HOWARD THURMAN AND THE MYSTICAL HEART OF NON VIOLENCE
with Dr. Lerita Coleman Brown
As a mystic, theologian, and spiritual adviser to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Howard Thurman (1899-1981) possessed the uncanny and prophetic ability to make a connection between silence and the scrutiny of one’s inner life with social justice work. He encouraged Dr. King and other organizers of the Civil Rights Movement to examine their inward journeys and to use nonviolent responses to what was often very violent confrontation. Dr. Thurman chose to engage in sacred activism—work that would serve all people and to use the contemplative experience as a path to peace, joy, and power. He wrote about this desire in Jesus and the Disinherited, a book that Dr. King carried with him whenever he marched. Throughout this day punctuated with contemplative prayer, we will witness with readings and silence how the mystical heart of nonviolence that Thurman advocated can be utilized to free others and ourselves.