Moral Law, Privative Evil and Christian Realism: Reconsidering Milbank`s `The Poverty of Niebuhrianism'

Studies in Christian Ethics 22 (2):211-228 (2009)
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This paper responds to John Milbank's essay, `The Poverty of Niebuhrianism' in The Word Made Strange, in which Milbank critiques Reinhold Niebuhr's Christian realism for reliance on Stoic natural law thinking and its deficiency in regard to original sin. While Milbank rightly detects naturalism in Christian realism, this naturalism is inaccurately identified as Stoic in conception. Additionally, more detailed analysis of Niebuhr's thought reveals similarities between Niebuhr and Milbank on original sin, as this article seeks to demonstrate



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