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Boisi Center for Religion and American Public Life

Realism, Ethics and U.S. Foreign Policy


By Jean Bethke Elshtain:

  • Jean Bethke Elshtain, Sovereignty: God, State and Self (BasicBooks, 2008)
  • Jean Bethke Elshtain, “Against the New Utopianism,” Ethics & International Affairs 19.2 (2005): 91-95.
  • Jean Bethke Elshtain, “International Justice as Equal Regard and the Use of Force,” Ethics & International Affairs 17.2 (Fall 2003): 63-75.
  • Jean Bethke Elshtain, Just War Against Terror: The Burden of American Power in a Violent World (BasicBooks, 2003).

By Andrew Bacevich:

  • Andrew Bacevich, "American Triumphalism: A Postmortem," Commonweal 30, Jan 2009.
  • Andrew Bacevich, The Limits of Power: The End of American Exceptionalism (Metropolitan, 2008)
  • Andrew Bacevich, "The Realist Presumption," Boston Globe, 6 Nov 2005.

By J. Bryan Hehir:

  • J. Bryan Hehir, “Religion, Realism and Just Intervention,” in Dionne/Elshtain/Drogosz, eds., Liberty and Power (Brookings, 2004), 11-33.
  • J. Bryan Hehir, “The Moral Measurement of War: A Tradition of Change and Continuity,” in The Sacred and the Sovereign (Georgetown, 2003), 41-65.

National Security Strategy and Commentary:

On Reinhold Niebuhr and Christian Realism:

  • Reinhold Niebuhr, The Irony of American History (Chicago, 2008); introduction by Andrew Bacevich
  • Robin Lovin, Christian Realism and the New Realities (Cambridge, 2008).
  • John Carlson, “Is There a Christian Realist Theory of War and Peace? Reinhold Niebuhr and Just War Thought,” Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics 28.1 (Spring/Summer 2008).
  • Articles on Obama and Niebuhr in the Presidential campaign (2007/08).
  • Reinhold Niebuhr, “Why the Christian Church is Not Pacifist,” and “Must We Do othing?” in Richard Miller, ed., War in the 20th Century: Sources in Theological Ethics (Westminster/JKP, 1992), 3-18, 28-46.


"Speaking of Faith" with Krista Tippett by American Public Media. February 12, 2009.

"Obama's Theologian: The Legacy of Reinhold Nieburh and the Future of Christian Realism"
David Brooks and E.J. Dionne on Reinhold Niebuhr and the American Present