Howard Thurman: preacher, mystic, educator, transformer

Sunday, June 23, 2019 | 1:00pm

Howard Thurman was born, November 18, 1899 or 1900. Thurman was raised in Daytona, Florida, by a formerly enslaved grandmother.  He became ordained minister; later he taught theology at Morehouse State College, amongst other accomplishments.  While studying at Haverford College with a mystical Quaker named Rufus Jones, Thurman developed a spirit of mysticism combined with activism rooted in faith.  In 1936, he led a delegation to South Asia, there he met Mahandas K. McGhandi (Mahatma Gandhi).  From this experience he learned of the idea of non-violence as a means of activism.

Thurman was prolific.  In his most memorable work, Jesus and the Disinherited, Thurman portrayed Jesus as a liberating figure.  He interpreted the New Testament Gospels as the foundation for a non-violent civil rights movement. This thinking and the spirit of non-violence influenced Martin Luther King, Jr., and others to become a part of the non-violent civil rights movement.

Thurman, who died in April 1981, published over 20 books and numerous other works. We will examine a collection of 15 of Thurman’s previously unpub­lished sermons on the parables of Jesus.  These parables focus on the power of Jesus’ words to transform and inspire us.

Following our custom to pair refreshments with our discussion—Tea with Teresa; Cookies with Karl—we’ll enjoy hummus with Howard as we probe his sermons together.

Parables of Jesus provides insights about a spiritual genius whose life was committed to enacting the lessons of Jesus for his generation and generations to come. I believe these sermons inspire and empower us to go and do likewise." —Luther E. Smith, Jr., Ph.D., author of Howard Thurman: The Mystic as Poet.

"Sermons on the Parables is a rare gem, a distillation of the creative and intimate connections between the parables of Jesus and the spirit of a master storyteller and spiritual virtuoso. The themes found in Howard Thurman's lively imagination are rich and riveting; and they call us back to the primacy of religious experience and ethical accountability." —Walter Earl Fluker, Editor and Director, The Howard Thurman Papers Project

Date/Time: Sunday, June 23, 1–2:30 pm, N-4
Discussion leader: Paula Mays
Book: Sermons on the Parables by Howard Thurman, David, B. Gowler (Editor), Kipton, E. Jensen (Editor), 2018, 208 pages, Orbis Books
RSVP: [email protected]

  • Admission
    • Free; Please register
  • Dates Offered
    • June 23, 2019 @ 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm
  • Notifications
    • N-4