These 11 historic sermons--some complete recordings of entire addresses, others reconstructed from various church services--make plain why Martin Luther King Jr. considered his "first calling and greatest commitment" to be a preacher of the gospel. As an orator he is second to none, drawing his audience in with an urgency that resonates through every soaring cadence of his familiar, powerful voice. Using insights from psychology, philosophy, and the Bible, he appeals to the heads as well as the hearts of his congregations, explaining that personal and social change can only be effected by adopting a morality of love in service of God and humankind. While King's concern for social justice is a common theme throughout, each sermon is a jewel of literary artistry, as it presents a simple problem, examines its complications, and offers a startling and often challenging resolution. Topics range from "Rediscovering Lost Values," a caution that scientific progress without moral progress can result only in a step backward for humanity, to "An American Dream," a wake-up call to the "self-evident truth" of equality proclaimed in the Constitution.
Brief introductions to the sermons from spiritual leaders and friends, including Dr. Joan Campbell, Billy Graham, Dr. Robert Franklin, and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, offer personal insights into King's life, work, and legacy. An interesting note from the producers explains how the recordings of the sermons (published in a hardcover companion of the same name) were pieced together. In word and in voice, these are masterpieces of theological literature from one of the world's great orators, who Robert Franklin rightly says may well be "the greatest religious intellectual of the twentieth century." (Running time: 8 hours, 6 cassettes) --Uma Kukathas
From Library Journal
The King family and Time Warner have collaborated on this selection of memorable sermons by King, from "Why Jesus Called a Man a Fool" to "Remaining Awake Through a Great Revolution." Each sermon has its own introduction, with the Rev. Billy Graham and Nobel Prize winner Desmond Tutu among the contributors. (An audio version is also available.)
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