from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • Niebuhr, Barthold George 1776-1831. German historian whose greatly influential history of Rome (published 1811-1832) established the modern scientific study of history.
  • Niebuhr, Reinhold 1892-1971. American theologian who argued that Christianity is obligated to confront ethical, social, and moral problems. His works include The Nature and Destiny of Man (1941-1943).

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. German historian noted for his critical approach to sources and for his history of Rome (1776-1831)
  • n. United States Protestant theologian (1892-1971)


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • He claims that Niebuhr is a “theologian of a domesticated God capable of doing no more than providing comfort to the anxious conscience of the bourgeoisie” (2001, 138) who “now represents the worst of two worlds: most secular people do not find his theological arguments convincing; yet his theology is not sufficient to provide the means for Christians to sustain their lives” (2001, 139).

    Matthew Yglesias » Before There Was Early Rawls…

  • Niebuhr is fluent in the history of the patriarchs, the history of the prophets and kings, and the history of the early Christians in conflict with the Romans, to the point where biblical history runs between the lines of everything he wrote.

    Everybody Loves Reinhold

  • One of the reasons that Niebuhr is so remarkable a figure is that he was able to move in the corridors of power without losing his sense of his own home truths.

    Everybody Loves Reinhold

  • Niebuhr is my favorite theologian for his sheer depth and logical abilities.

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  • Beinart gives due credit to the unjustly forgotten Bayard Rustin, who was perhaps the true genius of the civil-rights and democratic-socialist movements, but his emphasis on Niebuhr is what truly informs the book, because this solemn old Protestant theologian provided a constant warning against American hubris.

    Blood for No Oil!

  • Vez Nov.Collect. ii. 256, and Eunapius in Niebuhr, Byzant.

    The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire

  • I don’t know if you’ve read it yet, but a good companion to the Niebuhr is The Limits of Power by Bacevich.

    Reinhold Niebuhr wrote it after all « Dating Jesus

  • The human person, in Niebuhr’s account, is self-interested in the extreme.

    A Man for All Reasons

  • Then, as it turned out to be a war all its own, they sought an exit strategy in Niebuhr’s ironic view of history, for they found themselves covered with guilt.

    A Man for All Reasons

  • Some valuable fragments of this work have been recovered by M. Mai, and reprinted in Niebuhr’s edition of the Byzantine

    The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire


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