Review: Reinhold Niebuhr (Makers of the Modern Theological Mind)

Bob Trube’s review of Reinhold Niebuhr, one of the final books in the Makers of the Modern Theological Mind series!

Bob on Books

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Reinhold Niebuhr (Makers of the Modern Theological Mind)Bob E. Patterson. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 2017 (originally published in 1977).

Summary: An introduction to the life and theological contribution of this mid-twentieth century theologian, known for re-introducing a conversation about sin into liberal theological circles.

Reinhold Niebuhr was one of a group of “neo-orthodox” and more liberal theologians who dominated the theological landscape of the mid-twentieth century, along with Karl Barth, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Paul Tillich, and Rudolf Bultmann. Niebuhr’s distinction was that he was the one American in the group (Tillich emigrated to the U.S. during World War II). He may have been the most influential American-born theologian since Jonathan Edwards. His “Christian realism” informed the thinking of architect of Cold War era policy George Kennan and civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., and he was a favorite theologian of both Jimmy Carter and Barack Obama.

This book…

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