Major Works on Religion and Politics (Library of America, Volume 263)
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A definitive collection of the theologian and public intellectual who was the conscience of the American Century. "One of my favorite philosophers," remarked Barack Obama about the theologian Reinhold Niebuhr (1892--1971) in 2007. President Obama is but one of the many American political leaders--including Jimmy Carter and Martin Luther King Jr.--to be influenced by Niebuhr's writings. Throughout the Depression, World War II, and the Cold War, Niebuhr was one of the most prominent public voices of his time, probing with singular style the question of how to act morally in a fallen world. This Library of America volume, prepared by Niebuhr's daughter, Elisabeth Sifton, collects four indispensable books: Leaves from the Notebook of a Tamed Cynic (1929), Moral Man and Immoral Society (1932), The Children of Light and the Children of Darkness (1944), and The Irony of American History (1952), along with a selection of essays, sermons, lectures, prayers, including his world-famous Serenity Prayer, and writings on current events--Prohibition, the Allied bombing of Germany, apartheid in South Africa, the Vietnam War--many of which are collected here for the first time.
that the virtues of the new community were to be derived. For the early Puritans the physical circumstances of life were not of basic importance. Prosperity was not, according to the Puritan creed, a primary proof or fruit of virtue. “When men do not see and own God,” declared Urian Oakes (1631–81), “but attribute success to the sufficiency of instruments it is time for God to maintain His own right and to show that He gives and denies success according to His own good pleasure.” But three
It is spreading from there into Asia and into the whole non-industrial world. But no degree of reinterpretation of texts could have accomplished this result if the social and cultural forces in the non-industrial world had not been propitious. It is, therefore, necessary to enumerate and define some of these forces and factors. The primary cause of the resentments which generate revolt in the non-industrial world is the fact that the first impact of a technical society upon a non-technical one
political decision with the appearance of spontaneous sincerity. But the political and social base of the phenomenon consists of the reluctant conversion of the U.S. business community to the revolution in domestic and foreign policy which it professed to abhor. The conversion may not be completely honest or absolutely complete. It may not, indeed, have been complete enough to satisfy the country; but the fact of the conversion has been of great benefit. For in a democracy the crowning triumph
actual course of history has invalidated them both. Recently Arnold Toynbee has sought to arrive at a new interpretation of the unity of history by an artful combination of the classical, the Christian, and the modern view. Basically Toynbee’s pluralistic conception of history, his isolation and definition of discrete civilizations, conforms to the classical pattern. The frame of meaning is not purely classical, however, because these civilizations, according to Toynbee, do not live and die
sentiment of patriotism by robbing the common man of the basic privileges which might bind him to his nation. The words attributed by Plutarch to Tiberius Gracchus reveal the hollowness of the pretensions by which the powerful classes enlist their slaves in the defense of their dominions: “The wild beasts in Italy had at least their lairs, dens and caves whereto they might retreat; whereas the men who fought and died for that land had nothing in it save air and light, but were forced to wander to