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Howard Thurman: Essential Writings (Modern Spiritual Masters Series) Paperback – November 8, 2006

4.4 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Thurman's best contribution was his ability, before many other people were doing it in our culture, to bring together the inner life, the life of passion, the life of fire, with the external life, the life of politics. --Martin E. Marty, University of Chicago

About the Author

Luther E. Smith, Jr., teaches at the Candler School of Theology of Emory University in Atlanta. He is senior consulting editor of the Howard Thurman Papers Project and the author of several books, including Howard Thurman: The Mystic as Prophet
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Product Details

  • Series: Modern Spiritual Masters
  • Paperback: 174 pages
  • Publisher: Orbis Books (November 8, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1570756708
  • ISBN-13: 978-1570756702
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #786,134 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Kerry Walters VINE VOICE on February 6, 2008
Format: Paperback
In what's arguably his best book, Jesus and the Disinherited, Howard Thurman asks what message Jesus has to give to those whose backs are against the wall. In his Introduction to this new compilation of Thurman's spiritual writings, editor Luther Smith points out (p. 28) that Jesus advises neither blaming the wall nor trying to flee, but instead to respond with love, thereby asserting autonomy over the situation. In a fundamental way, this is the heart of Thurman's thought and activism: liberating oneself, through love, to be fully human; liberating others, through love, to be fully human; and liberating God, through love, to be fully God.

It's a shame that Thurman isn't as well-known today as he was even a short quarter of a century ago. As a Christian pacifist, he influenced most of the leaders of the American Civil Rights Movement. As a college chaplain and teacher, he moved hundreds of students to reflect deeply on the moral life. As a popular and insightful preacher and author, he inspired thousands of listeners and readers to to take more seriously what it means to be a Christian. He anticipated both liberation theology and theologies of the oppressed.

The love ethic so central to Thurman's thought undergirds one of the most notable features of his teachings: its loving embrace of alternative religious perspectives. Thurman was convinced that there are universal truths, but that humans can only encounter them in particulars. We have no sub specie aeternitatus perspective. So God is discernible in particular modes of worship, particular doctrines, particular faith traditions. But no particular can encompass a universal. So while the universal is encountered in the particular, no particular has a monopoly on truth or revelation.

Smith is to be commended for reintroducing Thurman in this lovely compilation.
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Format: Paperback
This is a beautiful volume with a smooth cover that feels good in the hand. The typeface is bright. Howard Thurman is brilliant. But this is not a collection of great essays, it's fragments from different essays put together like a classroom lecture. Nothing against that: it has its place. But I bought the book to read Thurman, and in this I was frustrated because the texts were too cut up to make anything of. Very disappointed. Will instead do what I should have done to begin with and start with Jesus and the Disinherited and get the autobiography after that.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I purchased this book for a class assignment. Intense but god read. The book was delivered in excellent condition. Thank you.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A good collection of Thurman's works, great introduction to his deep understanding of social and cultural issues from an African American's perspective. Theology at it's best!!! He is a balance to all the surface acceptance of quick answers to serious questions. How to live together, acknowledging differences,and commonalities, certainly under-read like so many prophets. A treasure for our time.
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