Reinhold Niebuhr

(1892 - 1971)

A former pacifist, the American theologian and public intellectual Reinhold Niebuhr actively sought to persuade Christians to support the war against Hitler in World War II. He is best known as a proponent of “Christian Realism,” which emphasized the tendency for sin to appear in all aspects of human life. His books include The Nature and Destiny of Man, The Irony of American History, and The Self and the Dramas of History.

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Man’s capacity for justice makes democracy possible, but man’s inclination to injustice makes democracy necessary.

—Reinhold Niebuhr, 1944

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