Jesus and the Disinherited

Jesus and the Disinherited, by Howard Thurman.  $10.20

In this classic theological treatise, the acclaimed theologian and religious leader Howard Thurman (1900-1981) demonstrates how the Gospel may be read as a manual of resistance for the poor and disenfranchised.

“Richly endowed. . . . It is the centerpiece of the black prophet-mystic’s lifelong [work].”

–Vincent Harding

From the first few pages:

“To those who need profound succor and strength to enable them to live in the present with dignity and creativity, Christianity often has been sterile and of little avail.  The conventional Christian world is muffled, confused, and vague.  Too often the price exacted by society for security and respectability is that the Christian movement in its formal expression must be on the side of the strong against the weak.  This is a matter of tremendous significance, for it reveals to what extent a religion that was born of a people acquainted with persecution and suffering has become the cornerstone of a civilization and of nations whose very position in modern life has too often been secured by a ruthless use of power applied to weak and defenseless peoples.

“I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of times that I have heard a sermon on the meaning of religion, of Christianity, to the man who stands with his back against the wall.  It is urgent that my meaning be crystal clear.  The masses of men live with their backs constantly against the wall.  they are the poor, the disinherited, the dispossessed.  What does our religion say to them?  The issue is not what it counsels them to do for others whose need may be greater, but what religion offers to meet their own needs.  The search for an answer to this question is perhaps the most important religious quest of modern life.”

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