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The literature on the life and legacy of the American Protestant thinker Reinhold Niebuhr has long been driven by questions about Niebuhr's continued relevance. Like other contributions to the recent “Niebuhr revival,” each of the three books under consideration here raises this question—John Patrick Diggins's Why Niebuhr Now? (2011) by offering a series of “sympathetic reflections” on Niebuhr's central claim that human beings are both creatures and creators of history (ix); Daniel F. Rice's edited volume Reinhold Niebuhr Revisited (2009) by inviting a cadre of top Niebuhr scholars to make the case for Niebuhr's relevance to a new generation; and Rice's own Reinhold Niebuhr and His Circle of Influence (2013) by contending that close attention to Niebuhr's formative relationships sheds light on his ongoing relevance.

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Kevin Carnahan , James H. Cone , Terry D. Cooper , Richard Crouter , Edwards Mark Thomas , Andrew S. Finstuen , Martin Halliwell , Richard Harries , David A. Hollinger , R. Ward Holder and Peter B. Josephson , Charles C. Lemert , Robin W. Lovin , Ronald H. Stone , Vibeke Schou Tjalve , and the contributors to Richard Harries and Stephen Platten , eds., Reinhold Niebuhr and Contemporary Politics: God and Power (New York, 2010), among others

K. Healan Gaston , “The Cold War Romance of Religious Authenticity: Will Herberg, William F. Buckley Jr., and the Rise of the New Right,” Journal of American History, 99/4 (March 2013), 1109–32

Gaston, “‘A Bad Kind of Magic’: The Niebuhr Brothers on ‘Utilitarian Christianity’ and the Defense of Democracy,” Harvard Theological Review, 107/1 (forthcoming, Jan. 2014), 130

Mark Douglas , Elizabeth Henson-Hasty , et al., “Fifty Years of Reflection on Valerie Saiving,” Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion, 28/1 (Spring 2012), 75131

Randall Stephens , “Beyond the Niebuhrs: A Conversation with Robert Orsi on Recent Trends in American Religious History,” Historically Speaking, 7/6 (July/Aug. 2006), 811

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Modern Intellectual History
  • ISSN: 1479-2443
  • EISSN: 1479-2451
  • URL: /core/journals/modern-intellectual-history
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