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The Living Wisdom of Howard Thurman

A Visionary for Our Time
Narrated by: Howard Thurman
Length: 7 hrs and 37 mins
5 out of 5 stars (85 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

When we face challenges too daunting to overcome, where can we find the strength to carry on? There is an inexhaustable wellspring of energy available to us in the mometns of quiet stillness when we become aware of the Divine.

For decades, Howard Thurman's words have guided many toward this deep inner reservior, from leaders like Dr. Matin Luther King and President Barack Obama to countless people looking for the inspiration to deal creatively with the everyday struggles of life.

©2010 Sounds True (P)2010 Sounds True

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What an amazing gift

Listening to Howard Thurman was like discovering a treasure for me. Eloquent, poignant and authentic are some of the words that come to mind to describe this genius of a man. His words will stir you making you think from a higher perspective. I'm on course to read as much of his work as possible. His work is truly transformative.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Raleigh
  • greensboro, NC, United States
  • 10-28-17

exceptional african american theologian & thinker


? are you interested in 20th century african american ( AA ) thought
? have you heard of academic, mystical, introspective AA thinkers
? would you like to learn more about one of MLK Jr.'s favorite authors

after a childhood in florida, thurman made his way to morehouse college
he went on to be class valedictorian and a classmate of MLK Sr.
his later life, as an academic and author, was centered in boston and san francisco

thurman unapologetically pursued an integrated and multicultural church
he famously met with mahatma gandhi in 1935 to discuss non-violent protest
in later years, he explored mystical traditions in christianity and other faiths

his sermons and essays sound moving and modern even in 2017
thurman's willingness and ability to stare far into the future was remarkable
this book provides a helpful back-story to the later civil rights struggle

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Love that it is his voice

Summary: A collection of portions of Howard Thurman’s sermons, prayers, talks, and teaching.

Jesus and the Disinherited is Howard Thurman’s most influential book. It is the only book of Thurman’s I have read so far, but I have an autobiography and a collection of his meditations and sermons that I will get to eventually.

When I think of Thurman, I think of him primarily as a mentor to Martin Luther King Jr. And because King died in 1968, and Jesus and the Disinherited was published in 1949, I think of Thurman as someone from the first half of the 20th century, but Thurman lived until 1981.

The Living Wisdom of Howard Thurman is a collection of sermons, prayers, and talks with introductions to different sections by Alice Walker, Vincent Harding, and several others. The openings were helpful because many of the contributors relate personal stories about Thurman as part of their sections.

Because these are all actual recordings of Thurman and not narrations of his written work, the quality is not as high as most audiobooks. However, the ability to hear him, in his voice, makes up for any weakness in audio quality. Many of these are from his time as pastor of the Church of the Fellowship of All Peoples. This church was an early, intentionally interracial church, started in 1944 (before the Kneel in Protests across the country.) Thurman was co-pastor with Alfred Fisk, a White man, until 1953 when he became the Dean of Marsh Chapel at Boston College.

The main negative of the collection is that there is very little content more than five to ten minutes long. I would have like many more full-length sermons. I am not sure if the choice to primarily collect snippets was in the interest of a broader range of content, or issues of audio quality. Whichever it was, the decision leaves the listener without full context in many cases.

When I finished The Living Wisdom of Howard Thurman, I started a similar collection, The Radical King. The Radical King is mostly full-length speeches and sermons, but it is also only narrated by modern celebrities doing dramatic readings, Danny Glover, LeVar Burton, Leslie Odom Jr, etc. The narration is high quality, and the full-length sermons or speeches are helpful, but I miss the voice of King. So I will be happy with what I have with the actual sound of Thurman words.

Thurman was a mystic. This collection highlights that far more than Jesus and the Disinherited. Mystics, in part, are dealing with ideas and spiritual experience that is hard to communicate. There are definitely sections here that I need to listen to again. The format has a tendency to reduce Thurman to spiritual sage. He certainly was a wise man, and I am interested in him in part because of his elder statement of the Civil Rights movement status. But my impression of him is that while a true mystic and idealist, he was a much more practical man than what ‘spiritual sage’ tends to communicate.

The Living Wisdom of Howard Thurman is one of those books that I am happy to have, but want more from.

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Howard Thurman is a great theologian

Howard Thurman gives great words of wisdom as he fought with his own demons. wow!!!

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My First Audiobook Completed

I thoroughly enjoyed the interweaving of Howard Thurman’s talks/sermons with the commentary/narration of others. Much better insight into the mind of Howard Thurman than I have from just reading his books.

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Very thought provoking!

An assortment of sermons that challenged me to be more reflective and intuitive about life. I do recommend!

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Inspiration

The Living Wisdom of Howard Thurman gives a needed glimpse of the man who inspired so many leaders and thinkers to wrestle with the question, "Who am I, really?" It is a question, and subsequent questions, that have the potential to orients one'a life in the most meaningful way. Listening to this selection of Thurman's works has provoked thought and provided clarity at a significant juncture of my life. I hope that others will find it meaningful as well.