Reinhold Neibuhr on Politics: His Political Philosophy and Its Application to Our Age as Expressed in His Writings (Classic Reprint)

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Excerpt from Reinhold Neibuhr on Politics: His Political Philosophy and Its Application to Our Age as Expressed in His Writings

The architecture of Niebuhr's political and ethical thought is anything but simple. It is full of dialectical cantilevers. The whole is suspended in marvellous tension like some Gothic cathedral that rises and is held fast only by the elaboration of opposing forces. Man as creature is counter poised with man as creator. Necessity is juxtaposed with freedom, possi bility with impossibility, love with law, sin with grace, history with eternity. Idealism is set in tension with realism as are their extremes, sentimentalism and cynicism. Order is balanced against justice as are their perversions, tyranny and anarchy. The presuppositions of liberalism and conservatism are laid each against the other, while the policies of socialism and laissez-faire are held in delicate balance. No one of these perspectives may be ignored or minimized without damaging Niebuhr's complex synthesis.

In the light of such intricate dialectics, the student might be excused for failing to label Niebuhr's approach. He identifies with political real ism - except when he is ?aying the realists for their failure to understand the normative dimension of life. He appreciates idealism - except when he is scoring the idealists for their failure to assess the resistance of all men to the normative dimension of life. If we _call him a Christian realist it is because he himself has often used the term and because he has emphasized the insights of realism as a corrective to the optimism of contemporary thought. Expressed differently, Niebuhr's philosophy seeks to put political realism into the service of justice.

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This book is a reproduction of an important historical work. Forgotten Books uses state-of-the-art technology to digitally reconstruct the work, preserving the original format whilst repairing imperfections present in the aged copy. In rare cases, an imperfection in the original, such as a blemish or missing page, may be replicated in our edition. We do, however, repair the vast majority of imperfections successfully; any imperfections that remain are intentionally left to preserve the state of such historical works.


Publisher - Forgotten Books

Language - English

Author(s) - Harry R. Davis


Published Date - August 26 2019

ISBN - 9780331038835

Dimesions - 22.9 x 15.2 x 2.4 cm

Page Count - 387

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