Howard Thurman (1899-1981), theologian, author, and mentor to many leaders of the Civil Rights Movement, preached a message of radical nonviolence. In 1936, he had led a delegation to Southern Asia, where he met and conversed deeply with Mahatma Ghandi. Thurman’s most famous book, Jesus and the Disinherited, developed Ghandi’s Hindu-influenced philosophy into nonviolent resistance from a Christian perspective. Martin Luther King was known to carry this book with him in his briefcase.
Dr. Thurman’s commitment to nonviolence was more than as a tactic in the struggle against oppression. It was a philosophy, a spiritual discipline, a way of life. Radical nonviolence may be understood as characterized by three tenets: Do not give into fear, do not be afraid to speak truth, do not allow hate to dominate your thoughts or actions. Recognize our common humanity as you work for change. And what we have called the Beloved Community will be fulfilled by engaging in the process, painful on both sides, of deep reconciliation with one’s former oppressors.
For more information on Howard Thurman, CLICK HERE.
Creating the path to Non – Violence CLICK HERE.
Quotes from Howard Thurman’s works CLICK HERE.
To learn more about the remarkable life and ministry of Howard Thurman, read the recent biography by historian Paul Harvey. CLICK HERE.