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Niebuhr, Hromadka, Troeltsch, and Barth

The Significance of Theology of History for Christian Social Ethics

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Kosuke Nishitani

Just as history of the twentieth century experienced dramatic events - World War I, Communism, Nazism, World War II, the Cold War, and the ruin of the Soviet Union - Christian theology underwent significant phases: dialectic theology, de-mythologization, theology of hope, theology of liberation, and post-liberal theology of narrative. One of its most important advances is the recognition that the departure point of theology is nothing, but God's self-revelation. While evaluating this vantage point, the author explores a new, necessary perspective for relevant Christian social ethics by analyzing the theological relations of Niebuhr, the American theologian of liberal democracy; Hromadka, the Czech theologian of communism; Barth, the Swiss theologian of revelation; and Troeltsch, the German theologian of history.