Il realista delle distanze. Reinhold Niebuhr e la politica internazionale

Translated title of the contribution: [Autom. eng. transl.] The realist of distances. Reinhold Niebuhr and international politics

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[Autom. eng. transl.] "The prophet", Flannery O'Connor observes in Mystery and Manners, "is a realist of distances", that is, one who "does not hesitate to distort appearances to show a hidden truth". On the other hand, adds the Savannah writer, the prophecy "is not a question of predicting the future", but rather consists of "seeing things in all the extent of their meaning and therefore seeing distant things in the foreground". During the 20th century, Reinhold Niebuhr (1892-1971) shows the unmistakable features that distinguish the mysterious figure of the "realist of distances". The Protestant theologian represents the principal exponent of political Augustinianism in the twentieth century, which shows the fruitful relationship between Christianity and International Relations. Moreover, he helps his contemporaries to see distant things in the foreground, to see international politics in all its significance. Between the 1930s and the 1960s, with no intention of predicting or anticipating the future, Niebuhr developed "Christian realism". An approach that, not yielding the opposite risk of cynicism or utopia, expresses a conception of human nature, politics and history that wants to witness the urgency of moderation and responsibility in the exercise of power, as well as the need of the moral control of the political dimension within an imperfect world. More than four decades after his death, Niebuhr's thought is still current, precisely because he shows and promotes a critical view of political reality that can offer a useful contribution to the understanding of transformations and to the analysis of the international dynamics of contemporary global system.
Translated title of the contribution[Autom. eng. transl.] The realist of distances. Reinhold Niebuhr and international politics
Original languageItalian
Number of pages182
ISBN (Print)9788849839739
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Christian Realism
  • Filosofia politica
  • International Relations Theory
  • Political Philosophy
  • Realism
  • Realismo
  • Realismo cristiano
  • Reinhold Niebuhr
  • Teoria delle relazioni internazionali


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