Philosophy, Civil Rights, and the Search for Common Ground
Kipton E. Jensen
Although he is best known as a mentor to the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., Howard Thurman (1900–1981) was an exceptional philosopher and public intellectual in his own right. In Howard Thurman: Philosophy, Civil Rights, and the Search for Common Ground, Kipton E. Jensen provides new ways of understanding Thurman's foundational role in and broad influence on the civil rights movement and argues persuasively that he is one of the unsung heroes of that time. While Thurman's profound influence on King has been documented, Jensen shows how Thurman's reach extended to an entire generation of activists.
Thurman espoused a unique brand of personalism. Jensen explicates Thurman's construction of a philosophy on nonviolence and the political power of love. Showing how Thurman was a "social activist mystic" as well as a pragmatist, Jensen explains how these beliefs helped provide the foundation for King's notion of the beloved community.
Throughout his life Thurman strove to create a climate of "inner unity of fellowship that went beyond the barriers of race, class, and tradition." In this volume Jensen meticulously documents and analyzes Thurman as a philosopher, activist, and peacemaker and illuminates his vital and founding role in and contributions to the monumental achievements of the civil rights era.