Reinhold Niebuhr (1892—1971) was the leading Neo-Orthodox theologian in the United States and the premier American public theologian of the Cold War era from 1945 to his death. Niebuhr was the archetypal American intellectual of the Cold War era. Starting as a leftist minister in the 1920s, he explored how the sin of pride created evil in the world. He attacked utopianianism as useless for dealing with reality, writing in The Children of Light and the Children of Darkness (1944):
- "Man's capacity for justice makes democracy possible; but man's inclination to injustice makes democracy necessary."
His realism deepened after 1945 and led him to support US efforts to confront Soviet communism around the world. A powerful speaker and lucid author, he was the most influential minister of the 1940s and 1950s in public affairs.
Niebuhr's perspective had a great impact on many liberals, who came to support a "realist" foreign policy. He is a favorite thinker of Jimmy Carter, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, as well as John McCain.
Niebuhr did battle with the religious liberals over what he called their naïve views of sin and the optimism of the Social Gospel. He did battle with the religious conservatives over what he viewed as their naïve view of Scripture and their narrow definition of "true religion." He was a leader of liberal intellectuals and supported many liberal causes, but his ideas were often too orthodox for secular liberals, while his view that the Bible could not be taken literally was too liberal for the Fundamentalists. Thus he was too secular for many of the religious and too religious for the secular, but just right for those who appreciated the irony of history.
In recent years conservatives have invoked Niebuhr's emphasis on original sin, his relentless critique of progressive utopianism, and his Cold War anti-communism. An older generation of liberals still sees him as a champion of their attitudes.
- 1 Career
- 2 World Affairs
- 3 Further reading
- 4 References
- 5 External links
Niebuhr grew up in Lincoln, Illinois, where his father Gustav was a pastor in a German-speaking Evangelical congregation. His family spoke German; his brother H. Richard Niebuhr became a famous historian of religion; his sister Hulda Niebuhr became a divinity professor in Chicago. He attended Elmhurst College, Eden Theological Seminary and took a master's degree (but not a doctorate) at Yale Divinity School, noting that Yale gave him intellectual liberation. Ordained in the Evangelical Synod of North America (1915), he served as pastor of the Bethel Evangelical Church in Detroit, until 1928, when he became professor of Christian ethics and the philosophy of religion at Union Theological Seminary in New York City until his retirement in 1960. In 1931 he married Ursula Keppel-Compton, a learned and religious woman who later became chairman of the Religion Department at Barnard College (the woman's college of Columbia University); they had two children.
World War I
As America entered the World War in 1917, Niebuhr had just become pastor of a small German-speaking congregation in Detroit (it stopped using German in 1919). All Germania and German culture in America was under attack, and he repeatedly stressed the need to be loyal to America. Theologically, however, he went beyond the issue of national loyalty as he endeavored to fashion a realistic ethical perspective of patriotism and pacifism. He endeavored to work out a realistic approach to the moral danger posed by aggressive powers which many idealists and pacifists failed to recognize. During the war he also served his denomination as Executive Secretary of the War Welfare Commission while maintaining his pastorate in Detroit. A pacifist at heart, he saw compromise as a necessity and was willing to support war in order to find peace - compromising for the sake of righteousness.
Critical for his rejection of liberal optimism was his realization that factory work was horrible. He told his diary:
- We went through one of the big automobile factories to-day. . . . The foundry interested me particularly. The heat was terrific. The men seemed weary. Here manual labour is a drudgery and toil is slavery. The men cannot possibly find any satisfaction in their work. They simply work to make a living. Their sweat and their dull pain are part of the price paid for the fine cars we all run. And most of us run the cars without
knowing what price is being paid for them. . . . We are all responsible. We all want the things which the factory produces and none of us is sensitive enough to care how much in human values the efficiency of the modern factory costs" .
The problem is that Niebuhr never talked to the workers. He assumed they were automatons with crushed feelings. In fact, as many studies of assembly lines have shown, the work may have been dull but the workers had complex motivations and boasted about their jobs and tried hard to place their sons on the assembly line. Ford tried and failed to control work habits, then, after extensive sociological studies in which they DID interview the workers, management realized that the workers' were much more interested in controlling their home life than their work life. The Ford solution was welfare capitalism, paying very high wages with added benefits, such as vacations and retirement, that reduced turnover amd appealed primarily to family men. Niebuhr should have asked his own parishioners.
He tried to undermine the appeal of the Ku Klux Klan to Protestants. He collaborated with the labor unions (which were weak before 1935) and abandoned the Social Gospel for a form of socialism in the late 1920s; he ran for Congress on the Socialist ticket in 1932, but in 1940 quit the party.
Starting in the 1920s Niebuhr built a national reputation among churchmen as a commentator and analyst of social problems for The Christian Century.
In 1939 he explained his theological odyssey:
|“||...About midway in my ministry which extends roughly from the peace of Versailles  to the peace of Munich , measured in terms of Western history, I underwent a fairly complete conversion of thought which involved rejection of almost all the liberal theological ideals and ideas with which I ventured forth in 1915. I wrote a book, [Does Civilization need Religion?], my first, in 1927 which ...contains almost all the theological windmills against which today I tilt my sword. These windmills must have tumbled shortly thereafter for every succeeding volume expresses a more and more explicit revolt against what is usually known as liberal culture.||”|
In the 1930s Niebuhr worked out many of his ideas about sin and grace, love and justice, faith and reason, realism and idealism, and the irony and tragedy of history, which established his leadership of the neo-orthodox movement in theology.
Inflienced strongly by Karl Barth and other dialectical theologians of Europe He began to emphasize the Bible as a human record of divine self-revelation; it offered for Niebuhr a critical but redemptive reorientation of the understanding of man's nature and destiny.
Niebuhr couched his ideas in Christ-centered principles such as the Great Commandment and the doctrine of original sin.
He major contribution was his view of sin as a social event—as pride—with selfish self-centeredness as the root of evil. The sin of pride was appareant not just in criminals, but more dangerously in people who felt good about their deeds—rather like Henry Ford (whom he did not mention by name). The human tendency to corrupt the good was the great insight he saw manifested in governments, business, democracies, utopian societies, and churches. This position is laid out profoundly in one of his most influential books, Moral Man and Immoral Society (1932). He was a debunker of hypocrisy and pretense and made the avoidance of self-righteous illusions the center of his thoughts. Niebuhr argued that to approach religion as the individualistic attempt to fulfill biblical commandments in a moralistic sense is not only an impossibility but also a demonstration of man's original sin, which Niebuhr interpreted as self-love. Through self-love man becomes focused on his own goodness and leaps to the false conclusion—which he calls the "Promethean illusion"—that he can achieve goodness on his own. Thus man mistakes his partial ability to transcend himself for the ability to prove his absolute authority over his own life and world. Constantly frustrated by natural limitations, man develops a lust for power which destroys him and his whole world. History is the record of these crises and judgments which man brings on himself; it is also proof that God does not allow man to overstep his possibilities.
In radical contrast to the Promethean illusion, God reveals himself in history, especially personified in Jesus Christ, as sacrificial love which overcomes the human temptation to self-deification and makes possible constructive human history.
In The Irony of American History (1952) Niebuhr questioned whether a humane, "ironical" interpretation of American history was credible on its own merits, or only in the context of a Christian view of history. Niebuhr's concept of irony referred to situations in which "the consequences of an act are diametrically opposed to the original intention," and "the fundamental cause of the disparity lies in the actor himself, and his original purpose." His reading of American history based on this notion, though from the Christian perspective, is so rooted in historical events that readers who do not share his religious views can be led to the same conclusion.
Niebuhr's great foe was idealism. American idealism, he believed, comes in two forms: the idealism of the antiwar noninterventionists, who are embarrassed by power, and the idealism of pro-war imperialists, who disguise power as virtue. He said the non-interventionists, without mentioning Harry Emerson Fosdick by name, seek to preserve the purity of their souls, either by denouncing military actions or by demanding that every action taken be unequivocally virtuous. They exaggerate the sins committed by their own country, excuse the malevolence of its enemies, and, as later polemicists have put it, inevitably blame America first. This is all just a pious way of refusing to face real problems, Niebuhr argued.
Niebuhr supported the Allies during World War II and argued for the engagement of the United States in the war. As a writer popular in the secular as well as religious arena and a professor at the Union Theological Seminary he was very influential both in the United States and abroad. While many clergy proclaimed themselves pacifists because of their World War I experiences, Niebuhr declared a victory by Germany and Japan would threaten Christianity. He renounced his socialist connections and beliefs and resigned from the pacifist Fellowship of Reconciliation. He based his arguments on the Protestant beliefs that sin is part of the world, that justice must take precedence over love, and that pacifism is a symbolic portrayal of absolute love but cannot prevent sin. Although they did not portray him favorably, Niebuhr's exchanges with his opponents on the issue helped him mature intellectually. Niebuhr debated Charles Clayton Morrison, editor of The Christian Century magazine about America's entry into World War II. Morrison and his pacifistic followers maintained that America's role should be strictly neutral and part of a negotiated peace only, while Niebuhr claimed himself to be a realist, who opposed the use of political power to attain moral ends. Morrison and his followers strongly supported the movement to outlaw war that began after World War I and the Kellogg-Briand Pact of 1928. The pact was severely challenged by the Japanese invasion of Manchuria in 1931, and in 1932, with his publication of Moral Man and Immoral Society, Niebuhr broke ranks with The Christian Century and supported interventionism and power politics, culminating in his support of the reelection of President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1940 and the publication of his own magazine, Christianity and Crisis. In 1945, however, Niebuhr charged that use of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima was "morally indefensible."
- Traditionally, the idea of the frailty of man led to the demand for obedience to ordained authority. But Niebuhr rejected that ancient conservative argument. Ordained authority, he showed, is all the more subject to the temptations of self-interest, self-deception and self-righteousness. Power must be balanced by power. He persuaded me and many of my contemporaries that original sin provides a far stronger foundation for freedom and self-government than illusions about human perfectibility. Niebuhr's analysis was grounded in the Christianity of Augustine and Calvin, but he had, nonetheless, a special affinity with secular circles. His warnings against utopianism, messianism and perfectionism strike a chord today....We cannot play the role of God to history, and we must strive as best we can to attain decency, clarity and proximate justice in an ambiguous world.
Niebuhr's defense of Roosevelt made him popular among liberals, as historian Morton White noted with a touch of irony:
- The contemporary liberal's fascination with Niebuhr, I suggest, comes less from Niebuhr's dark theory of human nature and more from his actual political pronouncements, from the fact that he is a shrewd, courageous, and right-minded man on many political questions. Those who applaud his politics are too liable to turn then to his theory of human nature and praise it as the philosophical instrument of Niebuhr's political agreement with themselves. But very few of those whom I have called "atheists for Niebuhr" follow this inverted logic to its conclusion: they don't move from praise of Niebuhr's theory of human nature to praise of its theological ground. We may admire them for drawing the line somewhere, but certainly not for their consistency.
Niebuhr's thought on racial justice developed slowly after he abandoned socialism. Niebuhr attributed the injustices of society to human pride and self-love and believed that this innate propensity for evil could not be controlled by humanity. However, he felt that a representative democracy could improve society's ills. Like Edmund Burke, Niebuhr endorsed natural evolution over imposed change and emphasized experience over theory. Niebuhr's Burkean ideology, however, often conflicted with his liberal principles, particularly regarding his perspective on racial justice. Though vehemently opposed to racial inequality, Niebuhr adopted an extremely conservative position on segregation. Yet while most liberals endorsed integration after World War II, Niebuhr remained focused on achieving equal opportunity and warned against imposing changes that could result in violence. The violence that followed peaceful demonstrations in the 1960s forced Niebuhr to reverse his position against imposed equality and witnessing the problem of the Northern ghettos later caused him to doubt that equality was attainable.
His two volume work The Nature and Destiny of Man: A Christian Interpretation (1941) was written as his magnum opus. It is little read and seldom cited, for Niebuhr, who lacked a PhD, was trying too hard to demonstrate his scholarly credentials.
Niebuhr against anti-Catholicism
During the Detroit mayoral election of 1925, Niebuhr's sermon "We fair-minded Protestants cannot deny" appeared on the front pages of both the Detroit Times and the Free Press. This sermon urged listeners to vote against the Protestant mayoral candidate Charles Bowles, who was being openly endorsed by the Ku Klux Klan. The other candidate, who won by a narrow thirty thousand votes, was the Catholic incumbent John W. Smith. Niebuhr preached.
|“||that it was Protestantism that gave birth to the Ku Klux Klan, one of the worst specific social phenomena which the religious pride and prejudice of peoples has ever developed.... I do not deny that all religions are periodically corrupted by bigotry. But I hit Protestant bigotry the hardest at this time because it happens to be our sin and there is no use repenting for other people's sins. Let us repent of our own. .... We are admonished in Scripture to judge men by their fruits, not by their roots; and their fruits are their character, their deeds and accomplishments.||”|
Niebuhr and Judaism
Niebuhr made many bold assertions regarding Judaism. As a young pastor in Detroit, he favored conversion of Jews to Christianity, scolding the status quo of evangelical Christians who then by and large ignored them. He did so by speaking out against "the unchristlike attitude of Christians" and what he then saw as his fellow Christian's "Jewish bigotry."  His 1933 article in the Christian Century was an attempt to sound the alarm within the Christian community over Hitler's "cultural annihilation of the Jews." Eventually his theology evolved to the point where he was the first prominent Christian theologian to argue it was inappropriate for Christians to seek to convert Jews to their faith.
As a preacher, writer, leader, and advisor to political figures, Niebuhr consistently and unambiguously supported Zionism and Israel. Unlike most Christian Zionists, he never discussed it from a theological perspective. The solution to anti-Semitism he propounded was a combination of a Jewish homeland, greater tolerance, and further assimilation in other countries. Indeed, his maximalist approach to the Palestinian question went beyond the Zionist position. As early as 1942, he advocated the total expulsion of Arabs from Palestine and their resettlement in other Arabic countries. His extreme position may relate to his religious conviction that life on earth is never perfect, to his outrage over the Holocaust, or to the example of Germans being forcibly removed from Eastern Europe after World War II.
Niebuhr and Communism
Niebuhr helped found the liberal Americans for Democratic Action (ADA). His ideas influenced George Kennan, Hans Morgethau, Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. and other realists during the Cold War on the need to contain Communist expansion.
In the 1950s his position became so anti-communist that he believed McCarthy was a force of evil not so much for disrespecting civil liberties as for being ineffective in rooting out Communists and their sympathizers. He thought the Rosenbergs should be executed, stating "Traitors are never ordinary criminals and the Rosenbergs are quite obviously fiercely loyal Communists....Stealing atomic secrets is an unprecedented crime".
Niebuhr and Dewey
Reinhold Niebuhr has been described as an intellectual opponent of John Dewey. Both men were professional polemicists. Their ideas often clashed despite both men holding sway over the same realms of liberal intellectual schools of thought. Niebuhr was a strong proponent of the Jerusalem religious tradition as a corrective to the secular tradition of Athens. Dewey was a strong proponent of Athens. In the book Moral Man and Immoral Society (1932) a still intellectually young Niebuhr heavily criticized Dewey's philosophy. Two years later in a review of Dewey's book A Common Faith (1934), Niebuhr was surprisingly calm and respectful towards Dewey's "religious footnote" on his then large body of educational and pragmatic philosophy.
Niebuhr and black militants
In the "Letter from Birmingham Jail" Martin Luther King wrote "Individuals may see the moral light and voluntarily give up their unjust posture; but, as Reinhold Niebuhr has reminded us, groups tend to be more immoral than individuals." King valued Niebuhr's social and ethical ideals. King attributed his own non-violent posture more to the influence of Niebuhr and Paul Tillich than to the example of Gandhi. On the other hand, Niebuhr was friendly to the white South, was never an active supporter of the ciivl rights movement and refused to sign petitions when asked by King.
"The sad duty of politics is to establish justice in a sinful world"
Jimmy Carter liked to quote Niebuhr's statement that "The sad duty of politics is to establish justice in a sinful world". Time magazine explicitly stated that President Ronald Reagan, unlike Carter, would not use such a phrase.
Dorrien (2003) argues that Niebuhr, Paul Tillich, John Coleman Bennett, and many other leading critics of theological liberalism from the 1930s to the 1950s nonetheless stood clearly in the liberal tradition in their view of the symbolic-mythic nature of much of Scripture (and how one is to understand its authority), in their theology, in their social ethics, and in their openness to the historical and natural sciences. And in this they actually advanced the legacy of liberal theology.
Niebuhr and the other neo-liberals rejected the excessively sentimental moralism, optimism, and idealism of the liberal Protestants of the 1890-1940 era. Liberalism, they insisted, must be modified, not rejected. Contrary to what some conservatives who admire Niebuhr suggest, he spoke of himself late in life as "a liberal at heart," and acknowledged that much of his early polemic against Liberalism was indiscriminate.
Niebuhr popularized the famous prayer used by Alcoholics Anonymous. Niebuhr's daughter Elisabeth Sifton wrote a book The Serenity Prayer (2003) about the prayer and suggests her father wrote it, though he borrowed it from others.
|“||God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.||”|
- Beckley, Harlan. Passion for Justice: Retrieving the Legacies of Walter Rauschenbusch, John A. Ryan, and Reinhold Niebuhr. (1992). 391 pp.
- Bingham, June. Courage to Change: An Introduction to the Life and Thought of Reinhold Niebuhr. (1961), popular biography
- Brooks, David. "A Man on a Gray Horse: The Mid-Century Theologian Reinhold Niebuhr May Have Gotten a Lot of Things Wrong-But We Could Use a Thinker like Him Today," The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 290, September 2002 online edition, sees Niebuhr as 25% conservative
- Brown, Charles C. Niebuhr and His Age: Reinhold Niebuhr's Prophetic Role in the Twentieth Century. (1992). 317 pp.
- Craig, Campbell. "The New Meaning of Modern War in the Thought of Reinhold Niebuhr." Journal of the History of Ideas" 1992 53(4): 687-701 in JSTOR
- Davies, David Richard. Reinhold Niebuhr: Prophet from America (1945) 94 pages; full text online
- Doenecke, Justus D. "Reinhold Niebuhr and his Critics: The Interventionist Controversy in World War II." Anglican and Episcopal History 1995 64(4): 459-481. 0896-8039, by a leading conservative historian
- Dorrien, Gary. The Making of American Liberal Theology: Idealism, Realism, and Modernity 1900-1950 (2003) and text search
- Fox, Richard Wightman. Reinhold Niebuhr: A Biography. (1985). 325 pp. the standard scholarly biography; a well-researched, fair, and engaging treatment of Niebuhr's theological and political work that emphasizes his skill in working with Scripture and in interpreting human nature and the human condition. online review
- Harland, Gordon. The Thought of Reinhold Niebuhr (1960) online edition
- Harries, Richard, and Stephen Platten, eds. Reinhold Niebuhr and Contemporary Politics (2010)
- Kegley, Charles W., and Robert W. Bretall, eds. Reinhold Niebuhr: His Religious, Social, and Political Thought. (1956) 486pp 20 essays by scholars and reply by Niebuhr; online edition
- Lovin, Robin. ""Reinhold Niebuhr in Contemporary Scholarship: A Review Essay," Journal of Religious Ethics 31 (Winter, 2003), 489-505 abridged version online
- Novak, Michael. "Father of Neoconservatives: Nowadays, the Truest Disciples of the Liberal Theologian Reinhold Niebuhr Are Conservatives," National Review, Vol. 44, May 11, 1992 online edition, sees Niebuhr as a conservative
- Patton Howard G. Reinhold Niebuhr (1977) full text online
- Rice, Daniel F. Reinhold Niebuhr and John Dewey: An American Odyssey. (1993). 358 pp.
- Rice, Daniel F., ed. Reinhold Niebuhr Revisited: Engagements with an American Original (2009), old liberals still claim him online review
- Rosenthal, Joel H. Righteous Realists: Political Realism, Responsible Power, and American Culture in the Nuclear Age. (1991). 191 pp. Compares Niebuhr with Hans J. Morgenthau, Walter Lippmann, George F. Kennan, and Dean Acheson
- Smith, David L. A Handbook of Contemporary Theology (1992), ch 2. a Fundamentalist view of Niebuhr
- Warren, Heather A. Theologians of a New World Order: Reinhold Niebuhr and the Christian Realists, 1920-1948. (1997). 199 pp.
- Niebuhr, Reinhold. The Essential Reinhold Niebuhr: Selected Essays and Addresses ed. by Robert McAffee Brown (1986). 264 pp.
- Niebuhr, Reinhold. Reinhold Niebuhr on Politics: His Political Philosophy and Its Application to Our Age as Expressed in His Writings ed. by Harry R. Davis and Robert C. Good. (1960) online edition
- Niebuhr, Reinhold. Leaves from the Notebook of a Tamed Cynic (1929), a diary
- Niebuhr, Reinhold. Moral Man and Immoral Society: A Study in Ethics and Politics. (1932), his most influential book.
- Niebuhr, Reinhold. Remembering Reinhold Niebuhr (1991), his letters, edited by his wife, Ursula Niebuhr.
- Niebuhr, Reinhold. "The Public Theology of Reinhold Niebuhr" (radio interviews online)
- Frank A. Ruechel, "Politics And Morality Revisited: Jimmy Carter and Reinhold Niebuhr." Atlanta History 1994 37(4): 19-31; John McCain, Hard Call: Great Decisions and the Extraordinary People Who Made Them (2007) pp 321-38; also "Reinhold Niebuhr is Unseen Force in 2008 Elections", September 27, 2007, Benedicta Cipolla, Religion News Service of the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life
- Richard Harries and Stephen Platten, eds. Reinhold Niebuhr and Contemporary Politics (2010)
- The Evangelical denomination was the American branch of the established Prussian Church Union in Germany; it is Calvinist and is now part of the United Church of Christ.
- William G. Chrystal, "Reinhold Niebuhr and the First World War." Journal of Presbyterian History 1977 55(3): 285-298. 0022-3883
- See Reinhold Niebuhr, "Detroit" (radio interview online).
- Niebuhr, Leaves from the Notebook of a Tamed Cynic pp. 79-80
- Stephen Meyer, The Five Dollar Day: Labor Management and Social Control in the Ford Motor Company, 1908-1921, (1981); David Brody, Workers in Industrial America, (1980) ch 2 on welfare capitalism in 1920s; see also Richard M. Steers and Lyman W. Porter, eds. Motivation and Work Behavior (1979)
- Niebuhr, "Ten Years That Shook My World", The Christian Century (April 26, 1939) in Sources of the American Mind: Volume II, ed. by Loren Baritz, (1960) pp 542-546
- Martin E. Marty, "Reinhold Niebuhr and the Irony of American History: A Retrospective." History Teacher 1993 26(2): 161-174. 0018-2745
- Justus D. Doenecke, "Reinhold Niebuhr and his Critics: The Interventionist Controversy in World War II," Anglican and Episcopal History 1995 64(4): 459-481.
- Gary B. Bullert, "Reinhold Niebuhr and the Christian Century: World War II and the Eclipse of the Social Gospel." Journal of Church and State 2002 44(2): 271-290. 0021-969x (online)
- "Forgetting Reinhold Niebuhr". Arthur Schlesinger Jr. September 18, 2005. NY Times
- Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., New York Times, June 22, 1992 online
- Morton White, Religion, Politics, and the Higher Learning, (1959) p.117-118
- Greg Robinson, Reinhold Niebuhr: The Racial Liberal as Burkean. Prospects 2000 25: 641-661. 0361-2333
- Fox, Reinhold Niebuhr" (1985)
- Fox, Reinhold Niebuhr" (1985)
- Fox, Reinhold Niebuhr" (1985)
- He wrote several articles regarding the pre and post World War II plight of European Jews: "Jews After the War" (in 2 parts Nation February 21 and February 28, 1942, pages 214-216 and 253-255), "It Might Have Been" (Evangelical Herald March 29, 1923, page 202), "The Rapprochement Between Jews and Christians" (Christian Century January 7, 1926, pages 9-11), "Germany Must Be Told" (Christian Century August 9, 1933, pages 1014-1015, follow-up Letter to the Editor in to this article same journal May 27, 1936, p. 771).
- Eyal Naveh, "Unconventional 'Christian Zionist': The Theologian Reinhold Niebuhr and his Attitude toward the Jewish National Movement". Studies in Zionism 1990 11(2): 183-196; 1991 12(1): 85-88.
- Fox, Reinhold Niebuhr" (1985) p 252
- Fox, Reinhold Niebuhr" (1985) p 252
- Rice Reinhold Niebuhr and John Dewey: An American Odyssey, (1993), page 146
- Moral Man and Immoral Society offended many of Niebuhr's intellectual Christian friends (some never to return). It lost sight of Christian love and espoused pro-Marxists views.
- Rice, Reinhold Niebuhr and John Dewey pages 43-58
- April 13, 1970 Letter to Niebuhr
- "Jimmy Carter's Big Breakthrough", Time magazine Monday, May. 10, 1976
- "Ronald Reagan: a Man of Certitudes", Time magazine Monday, May. 06, 1985
- Gary Dorrien, The Making of American Liberal Theology: Idealism, Realism, and Modernity 1900-1950 (2003)