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Reinhold Niebuhr의 정치윤리
- Reinhold Niebuhr의 정치윤리
- Other Titles
- (A) Study of Reinhold Niebuhr's Political Ethics
- Issue Date
- 대학원 기독교학과
- Reinhold Niebuhr; 정치윤리; 인간본성
- 이화여자대학교 대학원
- Today, the world is getting more and more diversified into complicated groups and classes, so that social organizations and policies themselves gain stronger powers than individuals.
Nevertheless, Christianity in Korea maintains metaphysical norms which emphasize only individual ethical aspect by which people are forced to love, serve and sacrifice. Under these circumstances, it is neaningful to revive niebuhr's political ethics, combining the dual aspects, theology and politics.
Niebuhr does not deal only with religious doctrines and theological issues. He sees the depth of reality, through the eyes of the Bible and makes concrete problems of reality related to the message of the Bible. the contents of Gospel, which discusses human liberation and freedom, cannot be isolated from the concrete realities and historical situations. He penetrates into social disorder and the depth of human guilt in his political ethics and by doing so examines both the self-transendence and the self-finitude with his dialectical-method and presents both possibilities and limitations of socio-political ethics, and its norms. He is interested in how Christian faith can be relevant to social problems.
Niebuhr's political ethics is in intimate relation with his understanding of human nature. Thus he observes problems of concrete situations penetrating into the depths of human sins.
He concludes it by trying to understand human nature. Paradoxical relationship between self-transendence in the doctrine of image of God and self-finitude, natural necessities and contingencies in the doctrine of creation generated the idea of inevitable but not necessary sin. There is an element of inevitability about men's precarious situation on the boundary between nature and spirit that tempts him to grasp at partial securities and absolutize them.
Consequently, Man becomes anxious on account of both this self-finitude and self-transendence and becomes inclined to overcome anxiety. Anxiety in its essence has the elemants of both destructiveness and creativity. In removing the anxiety, this self-transendence ends up with an effort to enlarge self-security through will-to-power and pride . At the same time, man commits sensual sin with which he abandons his freedom and responsibility by indulging himself into impulsive necessities of life. But Niebuhr holds that Sin is rather made by the pride of too much freedom than by its sensual aspects.
The depth of this sin can be never removed by man's capacity and achievement. Instead, it can be overcome by the power, grace and mercy of God. This is largely based on the Christian faith that the sins of self-interests, self-love, self-pride can not be overcome by an earnest self-regeneration.
Man tends to be more self-deceiving, self-justifying and falsely proud. He sees far greater possibilities of self-deception in commitment to social groups. The ethical attitude of the individual towards his group easily obscures the unethical nature of the group desire. He finds such a tendency typically in one's patriotic attitude toward his nation. In nation one covers the falsity of idologies and reliance on power, with patriotism. Here he realistically approaches the capacity of power. He thinks that human nature can bring about an ethical society, but at the same time it can also bring about tyranny and anarchism. He emphasizes the fact that central organization of power and balance of power are necessary for proper ethical fulfilment. At the same time, central-organization of power and balance of power may also bring about tyranny and anarchism according to his analysis of human nature.
His analysis of the aspects of power, constructive and destructive, and of self-transendence and self-finitude can be found reflected in his theory of love and justice. to him, ethics of love is "impossible possibility" and love, as absolute norms of ethics and as the means of practical ethics, through central-organization and balance of power maintains a dynamic relationship with justice. All ideas of justice is for him both negated and fulfilled by love. Justice is partly an embodiment of love. Justice involves an element of calculation of interests. "The first is that justice must always be thought of in dynamic terms and that love can always raise justice to new heights." Christian love is related to our social decisions by way of such general ethical principles justice and order and freedom.
This aspect appears in democratic system of politics. His analysis democratic system is based on christian faith. "Religion is a necessary element in the theory of democracy." Reason, tolerance, mutual love make democracy possible, and self-interest, self-love, self-pride, false idealism, all manners of rationalization and ideologies of group power make democracy necessary. "Man's capacity of group power make democracy possible, but man's inclination to injustice makes democracy necessary."
The individualistic, pietistic and moralistic ethic of korean Christianity has yet much to learn from Niebuhr's theological realism.
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