Reinhold Niebuhr and Christian Realism

Reinhold Niebuhr and Christian Realism

Reinhold Niebuhr (1892-1971) was a major American theologian and political thinker of the mid-twentieth century. He has received much attention from biographers and historians in recent years, but, since his thought remains very relevant for contemporary ethics, a reassessment is due of what he might contribute to current thinking about politics and society. This book is intended to present Niebuhr's ideas about "Christian Realism" in a way that will be useful to people who are thinking about today's social issues.


"Robin Lovin's Reinhold Niebuhr and Christian Realism is a lively, reliable, and well-written contribution to the study of Neibuhr's thought." International Studies in Philosophy

"...readers who stick with Reinhold Niebuhr and Christian Realism are going to learn a lot that they did not know about Christian realism and that they can get from no other source, not even from Niebuhr himself. Lovin has a gift for explicating ideas that Niebuhr often left imprecise and for injecting those ideas into contemporary intellectual debates..." Religion and Values in Public Life

"Robin W. Lovin makes a most interesting argument for the connection between Niebuhr's political realism and 'an implicit moral and theological realism,' and shows how this perspective can illuminate several areas. This is a clear, readable, but also profound interpretation that will not only contribute to Niebuhr studies but will also move forward the contemporary discussion of these matters. I am pleased to be able to offer a strong endorsement of this project." James F. Childress, Kyle Professor of Religious Studies and Professor of Medical Education, University of Virginia

"I can offer very high praise of this work. It is written in a clear and well-structured way, and it is concise without being sketchy or obtuse. The author obviously knows both Niebuhr and the contemporary religious and theological scene, particularly in North America; and he is able to communicate his sense of Niebuhr's continuing significance within our context in a way that is both sophisticated and articulate. This is a splendid contribution to Niebuhr studies and I commend it most warmly." Douglas J. Hall, Professor of Christian Theology, McGill University

"...scholarly but accessible treatment....makes an important contribution...." First Things

"This book is exceptional at pinpointing the differences between various thinkers and their points of view....Highly recommended for libraries serving undergraduate programs in religion, ethics, or political science, and also strong upper-division undergraduate programs in religion." Choice

"We must be grateful to Robin Lovin for his superb analysis of Reinhold Niebuhr's work as a product of these two currents in moral philosophy and his affirmation of its enduring significance." Ethics

"This is really two books in one, which almost makes it worth the price: A careful analysis of the work of Reinhold Niebuhr...and a constructive proposal for the resurrection of Christian realism....this book shows us how hope can be sustained." Charles Mathewes, Anglican Theological Review

"Of all the works published about Reinhold Niebuhr in the quarter century since he died, this is surely one of the best." Max L. Stackhouse, The Journal of Religion

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