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The Neo-Barthian Critique of Reinhold Niebuhr


  • Edmund N. Santurri


The author notes an unclarity in David Novak's defense of Reinhold Niebuhr against Stanley Hauerwas's critique and identifies some issues left unsettled in the exchange between Novak and Hauerwas over Niebuhr's ethics. Specifically, the author proposes that the Barthian-Hauerwasian communitarian rejection of Niebuhrian natural theology and natural law ignores the historical abuse of biblical theology in the German Christian response to the Nazis, fails to account for the fact of general moral revulsion against Nazism, and flirts itself with a conventionalist form of nihilism.