With Head and Heart: The Autobiography of Howard Thurman

With Head and Heart With Head and Heart Harcourt, Brace &Jovanovich

Howard Thurman

Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1979 

 Pastor, professor, mystic, and author Howard Thurman is one of the shapers of twentieth-century Christianity.  A grandson of a former slave, his upbringing was amidst the viccitudes and challenges of American racial segregation and all that it divided him from seeming opportunity.

Yet his sensitivity and inquisitive intelligence sought and found entrance into the wider world beyond his hometown of Daytona, Florida. Thurman's pursuit of education, his encounters with the divine, and his attraction to the ministry become part of the flow of his destiny and the broadening expanse of his experiences.

Readers will find themselves swept along with him into the channel which his life took: from his church pastorate; his teaching at Morehouse College and Spelman College; his years at Howard University; his journeys to Nigeria and to India, where he met with Gandhi; his founding of Fellowship Church, the first intentionally interracial, intercultural church in the United States, which drew the attention of First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt; his position as the first African-American dean at Boston University, where he knew Martin Luther King, Jr. and grew to have a significant effect on his leadership; to his final years of continuing ecumenical involvement and the publication of his many writings. Throughout all of this, Thurman and his family were faced, like all black Americans, with the difficulties of being surrounded by the bigotry of his culture and society. Yet he knew a profound sense of God's love for him and often saw with wonder how it poured through him, touching all whom he met and to whom he ministered,which often broke through the prjedices of others who grew to trust and confide in him.Thurman becomes a companionable guide into his life by his wise and careful observations, and he leads the reader into his heart of compassion for all those who struggle against prejudice, but also for those who struggle with it within themselves.

One is left, not only with strong sense of Thurman's presence and the impact Thurman had on others and the institutions he served, but with a sense that he lived at a particular moment in history as a person who, by his actions, his wisdom and love, was to exemplify the highest understanding in Christ of the innate, divine unity of all peoples and of all faiths and of the world.

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