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Thurman, Howard

b. 1899 - d. 1981

Howard Thurman, prominent twentieth century theologian, preacher and social critic, was educated at Morehouse College and Colgate Rochester Divinity School. An ordained Baptist minister, he was deeply influenced by the Quaker mystic Rufus Jones. In 1935, Thurman traveled to Ceylon, Burma and India and was the first African American to meet Gandhi. A theology professor at Morehouse, Spelman and Howard, he founded the Church of the Fellowship of All Peoples in San Francisco, America’s first fully integrated interracial interfaith church. In 1953, Thurman was appointed university professor at Boston University (BU) and became dean of Marsh Chapel. At BU, Thurman was a mentor to Dr. King, who always carried with him Thurman’s book Jesus and the Disinherited. A pacifist and leader in the Fellowship of Reconciliation (FOR), Thurman connected nonviolence with the African American spiritual tradition and was mentor and advisor to many of the Civil Rights Movement’s leaders.

Associated Archive Content : 6 results

A Religion of Doing

Dr. King delivered this sermon at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church on July 4, 1954. In the sermon, Dr. King asserts the importance of active religion over passive theoretical practice. Citing the Book of Matthew, he maintains that belief and action must be united, as action is the crux of true religion. He proclaims that the church has to be a passage of the "dynamic force" that encourages action of its members.

Letter from Benjamin E. Mays to Morehouse College Board of Trustees

Morehouse College President Benjamin E. Mays encourages the institution's board of trustee members to participate in the Centennial Convocation platform party. President Mays also encloses a calendar of events for the College's 100th Anniversary week.

Letter from Bob Strain to MLK

Bob Strain writes Dr. King after reading an article in Newsweek entitled "Albany Movement." He apologizes for the ignorant behavior of fellow whites and expresses his desire to be a part of the movement. He also conveys his admiration for Dr. King and his work.

Letter to Men of Morehouse from Morehouse President Benjamin E. Mays

Morehouse President Benjamin E. Mays discusses the events during Centennial Founders Week at Morehouse College for those who were not in attendance. He also informs the Men of Morehouse of the upcoming commencement ceremony.

Morehouse College Centennial Program

This program highlights week-long events for Morehouse College's first 100 year anniversary in 1967. One of the many notable attendees is Howard Thurman, who at that point was a close friend and mentor to Dr. King.

Strength to Love

This is the printer?s proof of Strength to Love, Dr. King?s book of sermons that was published in 1963. He drafted three of the sermons while serving a fifteen-day jail term in Albany, Georgia. Although his editors lauded the first draft, they later deleted strong phrases about segregation, colonialism and capitalism and many of his statements against war. The collection includes some of Dr. King's most popular sermons, including: Loving Your Enemies, Paul?s Letter to American Christians, A Knock at Midnight, A Tough Mind and a Tender Heart, and Three Dimensions of a Complete Life.