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Reinhold Niebuhr
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Religious Figure
    (June 21, 1892-June 1, 1971)
    Born in Wright City, Missouri
    Birth name was Karl Paul Reinhold Neibuhr
    United Church of Christ minister
    Professor of Practical Theology at Union Theological Seminary (1928-60)
    Wrote 'Moral Man and Immoral Society' (1932), 'Interpretation of Christian Ethics' (1935), 'The Nature and Destiny of Man' (1941), 'The Children of Light and the Children of Darkness' (1944), 'Faith and History' (1949), 'The Irony of American History' (1952), 'Christian Realism and Political Problems' (1953), 'Pious and Secular America' (1958) and 'The Structure of Nations and Empires' (1959)
    Author of the 'Serenity Prayer' ('God, grant us the serenity to accept the things that cannot be changed, the courage to change the things that should be changed, and the wisdom to distinguish the one from the other.')
    He went from being a militant socialist who promoted the Communist Party's 'united front' to a die-hard anti-Communist.
    He went from being a hardline pacifist to a 'just war' theologian who supported nuclear weapons development.
    His authorship of the Serenity Prayer has been disputed.
    As a pastor in Detroit, he spoke out for workers' rights and against the rise of the Ku Klux Klan.
    He wrote, 'Man's capacity for justice makes democracy possible, but man's inclination to injustice makes democracy necessary.'
    The Serenity Prayer was adopted by Alcoholics Anonymous.
    Martin Luther King, Jr., and Barack Obama have cited him as an influence.

Credit: C. Fishel


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