Niebuhr, Helmut Richard


Niebuhr, Helmut Richard

▪ American theologian
born Sept. 3, 1894, Wright City, Mo., U.S.
died July 5, 1962, Greenfield, Mass.

      American Protestant theologian and educator who was considered a leading authority on ethics and U.S. church history. He was a foremost advocate of theological existentialism.

      The younger brother of the theologian Reinhold Niebuhr, Helmut was educated at Elmhurst (Ill.) College, Eden Theological Seminary (St. Louis, Mo.), Washington University, Yale Divinity School, and Yale University, where he was one of the first students to receive a Ph.D. in religion (1924). Ordained a pastor of the Evangelical and Reformed Church in 1916, he taught at Eden Theological Seminary (1919–22; 1927–31) and also served as president of Elmhurst College (1924–27). From 1931 he taught theology and Christian ethics at Yale Divinity School.

      Influenced by Karl Barth, Søren Kierkegaard, and Ernst Troelsch, Niebuhr advocated historical criticism of religious beliefs, urging that church teachings be interpreted in a way to make them meaningful in contemporary culture. His views on theological existentialism allowed for relative interpretations of revelation and values within the framework of a monotheistic faith. Niebuhr argued that there is a correlation between religious belief and secular culture and that churches must account for the social context of their existence.

      Among the most important works published by Niebuhr are The Social Sources of Denominationalism (1929), The Kingdom of God in America (1937), The Meaning of Revelation (1941), The Purpose of the Church and Its Ministry (1954), Radical Monotheism and Western Culture (1960), and The Responsible Self (1963).

Additional Reading
Studies of his life and works include Lonnie D. Kliever, H. Richard Niebuhr (1977, reissued 1991); Jon Diefenthaler, H. Richard Niebuhr (1986); James W. Fowler, To See the Kingdom: The Theological Vision of H. Richard Niebuhr (1974, reprinted 1985); and C. David Grant, God the Center of Value: Value Theory in the Theology of H. Richard Niebuhr (1984).

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Helmut Richard Niebuhr — (* 3. September 1894 in Wright City, Missouri; † 5. Juli 1962 in New Haven, Connecticut) war ein US amerikanischer Ethiker und Theologe. Er unterrichtete mehrere Jahrzehnte an der Yale Divinity School. Er beschäftigte sich u. a. mit der… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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  • Helmut — – mit den Varianten Hellmut, Helmuth, Hellmuth – ist ein fast ausschließlich in Deutschland und Österreich verbreiteter, männlicher Vorname, der ab dem 16. Jahrhundert aber auch als Familienname nachweisbar ist. Die weibliche Form Helmute ist… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Niebuhr — Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. Patronymie Barthold Georg Niebuhr (1776 1831) est un historien allemand. Carsten Niebuhr (1733 1815) est un explorateur et géographe danois d origine… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Niebuhr, Reinhold — (1892 1971)    influential theologian and ethicist    Reinhold Niebuhr was born on June 21, 1892, in Wright City, Missouri. His father was a minister in the German Evangelical Synod and his mother the daughter of an Evangelical missionary.… …   Encyclopedia of Protestantism

  • H. Richard Niebuhr — Helmut Richard Niebuhr (September 3, 1894 July 5, 1962) was one of the most important Christian theological ethicists in 20th century America, most known for his 1951 book Christ and Culture and his posthumously published book The Responsible… …   Wikipedia

  • H. Richard Niebuhr — Helmut Richard Niebuhr (* 3. September 1894 in Wright City, Missouri; † 5. Juli 1962 in New Haven, Connecticut) war ein US amerikanischer Ethiker und Theologe. Er unterrichtete mehrere Jahrzehnte an der Yale Divinity School. Er beschäftigte sich… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Reinhold Niebuhr — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Niebuhr. Karl Paul Reinhold Niebuhr (21 juin 1892 1er juin 1971) était un théologien américain protestant. Il est célèbre pour ses études sur les relations entre la foi chrétienne et la… …   Wikipédia en Français


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