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At the time of his death in 1981, Howard Thurman was Dean Emeritus of Marsh Chapel, Boston University, and Chairman of the board of trustees of the Howard Thurman Educational Trust in San Francisco. He also served as Dean of Rankin Chapel, Howard University, Washington D.C.; as professor at Howard University School of Religion, and as Director of Religion Life at Morehouse and Spelman Colleges, Atlanta. Founder of the Church for the Fellowship of All Peoples in San Francisco, the first interracial, interdenominational church in the united States, he was honorary Canon of the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine, New York City.
Poet, Mystic, Philosopher and Theologian, Dr. Thurman authored more than twenty books including, Meditations of the Heart, The Inward Journey, Jesus and the Disinherited, The Centering Moment, The Creative Encounter, The Search for Common Ground and With Head and Heart, his autobiography.
Howard Thurman was graduated from Morehouse College and from Colgate-Rochester Theological Seminary. He then became a special student of philosophy in residence at Haverford College with Rufus Jones, the noted Quaker philosopher and mystic. After serving on the faculty of Howard University as Professor the Theology and Dean of Rankin Chapel (1932-1944), he moved to San Francisco to help found the intercultural and interdenominational Church for the Fellowship of All Peoples. In 1953, he became Dean of Marsh Chapel at Boston University (1953-65).
Friends United Press and Howard Thurman began their association in 1971 with the paperback edition of The Inward Journey. Since then, twelve other titles have been added to the Thurman paperback series.
Howard Thurman's close relationship to Quakers dates back to 1929 when, he began independent study at Haverford College with Rufus M. Jones. Thurman first discovered Rufus Jones through his book, Finding the Trail of Life. "When I finished (the book) I knew that if this man were alive, I wanted to study with him", wrote Thurman in his autobiography.