"What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made
to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead."~~ Nelson Mandela

Friday, April 15, 2011

DR. HOWARD THURMAN

There are a few people that are considered to be Mystics. Many of them are from previous centuries.  We hear or read their writings all of the time.  I recently learnt of Dr. Howard Thurman and I have since been inspired by his writings.  So I decided to share his life with my readers and I hope you enjoy him as much as I do.  Please take sometime to do your own research on the brother.


Howard Thurman (1899 – April 10, 1981) was an influential American authorphilosophertheologianeducator and civil rightsleader. He was Dean of Theology and the chapels at Howard University and Boston University for more than two decades, wrote 20 books, and in 1944 helped found a multicultural church. Howard Thurman was born in 1899 in Daytona Beach, Florida and grew up in the segregated South.
In 1923, Howard Thurman graduated from Morehouse College as valedictorian . He was ordained a Baptist minister in 1925, after completing his study at the Colgate Rochester Theological Seminary now Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School.He then pursued further study as a special student of philosophy at Haverford College with Rufus Jones, a noted Quaker philosopher and mystic. Thurman earned his doctorate at Haverford.

Thurman was selected as dean of Rankin Chapel at Howard University in the District of Columbia in 1932. He served there from 1932-1944. Thurman traveled broadly, heading Christian missions and meeting with world figures such as Mahatma Gandhi. When Thurman asked Gandhi what message he should take back to the United States, Gandhi said he regretted not having made nonviolence more visible as a practice worldwide and suggested some American Black men would succeed where he had failed.
In 1944 Thurman left his tenured position at Howard to help the Fellowship of Reconciliation establish the Church for the Fellowship of All Peoples in San Francisco, California. It was the first racially integrated, intercultural church in the United States. He served as co-pastor with a white minister, Dr. Alfred Fisk. Many of their congregation were African Americans who had migrated to San Francisco from OklahomaTexas and Arkansas for jobs in the defense industry. The church helped create a new community for many in San Francisco.
Dr. Thurman was then invited to Boston University, where he became the first Black Dean of Marsh Chapel (1953–1965). He was the first black person to be named tenured Dean of Chapel at a majority-white university. Thurman was also active and well-known in the Boston community, where he influenced many leaders. During his tenure at Boston University, the famous Marsh Chapel Experiment was conducted.
After leaving Marsh Chapel in 1965, Thurman continued his ministry as Chairman of the Board and director of the Howard Thurman Educational Trust in San Francisco until his death in 1981.
Thurman was a prolific author, writing 20 books of ethical and cultural criticism. The most famous of his works, Jesus and the Disinherited (1949), deeply influencedMartin Luther King, Jr. and other leaders, both black and white, of the modern Civil Rights Movement. (Thurman was a classmate and friend of King's father at Morehouse College. Martin Luther King, Jr. visited Thurman while he attended Boston University, and Thurman in turn mentored his former classmate's son and his friends). He served as spiritual advisor to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Sherwood EddyJames FarmerA. J. Muste, and Pauli Murray.




THESE ARE A FEW OF HIS QUOTES:


"And this is the strangest of all paradoxes of the human adventure; we live inside all experiences, but we are permitted to bear witness only to the outside.  Such is the riddle of life and the story of the passing of our days."


"Often, to be free means the ability to deal with the realities of one's own situation so as not to be overcome by them."


"Whatever may be the tensions and the stress of a particular day, there is always lurking close at hand the trailing beauty of forgotten joy or unremembered peace."


"There is something in every one of you that waits and listens for the sound of the genuine in yourself.  It is the only true guide you will ever have.  And if you cannot hear it, you will all of your life spend your days on the ends of strings that somebody else pulls".


"It is very easy to sit in judgement upon the behavior of other, but often difficult to realize that every judgement is a self-judgement."


"A dream is the bearer of a new possibility, the enlarged horizon, the great hope."


"Commitment means that it is possible for a man to yield the nerve centre of his consent to a purpose or cause, a movement or an ideal, which may be more important to him than whether he lives or dies."


In LaKe'sh, I am another yourself

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