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Visions of a better world : Howard Thurman's pilgrimage to India and the origins of African American nonviolence

by Dixie, Quinton Hosford.

Format: Print Book 2011
Availability: Available at 4 Libraries 4 of 4 copies
Available (4)
Location Collection Call #
CLP - Hill District Non-Fiction Collection BX6495.T53 D49 2011
Location  CLP - Hill District
Collection  Non-Fiction Collection
Call Number  BX6495.T53 D49 2011
CLP - Homewood African American BX6495.T53 D49 2011
Location  CLP - Homewood
Collection  African American
Call Number  BX6495.T53 D49 2011
CLP - Main Library Mezzanine - Non-fiction BX6495.T53 D49 2011
Location  CLP - Main Library
Collection  Mezzanine - Non-fiction
Call Number  BX6495.T53 D49 2011
CLP - Squirrel Hill Non-Fiction Collection BX6495.T53 D49 2011
Location  CLP - Squirrel Hill
Collection  Non-Fiction Collection
Call Number  BX6495.T53 D49 2011
In 1935, at the height of his powers, Howard Thurman, one of the most influential African American religious thinkers of the twentieth century, took a pivotal trip to India that would forever change him--and that would ultimately shape the course of the civil rights movement in the United States.

When Thurman (1899-1981) became the first African American to meet with Mahatma Gandhi, he found himself called upon to create a new version of American Christianity, one that eschewed self-imposed racial and religious boundaries, and equipped itself to confront the enormous social injustices that plagued the United States during this period. Gandhi's philosophy and practice of satyagraha , or "soul force," would have a momentous impact on Thurman, showing him the effectiveness of nonviolent resistance.

After the journey to India, Thurman's distinctly American translation of satyagraha into a Black Christian context became one of the key inspirations for the civil rights movement, fulfilling Gandhi's prescient words that "it may be through the Negroes that the unadulterated message of nonviolence will be delivered to the world." Thurman went on to found one of the first explicitly interracial congregations in the United States and to deeply influence an entire generation of black ministers--among them Martin Luther King Jr.

Visions of a Better World depicts a visionary leader at a transformative moment in his life. Drawing from previously untapped archival material and obscurely published works, Quinton Dixie and Peter Eisenstadt explore, for the first time, Thurman's development into a towering theologian who would profoundly affect American Christianity--and American history.
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "*Starred Review* Although hardly a household name, Howard Thurman was one of the most important African American religious thinkers of the twentieth century, an early advocate of radical Christian nonviolence, and the founder of one of the first interracial congregations in the U.S. In 1936, Thurman met Mahatma Gandhi in a crucial encounter between East and West. Thurman did more than anyone to promulgate Gandhi's message. Already a well-respected preacher at the time of the visit, Thurman was chair of the Negro Delegation, which undertook a Pilgrimage of Friendship to South Asia under the auspices of the Student Christian Movement. Dixie and Eisenstadt bring to life the overlooked story of Thurman and his lifelong search for a solution to racial equality. As they point out, Thurman helped give the civil rights movement its shape and its impetus and deeply influenced a generation of black ministers, especially Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. An important portrait of a neglected figure who deserves wider recognition.--Sawyers, Jun. Copyright 2010 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Historians Dixie and Eisenstadt offer an admirably focused portrait of the oft-overlooked African-American intellectual, mystic, orator, minister, teacher, and philosopher Howard Thurman (1899-1981). Concentrating on a formative six-month trip Thurman undertook to India marked by an auspicious meeting with Mahatma Gandhi, the authors delineate how Thurman's brand of theology and philosophy emerged from a desire to reconcile individual spiritual experience and transcendence with broad social change-and how his thinking and teaching inspired a generation of more widely recognized civil rights leaders. In thoughtful, eloquent prose, the authors juxtapose Thurman's experiences of racism in the U.S.-being refused service at a hotel where he was delivering a lecture-and lyrical epiphanies while traveling, such as glimpsing Mt. Everest emerge from the parted clouds in the foothills of the Himalayas. Moreover, the authors show how both sets of experiences worked to inform Thurman's life without overpowering his intellect, which remained consistently nuanced, measured, and guided toward answering the question of whether "spiritual unity among people could be more compelling than the experiences which divide them." (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Thurman, Howard, -- 1900-1981 -- Travel -- India.
Thurman, Howard, -- 1900-1981 -- Political and social views.
Christian pilgrims and pilgrimages -- India -- History -- 20th century.
Nonviolence -- Political aspects -- History -- 20th century.
Nonviolence -- Religious aspects -- Christianity.
African American theologians -- Biography.
African American Baptists -- Biography.
African American pacifists -- Biography.
African Americans -- Civil rights -- History -- 20th century.
Civil rights -- United States -- Philosophy -- History -- 20th century.
Publisher Boston :Beacon Press,2011
Contributors Eisenstadt, Peter R., 1954-
Language English
Description xxv, 246 pages ; 24 cm
Bibliography Notes Includes bibliographical references (pages [199]-227) and index.
ISBN 9780807000458 (hardcover : acid-free paper)
0807000450 (hardcover : acid-free paper)
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