Reinhold Niebuhr in the 1960s: Christian Realism for a Secular Age
Ronald H. Stone
Fortress Press, 2019, xii + 206pp., pbk
The last two decades saw Reinhold Niebuhr’s reputation entering something of an eclipse, with critiques coming from at least two different directions. The popularity of Stanley Hauerwas’ ecclesiologically rooted moral theology, with its Barthian undertones saw Niebuhr’s Christian Realism offering a compromised Christology, tarnished by too close an encounter with secular influences and reasoning. Making a pincer movement from a very different direction, is the Thomist based moral critique of John Milbank and his Radical Orthodox followers. More recently, however, Niebuhrians have made counter attacks, and Reinhold Niebuhr has moved back on to the main stage of moral theology in the realms of both social and political ethics.