In Memoriam: Richard Reinhold Niebuhr

Richard Reinhold Niebuhr

Longtime HDS professor Richard Reinhold Niebuhr, Hollis Professor of Divinity Emeritus, passed away on Sunday, February 26, at the age of 90.

Niebuhr was a renowned theologian, researcher, and scholar and was an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ.

Born in Chicago in 1926, Niebuhr enlisted in the Navy when he was 18 years old. He graduated from Harvard College in 1947 and received a BD from Union Theological Seminary before completing his PhD in theology from Yale University. He began teaching at HDS in 1956. During the 1980s, he was instrumental in the creation and oversight of the area of the HDS curriculum devoted to Christianity and culture.

As HDS mourns Richard Niebuhr’s passing, it also celebrates his legacy and outstanding teaching career at Harvard and the qualities that earned him the affection of his former students, colleagues, and friends.