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More than a biography, To the Mountaintop is the history of a turbulent epoch that changed the course of American and world history. Moral warrior and nonviolent apostle; man of God rocked by fury, fear, and guilt; rational thinker driven by emotional and spiritual truth -- Martin Luther King Jr. struggled to reconcile these divisions in his soul. Here is an intimate narrative of his intellectual and spiritual journey from cautious liberal, to reluctant radical, to righteous revolutionary. Stewart Burns draws not only on King's speeches, letters, writings, and well-reported strategizing and activities, but also on previously underutilized oral histories of key meetings and events, which present a dramatic account of King and the movement in the crucial years from 1955 to 1968. In a striking departure from earlier books on Martin Luther King Jr. and the civil rights movement, Burns focuses on King's biblical faith and spiritual vision as fundamental to his political leadership and shows how these threads wove together a "single garment of destiny," making King the most important social prophet of the twentieth century. King is not portrayed as a lone exalted hero, butas the heart of a fabric of principled leadershipthat stretched from his closest colleagues to the movement's foot soldiers on the streets. This book stresses his shaping by other leaders -- heroic figures such as Bayard Rustin, Ella Baker, James Bevel, Bob Moses, and Marian Wright Edelman -- and his conflicted relationships with John and Robert Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson. To the Mountaintop is uniquely powerful in presenting actual conversations between King and others, and in showing how King's public words often revealed his private torment. Burns provides a uniquely realist portrait of King and the civil rights movement by revealing the vital but neglected religious character of the story, and by demonstrating how King profoundly experienced the movement as a sacred mission following a path of liberation and sacrifice pioneered by Moses and Jesus.
Learn to use four characteristics of "preaching with moral imagination" to proclaim freedom for all. The author describes the four characteristics using examples like Robert F. Kennedy, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.,Prathia Hall, and the Moral Monday Movement, along with musicians and other artists of today. Moral imagination helps the hearer to see what they cannot see, to hear what they cannot hear--to inhabit the lives of others, so that they can embody Christ and true freedom for those others. This book equips and empowers preachers to transcend their basic skills and techniques, so that their proclamation of the Word causes actual turnaround in the hearts and lives of their hearers, and in their communities. "Frank Thomas has written a passionate summons: amid the current destructive chaos of our society there is an urgent need for moral imagination. Such imagination is the antithesis of “diabolic” and “idolatrous” imagination that is all to the fore in our public discourse and practice. Thomas fleshes out “moral imagination” with close reflection on the practice of Robert F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King. Before he finishes Thomas shows how the urgency of “moral imagination” belongs peculiarly to the work of the preacher. This book is a welcome call for gospel-grounded courage and truth about the neighbor issued in a way that refuses the self-serving fakery that dominates our public life." --Walter Brueggemann, Columbia Theological Seminary "Timely and prophetic, How to Preach a Dangerous Sermon presents a homiletic essential for our churches today. Thomas insists that it is up to the preacher to recapture and reclaim the moral imagination of our nation so that the Gospel’s message of freedom is true for all people. With attention to specific figures whose witness models the qualities and characteristics of moral imagination, Thomas inspires the preacher toward powerful proclamation that both challenges and critiques any speech that subjugates or subordinates. How to Preach a Dangerous Sermon is must read for preachers to recover and reimagine the leadership role of the church for the sake of justice for all." --Karoline M. Lewis, Associate Professor of Biblical Preaching and the Marbury E. Anderson Chair of Biblical Preaching, Luther Seminary; author of She: Five Keys to Unlock the Power of Women in Ministry. "In this lucid and compelling book, Frank Thomas plumbs the depths of American moral rhetoric for insights that will help preachers. How to Preach a Dangerous Sermon provides new and dramatic ways in which the moral imagination in a democratic society can be nurtured by visionary, empathic, wise, and artistic preachers."--John S. McClure, Charles G. Finney Professor of Preaching and Worship, Vanderbilt Divinity School "Warning: Preachers, if you are comfortable with the status quo of white privilege, patriarchy, hetero-normativity, and classism, do not read this book. If you are comfortable with sermon series that reduce the gospel to self-help acronyms, don’t read this book. But if you have the courage to look honestly at our landscape and bring the moral imagination of the Christian tradition to bear on it, open these pages and your sermons may never be the same again. But then again neither will the church--or the world--be the same anymore, if enough of us follow Thomas’s advice." --O. Wesley Allen, Jr., Lois Craddock Perkins Professor of Homiletics, Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University
Martin Luther King's public life lasted only 13 years - yet in that time, he changed the USA's attitude to civil rights forever and continues to inspire human rights movements today. Richard Reddie has written the first book on King since Barack Obama became US president and considers whether Obama is the fulfilment of "King's dream". Reddie seamlessly melds King's religious, social, political and racial ideas in ways that are understandable, yet sophisticated; and captures his legacy and impact on both sides of the Atlantic. Reddie uses copious photographs throughout to chronicle the great man's life and times. As the first Black Brit to write a book on Martin Luther King, he brings a fresh new perspective.
Drawing upon a wide-ranging selection of scholarship and popular history, this invaluable sourcebook throws a powerful light on the civil rights movement and its most influential leader. Debates that until now have been carried out across a variety of books and journals are here brought together for the first time in a clear and insightful volume which introduces readers to key topics, debates and writers in the field. Martin Luther King, Jr and the Civil Rights Movement covers wider movement issues such as: - national and local leadership styles - the role of women and gender - violence and non-violence - integration and separatism. It also examines specific issues related to King, including: - family, church and educational influences - oratory and authorship - King's relationship with Malcolm X and other leaders - King's more radical stand during the final years of his life - controversies and debates surrounding his assassination - ongoing efforts to commemorate King's achievements. Authoritative and stimulating this is an essential resource for anyone with an interest in the man and the movement.
Chasing LIncoln's Killer"THE PRESIDENT HAS BEEN SHOT!"
It has been nearly fifty years since Martin Luther King, Jr., was assassinated at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee. Appraisals of King's contributions began almost immediately and continues to this day. The author explores an astonishing number of King's chief ideas and social-ethical practice: his concept of a moral universe; his doctrine of human dignity; his belief that not all suffering is redemptive; his brand of personalism; his contribution to the development of social ethics; the inclusion of young people in the movement; sexism as a contradiction to his personalism; the problem of black-on-black violence, and others. Burrows' essays reveal both the strengths and the limitations in King's theological socio-ethical project, and shows him to have relentlessly applied personalist ideas to organized nonviolent resistance campaigns in order to change the world.
Houston A. Baker Jr. condemns those black intellectuals who, he believes, have turned their backs on the tradition of racial activism in America. These individuals choose personal gain over the interests of the black majority, whether they are espousing neoconservative positions that distort the contours of contemporary social and political dynamics or abandoning race as an important issue in the study of American literature and culture. Most important, they do a disservice to the legacy of W. E. B. Du Bois, Martin Luther King Jr., and others who have fought for black rights. In the literature, speeches, and academic and public behavior of some black intellectuals in the past quarter century, Baker identifies a "hungry generation" eager for power, respect, and money. Baker critiques his own impoverished childhood in the "Little Africa" section of Louisville, Kentucky, to understand the shaping of this new public figure. He also revisits classical sites of African American literary and historical criticism and critique. Baker devotes chapters to the writing and thought of such black academic superstars as Cornel West, Michael Eric Dyson, and Henry Louis Gates Jr.; Hoover Institution senior fellow Shelby Steele; Yale law professor Stephen Carter; and Manhattan Institute fellow John McWhorter. His provocative investigation into their disingenuous posturing exposes what Baker deems a tragic betrayal of King's legacy. Baker concludes with a discussion of American myth and the role of the U.S. prison-industrial complex in the "disappearing" of blacks. Baker claims King would have criticized these black intellectuals for not persistently raising their voices against a private prison system that incarcerates so many men and women of color. To remedy this situation, Baker urges black intellectuals to forge both sacred and secular connections with local communities and rededicate themselves to social responsibility. As he sees it, the mission of the black intellectual today is not to do great things but to do specific, racially based work that is in the interest of the black majority.

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