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Title: From a Christian Socialist to a Christian Realist: Reinhold Niebuhr and the Soviet Union, 1930-1945
Keywords: Reinhold Niebuhr, Soviet Union, Christian Realism, Marxism, Christianity, Communism
Issue Date: 31-Jan-2008
Citation: CHEN LIANG (2008-01-31). From a Christian Socialist to a Christian Realist: Reinhold Niebuhr and the Soviet Union, 1930-1945. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Niebuhr's engagement with the Soviet Union from 1930 to 1945 played a decisive role in the formation of Christian realism. First, Niebuhr's encounter with the communist religion (as he called communism) not only resulted in his rejection of the liberalistic interpretation of religion but also greatly deepened his understanding of the nature of religious faith itself. Second, grappling with this communist religion also drove Niebuhr to see more clearly the impotency of Western Christianity on the problem of justice. Third, his "flirtation" with Marxism not only led him to "rediscover" sin, the linchpin of Christian realism, but also contributed to the emergence of the key theme, namely, myth and meaning in his theology. Lastly, Niebuhr's realistic approach to international power politics, culminating in the "positive defense" policy regarding the reconstruction of Europe during the period under examination, was a direct result of his engagement with the Soviet Union.
Appears in Collections:Ph.D Theses (Open)

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