Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




The question of the nature and meaning of history has become increasingly important in contemporary thought. In theological circles, it has become the central theme of discussion. Thereare a number of reasons why this is so. The events of the times in which we live have brought about a definite rejection of any knowledge-equals-progress idea of history as well as a call for interpretation of the profound social crises which we confront. The widespread influence of existentialism, with its emphasis on relativism and subjectivism, has brought into question not only the nature of history, in terms of present reality, but also the validit of the historians' pursuits.

Beginning from the point of Christian ethics and giving considerable attention to the nature of man, [Reinhold] Niebuhr develops his concept of history quite differently from [Rudolf] Bultmann. It will be the task of this paper to examine the idea of history in the thought of each of these men and then, through a critique and comparison, evaluate each in terms of their strengths and weaknesses as well as their similarities and differences.