Christ and Culture

H. Richard Niebuhr Martin E. Marty James M. Gustafson

Christ and Culture

Christ and Culture

  • Title: Christ and Culture
  • Author: H. Richard Niebuhr Martin E. Marty James M. Gustafson
  • ISBN: 9780061300035
  • Page: 200
  • Format: Paperback

This 50th anniversary edition, with a new foreword by the distinguished historian Martin E Marty, who regards this book as one of the most vital books of our time, as well as an introduction by the author never before included in the book, and a new preface by James Gustafson, the premier Christian ethicist who is considered Niebuhr s contemporary successor, poses the chaThis 50th anniversary edition, with a new foreword by the distinguished historian Martin E Marty, who regards this book as one of the most vital books of our time, as well as an introduction by the author never before included in the book, and a new preface by James Gustafson, the premier Christian ethicist who is considered Niebuhr s contemporary successor, poses the challenge of being true to Christ in a materialistic age to an entirely new generation of Christian readers.

Recent Comments "Christ and Culture"

Some people speak of three categories of Christian engagement of culture: receive, reject, redeem. And Brian Godawa has written about cultural gluttons vs. cultural anorexics. People using these categories, consciously or unconsciously, have inherited this kind of systemization from H. Richard Niebuhr. Niebuhr notices five main ways that Christians interact with culture.1. Radicals see Christ and culture in opposition: Christ against culture. Tertullian and Tolstoy are presented as representativ [...]

Niehbur's book, Christ and Culture, presents five different views of how Christians understood Christ and Culture. The first is Christ Against Culture, which is best displayed by the anabaptists and the Amish. It is the separatist view. The second is Christ Of Culture. This is best pictured by liberal Protestantism, and its efforts to interpret culture as if it were representative of Christ. These folks tend to interpret philosophy and science as if it is all good and teaches what Christ himself [...]

Now that I've read this, I'm finding that it is considered an extremely important work in the conversation on how Christians should engage with culture. (Western Lit mates, we had a discussion question that drew upon its categorization of possible approaches.)Basically, H. Richard Niebuhr--Reinhold Niebuhr's brother--analyzes five different ways (or "typologies" of ways) that Christians have historically approached the problem of dual commitments to Christ and to the culture in which they live: [...]

The hand on the cover represents the five views of Christ and Culture: Christ against culture, Christ of culture, and Christ over culture. The last has three are related sub-types: syncretism, dualism, and conversionism. Conversionism says that, as Christians in culture, we recognize that Christ is Lord of culture and through history is transforming culture through the application of gospel living to all aspects of life. The kingdoms of the world have become the kingdom of our Lord, and of His C [...]

Niebuhr attempts to understand and evaluate the various ways in which Christians throughout history and today have understood the relationship between Christ and culture. These he divides into five types:1. "Christ Against Culture" -- Those who posit that Christ and culture are diametrically opposed and cannot be reconciled.2. "Christ of Culture" -- Those who attempt to domesticate Christ within the confines of whatever culture they happen to find themselves in already.3. "Christ Above Culture" [...]

Really enjoyed this. Want to review it with a phrase I don't think has been used concerning it before, which is "rollicking good time." Conversionism, baby!

How should Christians interact with the world? That's the question that Richard Niebuhr tries to answer in this book, exhaustively explaining 5 common viewpoints on the issue. This book is very, very challenging, and not at all for the faint of heart, but the topic is one that all Christians should consider. In the end, Niebuhr never reveals what he believes in this regard, and does a great job of showing no bias in his analysis. Fantastic read, and I would absolutely recommend this book to all [...]

H. Richard Niebuhr argues that the fundamental problem facing the Christian movement is and has always been how to practically relate itself to the social and cultural realities in the larger world. He further suggests that the way Christians have responded to this problem fall within one of five general motifs. The primary way that Niebuhr supports these arguments is to cite historical writings of influential Christian thought leaders throughout the centuries and categories their ideas into one [...]

A broad but incisive analysis of the historical trends in Christian thought regarding cultural engagement. Niebuhr is as skilled a guide as one could ask for.

Many things impressed me positively about this book, but the one thing that stands out among the rest is the way in which Niebuhr reveals the viability of each typology while attempting to fairly critique each one. He takes into account the complexities of the Christian ethos with respects to culture and context and does not ascribe “true” Christianity to one specific typology. He insists, rather, that each typology presented have both strengths and weaknesses, and no one can “itself exist [...]

Niebuhr was so remarkably prescient in plotting the trajectory of culture and thought, it's difficult to imagine that he wrote this text more than 60 years ago. In this book, Niebuhr points out five ideal typologies for "heuristic use" that categorize theological approaches to Christian ethics, specifically the way Christians move between nature/reason in culture, and faith/the Bible. The five main categories, which he lists and then explores in detail, are "Christ against culture," "Christ abov [...]

A historically important book receives a few new features with this 50th anniversary binding. Martin Marty (Fundamentalism Project) contributes an article as does ethicist James Gustafson. Gustafson's article is a helpful read in that he defends Niebuhr and his work from contemporary critics. As far as Niebuhr's work itself goes, it really needs no introduction. It has been so influential that most will be familiar with its categories ("typologies"), even if they have never cracked open this boo [...]

An interesting analysis and approach, but you realize pretty quick Niebuhr's Christ and Culture are fairly abstract concepts that hinder his interpretation. The content of the Christian faith does not play a major part into his argumentation and culture is always defined in abstract terms. He never answers the questions "Which Christ?" "Which Culture?" Moreover, where is the church as a culture? Niebuhr seems to assume the church is always created by culture but can never itself be a culture. Th [...]

This review pertains quite specifically to the thesis I am currently writing titled, “Imperfect Institutions: Culture, Love, and Justice in the Letters and Sermons of Augustine.” As such, it may not offer a holistic portrait of Christ and Culture, as I focus almost exclusively on Niebuhr’s analysis of Augustine in the penultimate chapter.The analysis offered by H. Richard Niebuhr in his influential book, Christ and Culture, is helpful in a careful examination of Augustine’s attitude towa [...]

H. Richard Niebuhr writes as a Christian, but this work has meaning beyond the scope of the Christian faith. Here, he analyzes how the sacred can relate to the profane, the spiritual to the mundane.After defining "Christ" (Mediator, involving double movement, from God toward man & from men toward God) and "Culture" (the artificial, secondary environment that man imposes on the natural), he dedicates a chapter to each of the five ways he sees the sacred & profane relating.The first of the [...]

The relationship between Christ and "Culture" is perhaps the perennial issue faced by Christians. Niebuhr calls it the "enduring problem". It is the issue of an individual, existing within a community of individuals, who have been called by God to be a people. His people, to be precise. How does this people organize itself and relate to one another within the community? How does it view its relationship with the world that exists "outside" of the community? How does it see itself as essentially [...]

Richard Niebuhr was one of the 20th century's most insightful theologians. Praised by both Evangelicals and Liberals, the younger brother of Reinhold Niepbuhr was seen as a bridge between liberal and evangelical circles. However, as I've read Niebuhrs' work I have increasingly mixed feelings about it. He does give a great framework for understanding how Christians have distinguished themselves from wider society, however, his own views on the subject seem to conflict with orthodox Christian beli [...]

I wrestle with my appreciation for this book. I think the categories or types Niebuhr discusses and outlines are very helpful for the discussion of Christ and culture, and yet there were times where I felt he was almost portraying a caricature of the people he was presenting as examples of each approach. I know his presentation of Luther failed to adequately embrace the nuances of the great Reformer's evolving theology over the years. I though his presentation of Paul's thought was saddeningly s [...]

I thoroughly enjoyed Niebuhr's classic work on culture and ministry. Although many have poked at this book as dated or inadequate, I found it to be a great first step in understanding the relationship between the Christ, the Church and the culture. I read it in a study on contextualization and enjoyed the perspective it brought to the conversation. While the book is not modern in every way, it does provide useful guidance that helpful to current work.

A brilliant analysis detailing how a Christian's over-emphasis on one facet of the faith and under-emphasis on other facets shapes their beliefs. The author was the brother of famed 20th-c. liberal American preacher Reinhold Niebuhr.

Niebuhr's typology work is excellent, but I find his exemplars to be lacking. At times he gets so deep into the philosophical roots and ideas that it loses much sense of practical application. An important read, but you have to figure out for yourself what it looks like.

The last chapter was so boringly philosophical and depressing!

This is a well organized argument presenting five sides to a critical problem between Christ and culture. Niebuhr argues Christ against culture, Christ of culture, Christ above culture, Christ and culture in paradox and finally Christ transforming culture. Although his postscript to these arguments is inconclusive, he does call for a decision, not from the community of faith but from the individual to decide. He begins with an impasse that Christ is sinless but culture is sinful overlaying this [...]

Niebuhr commits two faults. First, Niebuhr misrepresents Lutheran doctrine. It is true that Luther favoured paradoxes, but he misunderstands Luther’s doctrine by comparing it to dualism. Dualism comes from Gnosticism, which posits that matter and spiritual realms are opposed and matter is therefore evil. Niebuhr compares Luther’s doctrine of the two kingdoms to dualism in that yes, culture is opposed to Christ, but Luther never calls culture evil. Culture is opposed to Christ because as cult [...]

This is a perennial classic from Niebuhr. I first read it in seminary years ago, and have since returned to it to contextualize Christians' response to the world. Coming from a tradition that pitted Christ against culture, one of Niebuhr's 5 categories, it was refreshing for me to see how others have postured the faith in light of what their traditions have taught. My early background was sectarian, drawing lines between the church and the world it lives in. Others have viewed Christ as above cu [...]

This is a classic for a reason. In this book the distinguished theologian and ethicist H. Richard Niebuhr outlines five approaches Christians have in engaging (or in the case of one, withdrawing from) society. Niebuhr is quick to admit many believers will overlap into several of these typologies. This is a dense read with a lot of complex content and were I too reread it I would do so as part of a reading group. A drawback to this book is that while Niebuhr helpfully uses examples of historic Ch [...]

The Petersens, in 100 Christian Books That Changed the Century, say that this book 'has been foundational reading for scholars and other observers trying to make sense of Christianity in the United States over the last century'. They do make large claims and are a little less than precise at times (e.g. this book was published in 1951 so is well short of the century). However, I can see why it would have been widely read. It covers all aspects of the historical thinking about the subject, and it [...]

Closely reasoned discussion of how Christians face the issues relatedto influencing the world around them. He gives several diverse answerswhich have been held by Christian leaders at various times. He pointsout weaknesses with each but concludes:a. because of the partial (his word is 'relative') state of our knowledge,we cannot decide which is the correct position for all believers.b. although these viewpoints seem to contradict, he says that they actuallywork together to accomplish the work of [...]

READ MAR 2013Heavy, but good, read in this classic from H.R. Niebuhr. Too many quotes to pick from.will settle for (some) a couple from the last chapter:"All our faith is fragmentary, though we do not all have the same fragments of faithwhen we reason and act in faith and so give our Christian answer, we act on the ground of partial, piecemeal faith, so that there is perhaps a little Christianity in our answer" (p. 236); "In every work of culture we relative men, with our relative points of view [...]

Considered a classic if not THE classic text of theological work around this topic I am glad I read it to give me a base for understanding current work and theology that has sprung from it. It's an important text, however, I think that we make the mistake of holding it a bit too high on the pedestal and that we lose ourselves in it for the expense of updated and more sociologically competent works. It's good work, but it remains limited in both worldview AND misses a few points for me when it se [...]

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