The Constant Dialogue: Reinhold Niebuhr and American Intellectual Culture

The Constant Dialogue: Reinhold Niebuhr and American Intellectual Culture

by Martin Halliwell
     
 

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Halliwell (American studies, U. of Leicester, UK) traces the development of Reinhold Niebuhr as a public intellectual and theologian by placing his ideas in relation to those of other prominent American thinkers in a series of "dialogues" addressing different aspects of Niebuhr's theology and political philosophy. The work begins with chapters that consider the… See more details below

Overview

Halliwell (American studies, U. of Leicester, UK) traces the development of Reinhold Niebuhr as a public intellectual and theologian by placing his ideas in relation to those of other prominent American thinkers in a series of "dialogues" addressing different aspects of Niebuhr's theology and political philosophy. The work begins with chapters that consider the similarities and differences in thought between Niebuhr and Henry James, John Dewey, Paul Tillich, and Niebuhr's brother Helmut. Examined in later chapters are Niebuhr's intellectual engagements with American psychoanalysis, its postwar culture, its foreign policy, and the Civil Rights Movement. Annotation ©2006 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR

Editorial Reviews

CHOICE
At once sympathetic but critical, [Halliwell] presents Niebuhr and American society in all their complexity.
— P. L. Urban Jr., Swarthmore College
Journal of American History
This is a marvelous book, generous in information, reflection, and the very dialogue that the author believes Reinhold Niebuhr so honored and practiced. Halliwell takes us deeply and valuably into Niebuhr's dialogues with some of the key figures of his long intellectual life.
Journal Of American History
This is a marvelous book, generous in information, reflection, and the very dialogue that the author believes Reinhold Niebuhr so honored and practiced. Halliwell takes us deeply and valuably into Niebuhr's dialogues with some of the key figures of his long intellectual life.
Choice
At once sympathetic but critical, [Halliwell] presents Niebuhr and American society in all their complexity.
— P. L. Urban Jr., Swarthmore College
David L. Chappell
This is a searching and open-minded analysis of the most original and influential religious thinker in the American Century. Halliwell shows that Niebuhr's flexible, frequently overextended mind was almost constantly shaped by political and social action. Niebuhr shared the limitations of other engaged leftists and liberals, but often boldly broke away from them. Halliwell nobly resists the temptation to reduce Niebuhr's long, unruly career to a formula or a thesis. He shows Niebuhr's genius as it bounced off and was refracted through a range of thinkers and political actors as broad as American culture. In exploring Niebuhr's dialogues with critics and admirers, Halliwell charts American intellectual life with greater depth than most histories achieve.
Michael O'Brien
Martin Halliwell is one of the leading British scholars of modern American culture and, in The Constant Dialogue, he offers a sympathetic but critical analysis of Reinhold Niebuhr, a theologian whose sharp angularities of vision have not always elicited sympathy. It is a measure of the book's intelligence and care that the reader is impelled, not only to read Halliwell, but to return to Niebuhr's own texts.
Scott Lucas
Martin Halliwell's book is a thorough and timely examination of one of the most important theologians and political philosophers of our times. It avoids easy conclusions to present Reinhold Niebuhr, and the American society of the 20th century, in all their complexity.
CHOICE - P. L. Urban Jr.
At once sympathetic but critical, [Halliwell] presents Niebuhr and American society in all their complexity.
Robin W. Lovin
The Constant Dialogue is a remarkable study of the scope of Reinhold Niebuhr's social thought and his intellectual connections to his contemporaries, from William James to James Baldwin. Niebuhr once described realism as the disposition to take all factors in a social and political situation into account. Martin Halliwell's book shows us how that disposition shaped his work and connected him to an extraordinary assembly of other leaders in all aspects of American life.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780742508415
Publisher:
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date:
10/28/2005
Series:
American Intellectual Culture Series
Pages:
384
Product dimensions:
6.48(w) x 9.24(h) x 1.06(d)

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