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The Nature and Destiny of Man, Vol 1

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  87 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
Arguably Niebuhr's most important work, this book offers a sustained articulation of his theological ethics and is considered a landmark in 20th-century thought. This book issues a challenge to Western civilization to understand its roots in the faith of the Bible. The growth, corruption and purification of the important Western emphases on individuality are chronicled her ...more
Paperback, 305 pages
Published November 11th 1980 by Pearson (first published 1940)
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Jessica
Dec 12, 2007 marked it as owned-for-years-but-still-not-read
Recommends it for: lesley
I'm pretty sure Lesley left this here with me when she moved to Boston to play house with a Rockabilly who came from the Interweb. How I wound up leaving Don Quixote on the curb in Brooklyn but dragging this through four apartments in three boroughs in the years since is a complete mystery to me.... must have something to do with human nature, which is honestly not something I know much about. And you know what? I never will, and I can say that with some certainty because I just noticed this is ...more
Steve Greenleaf
From the 1920s to near the time of his death in 1971, Reinhold Niebuhr was a leading voice among Christians in the United States, at least those within the mainline Protestant denominations. Niebuhr was a native of Missouri who became a Lutheran minister. Beginning with his time working in a parish in Detroit in the 1920s, Niebuhr experienced and strove to understand the problems and complexities of social injustice. His understanding of the world around him complimented a deep appreciation of t ...more
Norman Styers
Mar 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
If you want to understand why people act the way they do, you will learn much more from Niebuhr than from Freud, Jung, or Skinner.
Yehudit Bat Avraham
Apr 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is an AMAZING book on religion, philosophy, and a wealth of other topics, as they touch on these central themes. However, almost EVERYTHING the author says about Judaism, both modern and ancient is WRONG and shows signs of deep prejudice, largely of the type often displayed by Christians, demonstrating utter lack of comprehension of Torah and "the law", but occasionally reaching the point of ugliness. Nonetheless, I recommend this book highly to any monotheist, but keep the author's bias in ...more
Chris
Feb 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is a fascinating examination of human nature. Niebuhr analyzes the history of philosophical and theological thought on the topic, including the nature of good and evil and the paradox between the ideas of original sin and free will. I particularly appreciated Niebuhr's examination of the Fall of humankind as a symbolic and transcendent event rather than a historical fait accompli. I would have given this book a 5 star rating except that it is such dense theological trading that it is someti ...more
Frederick
Jul 20, 2010 rated it really liked it
I read this volume half through & had to return it to the library. Hope to read a bit on vacation... I have the Scribner Library Edition with the green cover. Inside the front cover it reads: "3/12/85 Dear Shely, If you read this book, something wonderful would happen to you — you might come to agree with my view point. Julie"
Book is very clean with no notes or underlining and only a crease in the back cover: I'm afraid Shely never read it.
Grant Robertson
Nov 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: isi-top-50
Amazing.

Does help to have a fairly good grasp of problems in philosophy and theology. As a theology bachelor, I felt the second half of the first volume more pertinent for my inquiry. Niebuhr's profundity should bring enjoyment on the first read, and even more enjoyment on subsequent readings.
David Bjorlin
Sep 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
Niebuhr is obviously brilliant and eminently quotable, but I can't help wondering if there is a place for the ideals of Jesus (for example, the Sermon on the Mount) in his Christian realism. Maybe that's why he so rarely quotes from the Gospels!
Freddie Odom
Apr 19, 2016 rated it liked it
Bought volumes 1 and 2 of this. They were good, but broke my brain, I read comics for a year afterwards.
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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 ...more
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