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What do you think of this statement by Niebuhr?

Submitted by shawn on Tue, 03/13/2012 - 21:56

Faith and History: a comparison of Christian and modern views of history by Reinhold Niebuhr, Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York, 1949.

“While memory of unique decisions in the past prevents the past from appearing to the present as irrevocable, the capacity to live in the past by memory also emancipates the individual from the tyranny of the present. He can choose, if he wants, to reverse a present trend of history in favor of some previous trend. He can, if he wishes, seek asylum from present tumults in a past period of history, or use the memory of a past innocency to project a future of higher virtue. Memory is, in short, the fulcrum of freedom for man in history. That is why the study of history is an emancipating force in human life,” (page 19).