Book Review

Chapter 2 of “Jesus & the Disinherited”: “Fear”

The resources of the environment are made into instruments to enforce the artificial position. Most of the accepted social behavior-patterns assume [injustice] to be normal–if normal, then correct; if correct, then moral; if moral, then religious. Religion is thus made a defender and guarantor of the presumptions. Thurman, Jesus and the Disinherited, pg 43

The Beloved Disciple John said that there is no fear in love, rather, perfect love drives out fear (1 John 4:18). Fear then, is the antithesis of love; and if God is love, fear is inimical to the very nature of God. In the 2nd chapter of Disinherited, Thurman takes up the issue of fear. (more…)

Chapter 1 of “Jesus & the Disinherited”: “Jesus: an Interpretation”

“It is necessary to examine the religion of Jesus against the background of his own age and people, and to inquire into the content of his teaching with reference to the disinherited and the underprivileged.”

The first chapter of Jesus and the Disinherited has many rich ideas, such as how Paul’s Roman citizenship affected his views on political authority, or how the Pharisees, Sadducees and Zealots stand for different ways to resist an oppressive power. I want to highlight, however, the social and political implications of Jesus’ Incarnation and teachings as expressed by Howard Thurman. (more…)

Intro: “Jesus & the Disinherited” by Howard Thurman

It’s been far too long since my last post, and before February is too far gone, I want to celebrate, in a way, Black History Month. Over a series of posts, I will share key points from Howard Thurman’s Jesus and the Disinherited. It’s an ingenious little book containing ideas realized in the Civil Rights Movement. I also hope to bring his insights to bear on some of the socio-cultural issues we face as a people today, Christian, Black, American or world citizen.

Howard Thurman used to read the Bible to his grandmother, “who was born a slave and lived until the Civil War on a plantation near Madison, Florida.” He would read her the Bible save the Pauline epistles. It was decades before he asked her why. Her answer was striking: (more…)