Nine Modern Moralists: Paul Tillich, Karl Marx, H. Richard Niebuhr, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Reinhold Niebuhr, Jacques Maritain, Jean-Paul Sartre, Emil Br

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9780819134141: Nine Modern Moralists: Paul Tillich, Karl Marx, H. Richard Niebuhr, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Reinhold Niebuhr, Jacques Maritain, Jean-Paul Sartre, Emil Br
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Introduction Something about Christian Social Ethics The greatness of the men whose insight and reflections are the subject of the following chapters is obviously a sufficient justification for this volume. The reader who simply wants to learn what was felt and thought and believed by some of the outstanding minds of the immediate past and of the present can, it is hoped, do so by reading the chapters of this book as expository essays. Here he will find their thought anatomized; and, in relatively brief compass, it may be possible for him to become seriously engaged in thinking their thoughts after them. Certainly, no one can come to an understanding of the latest and best of contemporary ideas and ideals by going around these men; only by going through them can one gain a deeper understanding of himself and of our epoch. That is the first purpose of this book: to provide an introduction to nine selected modern moralists. The second purpose is constructive and critical. Exposition and explanation by themselves are not the aim of these chapters. The highest tribute one can pay any thinker, or any body of writing, is to wrestle with it; and this may well be the best way to bring out the innermost and most vital meaning of what any man has said. I trust that in this wrestling I have nowhere simply commanded an issue to be gone, or have ignored the real meaning or the strength of an idea or point of view in rejecting or reformulating it. The procedure employed in criticism is always an internal one. This is to say that it always seems best to go as far as one can with another mans thought, developing it up to the point where some criticism or objection or revision unfolds itself, as it were, from within the system or structure of thought under examination. In this way the most constructive results may be expected from criticism; and, in this way also, constructi
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