In a Nutshell: Paul Harvey, professor of history and presidential teaching scholar at the University of Colorado — Colorado Springs sums up the spiritual breadth and depth of Howard Thurman's life and work as a teacher, minister, theologian, writer, mystic and social activist.
About the Author: Harvey sees Thurman as "a man of ideas" who grew up in the black Baptist tradition but expanded it with a unique blend of liberal Social Gospel Protestantism, Quaker conscience, nature mysticism, and a universalist cosmopolitanism. He is also impressed with this seeker's pilgrimage to India in 1936 where he met Mahatma Gandhi and was inspired to bring his nonviolent philosophy back to the United States where it played a pivotal role in the civil rights movement. Harvey also spotlights the wisdom that emerged from Thurman's "the great adventure in San Francisco" where he proclaimed his spiritual vision at the Church for the Fellowship of All Peoples.
Sum and Substance: In a stirring "Epilogue," Harvey reveals that we are still taking the meaning of the man and his life as we ponder the creative and global dimensions of his "synthesis of religious truths that drew from many sources but ultimately was uniquely all Thurman's own."
Given the violence against Black people in today's world and the persistence and even resurgence of racism, Thurman's spirituality is more relevant than ever before. He remains an extraordinary agent of change.