The Papers of Howard Washington Thurman: Volume 5: The Wider Ministry, January 1963-April 1981

The Papers of Howard Washington Thurman: Volume 5: The Wider Ministry, January 1963-April 1981

by Walter Earl Fluker (Editor)


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The Papers of Howard Washington Thurman is a five-volume, chronologically arranged documentary edition spanning the long and productive career of the Reverend Howard Thurman, one of the most significant leaders in the history of intellectual and religious life in the mid-twentieth-century United States. The first to lead a delegation of African Americans to meet personally with Mahatma Gandhi, in 1936, Thurman later became one of the principal architects of the modern, nonviolent civil rights movement and a key mentor to Martin Luther King, Jr. In 1953 Life magazine named Thurman as one of the twelve greatest preachers of the century.

This fifth and final volume covers the last seventeen years of his life, from the end of his ministry as Boston University's dean of chapel in 1963 through his passing in April 1981. Thurman referred to these years as his "wider ministry," one untethered to a specific congregation or institution, spreading his spiritual gifts and insights as widely as possible from his base in San Francisco. A resonant theme is Thurman's interaction with the black freedom struggle, from its heyday in the early 1960s through the turn to black power and nationalism. This includes Thurman's correspondence with many of the movement's leading figures and thinkers, among them Martin Luther King, Jr.; Whitney Young, Jr.; Jesse Jackson; Vincent Harding; and Lerone Bennett.

Thurman's final years saw the culmination of his expansive religious vision, in his attempt to fashion a conception of spirituality that was at once deeply personal and truly inclusive. These final documents refer to many aspects of this, including his work with the Howard Thurman Educational Trust, his seminars with young African American divinity students, his outreach to Judaism and other religions, his efforts to come to terms with the cultural changes of the 1960s and 1970s, and his endeavors to pass on his legacy to another generation.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781611179491
Publisher: University of South Carolina Press
Publication date: 04/12/2019
Pages: 456
Sales rank: 808,370
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)

About the Author

Walter Earl Fluker is the Martin Luther King, Jr. Professor of Ethical Leadership, editor of the Howard Thurman Papers Project, and director of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Initiative for the Development of Ethical Leadership at Boston University School of Theology. He is the author of The Ground Has Shifted: The Future of the Black Church in Post-Racial America and Ethical Leadership: The Quest for Character, Civility, and Community.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations ix

Acknowledgments xi

List of Abbreviations xv

Biographical Essay xvii

Editorial Statement lvii

Howard Thurman Chronology lxiii

1963? "Non-Violence and the Art of Reconciliation" 1

6 March 1963 To S. A. Owen 9

29 April 1963 To Harold Case 10

9 June 1963 To Herbert King 12

September 1963 "Annual Report: The Wider Ministry, 1962-1963" 14

September 1963-February 1964 Africa journal 35

24 November 1963 Eulogy for John E. Kennedy 103

1964 "The Meaning of Purpose in Religious Experience" 108

30 March 1964 To Whitney M. Young Jr. 117

23 April 1964 To Elizabeth Yates McGreal 118

20 September 1964 "The Quest for the Eternal" 120

17 November 1964 To Martin Luther King, Jr. 126

19 February 3965 To Ethel S. Meeds 127

12 March 1965 "We Believe: On Jim Reeb" 130

16 June 1965 To Benjamin E. Mays 138

13 May 1966 To Martin Luther King Jr. 140

6 July 1966 To Congress of Racial Equality 140

19 August 1966 To Don Smith 143

25 August 1966 To G. Murray Branch 144

September 1966 "Desegregation, Integration, and the Beloved Community" 147

6 September 1966 From Martin Luther King, Jr. 159

8 November 1966 From Coretta Scott King 161

4 January 1967 To Joseph Palmer 2nd 162

14 April 1967 To Kivie Kaplan 165

14 April 1967 To Edward Kaplan 167

15 June 1967 To Erik Langkjaer 168

30 June 1967 To Nathan I Huggins 169

7 April 1968 Interview on the Significance of the Life and Death of Martin Luther King, Jr. 173

7 April 1968 Martin Luther King, Jr.: Litany and Words in Memoriam 176

16 April 1968 To John A. Taylor 188

May 1968 "The Dilemma of the Religious Professional" 189

4 June 1968 To William Robert Miller 194

10 June r968 To Frank Wilson 196

14 June 1968 To Margaret Burkley 198

September 1968 From Lerone Bennett 199

20 November 1968 From Coretta Scott King 201

2 July 1969 To Frank Wilson 202

7 August 1969 From Mordecai W. Johnson 205

January-February 1970 South Pacific journal 205

24 September 1970 To Fellowship Church Congregation 214

16 March 1971 Eulogy for Whitney Young 219

5 November 1971 From James Earl Massey 224

31 May 1972 "Footprints of the Disinherited" 225

17 January 1973 To Jesse Jackson 234

19 January 1973 From Johnnie Ray Youngblood 236

April 1973 "What Can We Believe In?" 238

April 1973 "Oswald McCall" 245

14 July 1973 From Vincent Harding 249

18 December 1973 From Benjamin E. Mays 254

14 May 1974 To Coretta Scott King 256

16 August 1974 From Luther E. Smith, Jr. 257

26 August 1974 To Edward Kaplan 260

23 September 1974 To Jean Burden 262

4 November 1974 To Minister, Board of Trustees, and Membership of Fellowship Church 266

22 January 1975 To L. Venchael Booth 268

28 May 1975 To Edward G. Carroll, Sr. 273

9 September 2975 To Harlan Smith 274

12 September 1976 Eulogy for Mordecai Wyatt Johnson 278

1 May 1977 "The Sound of the Genuine" 281

27 February 1978 From Derrick A. Bell Jr. 286

26 October 1978 From Douglas Morgan Strong 290

31 October 1978 To Douglas Morgan Strong 294

22 February 1980 Statement by James O. Stallings 295

7 April 1980 From Benjamin E. Mays 297

14 April 1980 To the Ministerial Search Committee of the Church for the Fellowship of All Peoples 300

6 May 1980 Interview on "Religion and Aging" 302

26 October 1980 "The Growing Edge" 311

15 February 1981 From Mozella Mitchell 318

Index 321

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