Video|Where Does Reinhold Niebuhr Fit Into Current Theology and Politics?


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Peter Beinart, of The New America Foundation, and Rev. Daniel Schultz, of Religion Dispatches, debate the history and current relevancy of theologian Reinhold Niebuhr.

The "Cold War's public intellectual" has lately gained some new attention as through the praise of New York Times columnist David Brooks and repeated citations by President Barack Obama.

On a related note, public radio's "Speaking of Faith with Kista Tippett" has a terrific interactive site, including Reinhold Niebuhr time line with letters and pictures from the Library of Congress. Listen to Tippett's conversation, Obama's Theologian, about Niebuhr with David Brooks and E. J. Dionne at Georgetown University.

Discussed:

  • Who Reinhold Niebuhr was and what he believed
  • How his philosophy evolved from WWI to the Cold War
  • Invoking Niebuhr in the torture debate
  • The decline of theologians in public discourse
  • Niebuhr’s odd place in today’s politics
  • What would Niebuhr have said about Iraq and Israel-Palestine?

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/2236