PIOUS AND SECULAR AMERICA by Reinhold Niebuhr
Kirkus Star

PIOUS AND SECULAR AMERICA

Essays

KIRKUS REVIEW

No one sees the American (and world) scene so steadily and whole as Dr. Reinhold Niebuhr. His Christian critique of modern man and his world must be reckoned with by any serious student of human affairs. This is his latest contribution to a large volume of incisive writing which holds a clear and unflattering mirror up before the face of Americans who do not always like what they see. The book's title is taken from the first of a collection of essays in which Dr. Niebuhr analyzes the phenomenon that America seems to be growing more religious and more secular at the same time. His keen mind next explores such related subjects as, "Frustration in Mid-century", "Higher Education in America", "Russia and America", "Liberty and Equality", "Justice to the American Negro from State, Community and Church", "The Relations of Christians and Jews in Western Civilization", "The Impulse for Perfection and the Impulse for Community", and "Mystery and Meaning". Dr. Niebuhr has never written so that he who runs may read, and often his theological writing can reward only the most careful and patient student. Nor has he now written in a popular style. Nevertheless, the careful reader of these essays will not have to subject himself to a determined re-reading to learn their meaning. Instead he will be tempted to rejoice that here is a man who can reflect and express the reader's innermost thoughts, disturbed though they are, and bring them all together on a hopeful note of potential triumph. In Christ, Dr. Niebuhr affirms repeatedly, is to be found that assurance of final forgiveness for the ineradicable evil in the human heart that can lift the self from despair to newness of life. This is the final answer to the mystery of human existence.
Pub Date: March 28th, 1958
ISBN: 1579107400
Page count: 160pp
Publisher: Scribner
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 1958




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