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5.0 out of 5 stars A POSTHUMOUS COLLECTION OF HIS SERMONS AND PRAYERS
Karl Paul Reinhold Niebuhr (1892-1971) was an American theologian and "public intellectual" during the mid-20th century. His other books include The Nature and Destiny of Man: A Christian Interpretation (2 Volume Set) and The Irony of American History.

His wife wrote in the Preface to this 1974 book, "The prayers in this volume have been selected from those...
Published on May 29, 2012 by Steven H Propp

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Collection of sermons
A little disappointing for someone who enjoys Niebuhr's books and essays. But a statement written by his widow in the introduction contains a core observation about sermons and preachers that every man of faith and every cleric ought to take to heart. It is so important that it could be the most important 3 sentences in the entire book: "I am a preacher and I like...
Published 19 months ago by Kenrick Hackett Jr.


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5.0 out of 5 stars A POSTHUMOUS COLLECTION OF HIS SERMONS AND PRAYERS, May 29, 2012
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This review is from: Justice and Mercy (Paperback)
Karl Paul Reinhold Niebuhr (1892-1971) was an American theologian and "public intellectual" during the mid-20th century. His other books include The Nature and Destiny of Man: A Christian Interpretation (2 Volume Set) and The Irony of American History.

His wife wrote in the Preface to this 1974 book, "The prayers in this volume have been selected from those Reinhold Niebuhr wrote and used over a span of fifty years. They have been edited according to contemporary liturgical usage (e.g., replacing "thou" with "you")... The sermons, however, all come from the later years of his life and are edited from recordings. He never wrote out his sermons... Much of his later work was in the field of social and political ethics. But many of his friends, and he and I as well, wanted to have his prayers and sermons also available to show the religious context and reference of his social concern."

He prayed, "We give thanks that you have tied us together in this bundle of life and have ordained that none of us should live to himself alone." (Pg. 11) He addresses God, "who has taught us to pray for the coming of your kingdom on this earth, give us grace to build our communities after the fashion of your kingdom, to set no boundaries around them which you would not set, to quiet the tumult within them by brotherly love and to work the more diligently for the better concord in them, because our final security lies in the city... (whose) maker is God." (Pg. 49)

He argues that "it has been the ineluctable destiny of Western spirituality to accept the trials of historical responsibility. Zen Buddhism may be an option in Japan, and mystical world-flight a possibility in the Orient. But Nirvana is not for us, even if the gates of Utopia have been closed to us." (Pg. 84)

He defines conscience as "the self looking at itself." (Pg. 39) He suggests that evil is done "not so much by evil men, but by good men who do not know themselves." (Pg. 93) He admits that "I make guesses about God's behavior in the world but they are false unless God speaks out of his freedom to my freedom. This is why history is of revelational importance in human life." (Pg. 135)

This collection is a very valuable addition to Niebuhr's published works, and gives another "side" to him that some may not have seen before.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Collection of sermons, July 3, 2013
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This review is from: Reinhold Niebuhr: Justice and Mercy (Hardcover)
A little disappointing for someone who enjoys Niebuhr's books and essays. But a statement written by his widow in the introduction contains a core observation about sermons and preachers that every man of faith and every cleric ought to take to heart. It is so important that it could be the most important 3 sentences in the entire book: "I am a preacher and I like to preach, but I don't think many people are influenced by admonition. Admonitions to be more loving are on the whole irrelevant. What is relevant are analyses of the human situation that discuss the levels of human possibilities and of sin." This is a gem worth savoring.
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Reinhold Niebuhr: Justice and Mercy
Reinhold Niebuhr: Justice and Mercy by Reinhold Niebuhr (Hardcover - April 1975)
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