Reinhold Niebuhr and Richard John Neuhaus: Religion and American public life in the twentieth century and beyond

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

The passing of Richard John Neuhaus in 2009 elicited a wave of comparisons to the renowned public intellectual Reinhold Niebuhr. The two men share many interesting biographical similarities and intellectual continuities (to the chagrin of some liberal disciples of Niebuhr). Indeed, during one encounter between them, Niebuhr supposedly dubbed Neuhaus "the next Reinhold Niebuhr." The comparisons between these two influential figures of twentieth century American life, however, may be less important than their differences. By way of introducing this special issue devoted to the lives and legacies of these two public theologians, this essay considers what contending interpretations of Niebuhr and Neuhaus tell us about religion and American public life in the twenty-first century.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)362-374
Number of pages13
JournalPolitical Theology
Volume14
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 4 2013

Keywords

  • Public religion
  • Reinhold Niebuhr
  • Religion and politics
  • Richard John Neuhaus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Religious studies
  • Sociology and Political Science

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