Beloved community: a community in which everyone is cared for, absent of poverty, hunger, and hate. Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. popularized the term during his lifetime of activism and imbued it with new meaning, fueled by his faith that such a community was, in fact, possible. But he always acknowledged that realizing his vision would involve systems of law, education, infrastructure, health care, and municipal reform — no one sector, much less one person, could create it in isolation.” (Grace Tatter, Harvard University) In Dr. King’s mind, such a community would be the ideal corporate expression of the Christian faith.

“The Beloved Community” is a term that was first coined in the early days of the 20th Century by the philosopher-theologian Josiah Royce, who founded the Fellowship of Reconciliation. However, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., also a member of the Fellowship of Reconciliation, popularized the term and invested it with a deeper meaning which has captured the imagination of people of goodwill all over the world. (Interfaith Mission Service)

Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.  called on people to love one another, but he also called for activism in working to change the structures that perpetuate poverty, militarism, and racism. In Dr. King’s model, love proceeds, love motivates, and love completes the work of building the beloved community.  Understanding the thought process behind Dr. King’s vision can help us in living out our embodiment of God’s beloved community.

In his own words:
But the end is reconciliation; the end is redemption; the end is the creation of the beloved community. It is this type of spirit and this type of love that can transform opposers into friends. It is this type of understanding goodwill that will transform the deep gloom of the old age into the exuberant gladness of the new age. It is this love which will bring about miracles in the hearts of men.” (from “Facing the Challenge of a New Age,” 1956)

Dig Deeper:

Martin Luther King, Jr. “Beloved Community hear it in his own words – (a short video)

About Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: (a short article about his formation and accomplishments)

The Story of Martin Luther King, Jr. by Kid President – (a short video for kids and those young at heart😊)