Reinhold Niebuhr and the Ongoing Relevance of his Christian Realism

Die anhaltende Relevanz des Christlichen Realismus Reinhold Niebuhrs für die Politikanalyse der Gegenwart

Abstract

On the occasion of the 50th day of the death of the American theologian Reinhold Niebuhr on June 1, 2021, this contribution introduces the basic pillars of his influential idea of Christian Realism. Niebuhr’s image of the political man, his understanding of the tragic and power-laden domain of world politics and his belief in the importance of transcendental values were an inspiration for important statesmen like Barack Obama. His message is therefore of ongoing relevance.

Zusammenfassung

Anlässlich des 50. Todestages des amerikanischen Theologen Reinhold Niebuhr am 1. Juni 2021 befasst sich der Beitrag mit den Grundzügen seiner einflussreichen Idee des Christlichen Realismus. Niebuhrs Bild des politischen Menschen, sein Verständnis für den tragischen und machtgeladenen Bereich der Weltpolitik und sein Glaube an die Bedeutung transzendentaler Werte waren eine Inspiration für bedeutende Staatsoberhäupter wie Barack Obama. Seine Botschaft ist daher von anhaltender Relevanz.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    Exceptions are Rohde 2016, 2021; Bellmann 2018; Schössler and Plathow 2013, 2018.

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Correspondence to Dr. Christoph J. Rohde.

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Rohde, C.J. Reinhold Niebuhr and the Ongoing Relevance of his Christian Realism. Z Außen Sicherheitspolit (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12399-021-00855-8

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Keywords

  • Christian realism
  • Reinhold Niebuhr
  • Political theology
  • International Relations

Schlüsselwörter

  • Christlicher Realismus
  • Reinhold Niebuhr
  • Politische Theologie
  • Internationale Beziehungen