Why A 1949 Classic Is Required Reading in 2019 | Sojourners

Why A 1949 Classic Is Required Reading in 2019

Howard Thurman offers a balm for the wounded soul of our nation.
Illustration by Stuart McReath

Howard Thurman’s seminal and seemingly timeless book Jesus and the Disinherited, published in 1949, should be required reading in every seminary—maybe even in every church.

Thurman served as a moral anchor of the civil rights movement. His career spanned the breadth of the movement, from his tenure as a professor of religion at Morehouse College and his service as dean of Rankin Chapel at Howard University to pastoring the nation’s first multiracial, interfaith church, The Church for the Fellowship of All Peoples in San Francisco, and becoming the first black dean of Boston University’s chapel. A visionary religious leader and thinker, he was a guide and inspiration to Martin Luther King Jr., James Farmer, Marian Wright Edelman, Bayard Rustin, Jesse Jackson, and many others in the struggle for civil rights, justice, and freedom.

Thurman has also had a profound impact on my own faith journey, particularly in inspiring and sustaining my commitment to faith-rooted activism.

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