Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

Paul Ramsey and Reinhold Niebuhr on a Public Theology of Tragedy and the Problem of Dirty Hands

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
MyBook is a cheap paperback edition of the original book and will be sold at uniform, low price.

Buy this article

$30.00+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites

image of International Journal of Public Theology

Modern discussions of the problem of ‘dirty hands’ often draw upon a tradition of thinking in American public theology that wrestles with political conflicts between moral limitations and responsibilities. This article examines the problem of dirty hands through the way two significant figures in the field, Paul Ramsey and Reinhold Niebuhr, employ concepts of tragedy in their public theological writings. The analysis suggests that Ramsey and Niebuhr provide several starting points for describing the ambiguous realities of the political context and establishing limits on morally permissible political behaviour. This offers a significant challenge to the idea that ‘tragedy’ can be used to describe the liberal failings of either scholar and asserts the potential helpfulness of their arguments as the church seeks to exchange reasons in a democratic culture.


Article metrics loading...


Affiliations: 1: Duke University USA; 2: Seton Hall University USA


Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to email alerts
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    International Journal of Public Theology — Recommend this title to your library

    Thank you

    Your recommendation has been sent to your librarian.

  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation