Thursday, June 21, 2007

Happy Birthday Reinhold


It is the birthday of America's greatest 20th Century theologian. He was our "public theologian," a man consulted by the powerful and whose thought remains influential. Barack Obama quotes him as does Krista Tippett. In fact, he is a favorite of politicos from left to right. This despite his having died in 1971 (I was 13 at the time).


Michael Westmoreland-White has provided a very fitting memorial to Niebuhr -- although Michael doesn't share all of Niebuhr's views (Michael is a committed pacisfist).
For further information and links check out the Niebuhr Society page.

1 comment:

Michael Westmoreland-White said...

I was 09 when Reinie died. It's good to know I'm not the old man of theology bloggers, after all, Bob. :-)

Didn't know there was a Niebuhr society. Thanks for that link.

America has not had enough public intellectuals and even fewer public theologians, which is why Reinie continues to be influential. Cornel West is probably the closest thing to a public theologian we have today, and, as he'd be the first to admit, he's not really a theologian. Rabbi Michael Lerner is a public (Jewish) theologian--and a disciple of Reinie's good friend, R. Abraham Joshua Heschel.

Anyone else? Not that I know.
Thus, my tribute.