Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Reinhold Niebuhr Documentary

Nothing that is worth doing can be achieved 
in our lifetime; therefore we must be saved by hope.
~ Reinhold Niebuhr in The Irony of American History

Influential 20th Century American theologian, writer, and political activist Reinhold Niebuhr (1892-1971) is the subject of the documentary An American Conscience: The Reinhold Niebuhr Story (Journey Films, March 2017). In addition to examining Niebuhr's life and writings, the film by Martin Doblmeier offers interviews with former president Jimmy Carter, civil rights activist Andrew Young, New York Times columnist David Brooks,  author Susannah Heschel, and author Cornel West, among others. Actor Hal Bolbrook is the voice of Niebuhr.

Here's the trailer for the documentary, which on January 31, 2017, debuted on Union Theological Seminary's "Faith in America" series (see "What Would Niebuhr Say?" in Commonweal):

The film, which currently is being screened at numerous colleges and universities and will debut on PBS this spring, is available to purchase as a DVD. A companion book of the same title also is available to pre-order; it releases March 30.

Cover Art, An American Conscience

Of Interest

Reinhold Niebuhr, The Children of Light and the Children of Darkness (University of Chicago Press, 1944; reprint with new introduction, 2011)

Reinhold Niebuhr, The Irony of American History (University of Chicago Press, reprint, 2008)

Reinhold Niebuhr, Moral Man and Immoral Society: A Study of Ethics and Politics (Westminster John Knox Press, 2nd Ed., 2013)

Paul Elie, "A Man for All Reasons", The Atlantic, November 2007

Arthur Schlesinger Jr., "Forgetting Reinhold Niebuhr", The New York Times, September 18, 2005

John Patrick Diggins, Why Niebuhr Now? (University of Chicago Press, 2011)

Langdon Gilkey, On Niebuhr: A Theological Study (University of Chicago Press, 2001)

Elisabeth Sifton, Ed., Reinhold Niebuhr: Major Works on Religion and Politics (Library of America, 2015)

Brian Urquhart, "What You Can Learn from Reinhold Niebuhr", The New York Review of Books, March 26, 2009

Journey Films on FaceBook

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