subject's life and work that is deserved. In sum, this is a well-written and insightful book about an important contributor to our modern life.Yet, this is only half of the story, [...]

    3. An interesting review of life and views of one of the most significant moral philosophers of twentieth century.Quote:Liberalism is the all-inclusive name for the modern need to pretend power is not what it is and that socially dominant positions are due not to coercion but to the evident brilliance, hard work, and beauty of those who attain them.Democracy is a permanently valuable of social organisation in which freedom and order are made to support, and not contradict, each other.All communitie [...]

    4. The author cogently presents the similarities and timelessness of Niebuhr's political theology and its relevance for the problems we face in the 21st century.

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