Reinhold Niebuhr Timeline: Accepts position at Princeton

Reinhold Niebuhr Timeline: Accepts position at Princeton

Correspondence with Bishop Will Scarlett

The Institute for Advanced Study
Princeton, New Jersey


Dear Will:
Nice to get your prompt letter. We are settled in Princeton in a super-modern apartment with one whole side glass. Ursula enjoys it very much and I like it provided it is only for a year. Ursula commutes twice a week to Barnard. I am getting started in my work though I find the prospect somehwhat terrifying. About Barth and Tillich and myself. I wouldn't want to be Tertullian. He was too obscurantist. I would rather emulate Augustine. This comparison Tillich made. The reason I don't like the "ontology of love" is that ontology is the sciences of essences and love is in history and not in essential nature the only ontology in love is the natural basis of marriage in heterosexuality. My quarrel with Tillich is that he subsumes all history and grace into metaphysics, but he does it with tremendous skill. Wish we were in NYC so that you could combine Grennwich with NY.

Love to you both

Reinhold Niebuhr Papers: Library of Congress, Manuscript Reading Room

Share Episode

Shortened URL


Paul Elie

is senior editor at Farrar, Straus and Giroux and author of The Life You Save May Be Your Own: An American Pilgrimage.

Jean Bethke Elshtain

is an author and Laura Spelman Rockefeller Professor of Social and Political Ethics at the University of Chicago Divinity School.

Robin Lovin

is Cary M. Maguire University Professor of Ethics at the Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University, and the author of Reinhold Niebuhr and Christian Realism.