An unprecedented and timely collection that captures the global vision of Dr. King--in his own words. Too many people continue to think of Dr. King only as "a southern civil rights leader" or "an American Gandhi," thus ignoring his impact on poor and oppressed people around the world. "In a Single Garment of Destiny" is the first book to treat King's positions on global liberation struggles through the prism of his own words and activities. From the pages of this extraordinary collection, King emerges not only as an advocate for global human rights but also as a towering figure who collaborated with Eleanor Roosevelt, Albert J. Luthuli, Thich Nhat Hanh, and other national and international figures in addressing a multitude of issues we still struggle with today--from racism, poverty, and war to religious bigotry and intolerance. Introduced and edited by distinguished King scholar Lewis Baldwin, this volume breaks new ground in our understanding of King.
In this path-breaking volume, Lewis Baldwin traces King's vision and activism not to his formal philosophical and theological development but directly to his roots in Southern black culture, where King spent most of his 39 years. King's appropriation of the Bible, Gandhi, American participatory democracy, Boston personalism, and the theologies of Reinhold Niebuhr and the Social Gospel makes sense, Baldwin argues, only against his visceral and abiding identification with black culture and the black Christian tradition. Working directly with the trove of King's sermons, speeches, and unpublished papers, Baldwin has reconstructed the pain and joy, the defeat and triumph King experienced in his formative family relationships, in the black church, in his childhood and education, in his marriage and children, in segregated black Atlanta, and in his leadership of America's civil rights movement. Baldwin's through research and engaging writing finally give us what King had but Scholars have missed: the sense of place that grounded his vision of the "beloved community. "
In this book, Lewis V. Baldwin contends that King was fundamentally a man of the church. Beginning with King's roots in Atlanta's Ebenezer Baptist Church, Baldwin traces the evolution of King's attitude toward the church through his college, seminary, graduate school, and civil rights years. The emphasis is on King's concept of the church as "the voice of conscience. " Baldwin persuasively claims that King challenged the church over the need for a higher spiritual and ethical ideal, and that King's moral leadership and eventual martyrdom did much to reestablish the credibility of the church at a time when some theologians were declaring the death of God. Baldwin critiques the contemporary church on the basis of King's prophetic model, and concludes by insisting that this model, not the entrepreneurial spirituality of the contemporary megachurches, embodies the best potential for much-needed church renewal.
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