Il realista delle distanze. Reinhold Niebuhr e la politica internazionale PDF

American Reformed theologian, ethicist, commentator on politics and public affairs, and professor at Il realista delle distanze. Reinhold Niebuhr e la politica internazionale PDF Theological Seminary for more than 30 years. Niebuhr’s contributions to political philosophy include utilizing the resources of theology to argue for political realism. Aside from his political commentary, Niebuhr is also known for having composed the Serenity Prayer, a widely recited prayer which was popularized by Alcoholics Anonymous. Niebuhr attended Elmhurst College in Illinois and graduated in 1910.


Författare: Luca G. Castellin.

Nel corso del XX secolo, Reinhold Niebuhr (1892-1971) mostra i lineamenti inconfondibili che distinguono la figura misteriosa del “realista delle distanze”. Il teologo protestante rappresenta il principale esponente dell’agostinismo politico nel Novecento, che mostra il fecondo rapporto tra cristianesimo e Relazioni Internazionali. Inoltre, egli aiuta i propri contemporanei a vedere in primo piano le cose lontane, a scorgere la politica internazionale in tutta l’estensione del suo significato. Tra gli anni Trenta e gli anni Sessanta del secolo scorso, senza alcuna intenzione di prevedere o anticipare il futuro, Niebuhr sviluppa il “realismo cristiano”. Un approccio che, non cedendo all’opposto rischio del cinismo o dell’utopia, esprime una concezione della natura umana, della politica e della storia che vuole testimoniare l’urgenza della moderazione e della responsabilità nell’esercizio del potere, oltre che la necessità del controllo morale della dimensione politica all’interno di un mondo imperfetto. A più di quattro decadi di distanza dalla sua morte, il pensiero di Niebuhr risulta ancora attuale, proprio perché egli mostra e promuove uno sguardo critico sulla realtà politica in grado di offrire un utile contributo alla comprensione delle trasformazioni e all’analisi delle dinamiche internazionali del sistema globale contemporaneo.

In 1931 Niebuhr married Ursula Keppel-Compton. She was a member of the Church of England and was educated at Oxford University in theology and history. She met Niebuhr while studying for her master’s degree at Union Theological Seminary. In 1915, Niebuhr was ordained a pastor. The German Evangelical mission board sent him to serve at Bethel Evangelical Church in Detroit, Michigan. The congregation numbered sixty-six on his arrival and grew to nearly 700 by the time he left in 1928.

All German American culture in the United States and nearby Canada came under attack for suspicion of having dual loyalties. Several attempts have been made to explicate the origins of Niebuhr’s sympathies from the 1920s to working class and labor class issues as documented by his biographer Richard W. One supportive example has concerned his interest in the plight of auto workers in Detroit. This one interest among others can be briefly summarized below. After seminary, Niebuhr preached the Social Gospel, and then initiated the engagement of what he considered the insecurity of Ford workers.

Niebuhr had moved to the left and was troubled by the demoralizing effects of industrialism on workers. Because of his opinion about factory work, Niebuhr rejected liberal optimism. We went through one of the big automobile factories to-day. 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. Niebuhr’s criticism of Ford and capitalism resonated with progressives and helped make him nationally prominent. In 1923, Niebuhr visited Europe to meet with intellectuals and theologians.

The conditions he saw in Germany under the French occupation of the Rhineland dismayed him. They reinforced the pacifist views that he had adopted throughout the 1920s after World War I. Niebuhr captured his personal experiences in Detroit in his book Leaves from the Notebook of a Tamed Cynic. He continued to write and publish throughout his career, and also served as editor of the magazine Christianity and Crisis from 1941 through 1966. In 1928, Niebuhr left Detroit to become Professor of Practical Theology at Union Theological Seminary in New York. He spent the rest of his career there, until retirement in 1960.

The Fellowship of Socialist Christians was organized in the early 1930s by Niebuhr and others with similar views. Later it changed its name to Frontier Fellowship and then to Christian Action. In the 1930s Niebuhr was often seen as an intellectual opponent of John Dewey. Both men were professional polemicists and their ideas often clashed, although they contributed to 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 “Athens” tradition insisted upon by Dewey.