“Men are not Perfect or Essentially Good”: Finding Perry Miller and Reinhold Niebuhr’s Common Ground

Thomas S. Kidd


Reinhold Niebuhr became America’s most well known theologian in the mid-twentieth century and even attracted the attention of certain secular academics who became known as the “Atheists for Niebuhr.” Thomas S. Kidd considers the intellectual affinities between Niebuhr and one such scholar, the renowned historian of the American Puritans, Perry Miller. He argues that Miller sympathized with Niebuhr’s views on sin, irony, and Christian realism, though he could ultimately not join Niebuhr in Christian belief. Mr. Kidd is Assistant Professor of History at Baylor University.


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Last Updated: January 22, 2004
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