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Niebuhr, Reinhold (1892–1971)

  1. Elizabeth A. Barre

Published Online: 25 NOV 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9780470670606.wbecc0993

The Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization

How to Cite

Barre, E. A. 2011. Niebuhr, Reinhold (1892–1971). The Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization. .

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 25 NOV 2011


American, Protestant theologian, social ethicist, and political theorist, Reinhold Niebuhr was born in 1892 in Wright City, Missouri. He was the son of first-generation German immigrants and his father was an ordained minister in the German Evangelical Lutheran Synod. Niebuhr also prepared for the vocation of ministry, attending Elmhurst College, Eden Theological Seminary, and Yale Divinity School. After graduating from the latter in 1915, he assumed the pastorate of a small congregation in Detroit, Michigan. He remained in this position until 1928, when he left to teach Christian Ethics at Union Theological Seminary.


  • Niebuhr, Reinhold (1892–1971);
  • American, protestant theologian, social ethicist;
  • “christian realism”;
  • the children of light and the children of darkness;
  • democratic liberalism