17th out of 74 books — 6 voters
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The Nature and Destiny of Man, Vols 1-2
"The Nature and Destiny of Man" issues a vigorous challenge to Western civilization to understand its roots in the faith of the Bible, particularly the Hebraic tradition. The growth, corruption, and purification of the important Western emphases on individuality are insightfully chronicled here. This book is arguably Reinhold Niebuhr's most important work. It offers a sust ...more
Paperback, 684 pages
Published November 1st 1996 by Westminster John Knox Press
(first published January 1st 1964)
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Apr 08, 2014 Peter rated it really liked it
Christian thought discovered more about the workings of the human mind in 1600 years than a trainload of experimental psychologists has done in 60. Of course, I hear you say, they had all that time. And their paradigm was different. But what should it matter whether you call it pride or ego or self-interest when the result is still a national culture FUBAR? We didn’t want to listen, because we thought we had better ideas and then it turns out that we are assigning new names to old ideas and rejo ...more
Nature and Destiny of Man is not a book you want to read. This is a book you will want to re-read. Niebuhr, with huge attention to detail, does a census of various schools in the western tradition with regards to human nature and destiny; critiques them and shows how they realize an aspect but miss out on the whole. Niebuhr, once finished addressing and criticizing, then investigates how Christianity was aware of the paradox, and within it contained the many aspects, and shows what Christianity ...more
This was a good follow up after reading James' VRE. Niebuhr takes a philosophical path from (more or less) the beginning and follows through to Christianity. His main idea being that only through Christianity can any philosophical goals be realized, resolved, and interpreted correctly. I don't necessarily follow a particular religion, but I thoroughly enjoyed the journey and Niebuhr was and is a very apt guide.
If I recall correctly, I have only read Volume 1, regarding human nature--theological anthropology. That's what seminary theology recommended, and there was not much said about the second volume. Niebuhr's thought, of course, continues to be influential. For those who want to know his work and his thought, this is a good place to go.
The closest thing to a systematic theology and anthropology that Reinhold ever published. Its extraordinary length is intimidating but this text rewards the reader with a compelling and coherent account of how Christianity is the correct system of belief for modern people.
U.S. theologian. The son of an evangelical minister, he studied at Eden Theological Seminary and Yale Divinity School. He was ordained in the Evangelical Synod of North America in 1915 and served as pastor of Bethel Evangelical Church in Detroit, Mich., until 1928. His years in that industrial city made him a critic of capitalism and an advocate of socialism. From 1928 to 1960 he taught at New Yor ...moreMore about Reinhold Niebuhr...