The Thomas Merton Center at Bellarmine University

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Author QuotedGordon Harland
Title QuotedThought of Reinhold Niebuhr
Date (Year/Month/Day)1960/09/29
Imprint[S.l.] : [s.n.]. 1960
QuotationPolitics-at last I think I am beginning to come out of my stupor. Excellent book on [Reinhold] Niebuhr (by G. Harland). A great and lucid mind and profoundly Christian. One of the most hopeful signs in America. I must examine the superficiality of my European prejudices. There is a great deal wrong with my instinctive tendency to think in a French way about America. Certainly it is the easiest way. It gives me the impression of being independent, but it is only another form of passivity. The sentimental, out of date moralism and shallow self-righteousness of most American thought is too self-evident for comment. It is a tragedy of great dimensions. But But for me to reject all American ideas would be another tragedy. We know we need something better. The courageous thing is not to be negative but to seek, like Niebuhr, to build something solid. Even to fail in this would be nobler than a total rejection.
Quotation SourceTurning Toward the World: The Pivotal Years. The Journals of Thomas Merton, Volume 4, 1960-1963.; Edited by Victor A. Kramer. / San Francisco : Harper Collins. 1996, p. 53
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