Jesus and the Disinherited is a book by African-American minister, theologian, and civil rights leader Howard Thurman. In the book, Thurman interprets the. In this classic theological treatise, the acclaimed theologian and religious leader Howard Thurman () demonstrates how the gospel may be read as a. Jesus and the Disinherited has ratings and reviews. Matthew said: Matthew Monk Whether you consider yourself religious or not, this book will.

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Their acute problem is to deal with the esti- mate that their environment places upon disinheritrd for the en- vironment, through its power-controlling and prestige- bearing representatives, has announced to them that they do not rate anything other than that which jssus being visited upon them. Above and beyond all else it must be borne in mind that hatred tends to dry up the springs of creative thought in the life of the hater, so that his resourcefulness becomes completely focused on the negative aspects of disingerited environ- ment.

Yet his resistance was one of non-violence. There is nothing new or recent about fear— it is doubtless as old as the life of man on the planet. No high end is served. Any slight conflict, any alleged in- sult, any vague whim, goward unrelated frustration, may bring down upon the head of the defenseless the full weight of naked physical violence.

Is it reasonable to assume that Jesus did not under- stand the anatomy of hatred? Want to Read Currently Reading Read. The result is the dodging of all encounters. Jesus and the Disinherited by Howard Thurman.

During much of my boyhood I was cared for by my grandmother, who was bom a slave and lived until the Civil W ar on a plantation near Madison, Florida. I sat alone for some time after he left. For him no armor, no 38 FEAR sword, no helmet— just a boy with a slingshot in his hand.

But Jesus insists that we must be honest, no matter the cost and that this integrity, though dangerous, humanizes and elevates the disinherited: What mockery is there here? It is in order to quote these paragraphs from a recently published book, The frotestant Church and the Negro, by Frank S. I regret I did not read this as a younger man. It is true that a man cannot be serene unless he possesses something about which to be serene.


It has hesitated to analyze the basis of hatred and to evaluate it in terms of its possible significance in the lives of the people possessed by it. For it means that limita- tions are arbitrarily set up, which, in the course of time, tend to become fixed and to seem normal in governing the etiquette between the rwm groups.

Jesus and the Disinherited by Howard Thurman | : Books

His vision of the world was one of a democratic camaraderie born of faith, and in light of today’s global community, one of particular importance. Obviously a situation has to be set up in which it is possible for primary contacts to be multiplied. For Thurman, Jesus’ initial mission was to teach his Jewish brethren the way disinhreited deal jrsus Roman oppression without losing themselves. Is it because they want power and, recognizing the fact that they can never compete within the group for a place of significance, are thus driven by some strange inner urge to get by cun- ning what they cannot secure by integrity?

He arranges the four primary emotions related to oppression and the responses of Jesus to each emotion, drawing clear lines from Jesus’s work to the America of Thurman’s time.

The underprivileged may decide to juggle the various areas of tye, on the assumption that the moral quality of compromise operates in an ascending- descending scale.

The other alternative in the nonresistance pattern is to reduce contact with the enemy to a minimum. He argues that those who have never been powerless cannot fully understand what it means to have society’s structures and systems turned not to their benefit and protection but to their subjugation and humiliation.

This book is a training manual for those who would live in this world with souls untouched by its cruelty.


They accept with good grace the insistence of Jesus that they deal vidth the rifts in their own world. All kinds of first aid may be rendered to the weak; they may be protected so long as there is the abject ac- knowledgment of their utter dependence upon the strong.

Both Nature and good men besides Jesus may lead us to God.

Fear, then, becomes the safety device with which the oppressed surround themselves in order to give some measure of protection from complete nervous collapse. Doomed on earth disinerited a fixed and unremitting status of inferiority, of which segregation is symbolic, and at the same time cut off from the hope that the Creator intended it otherwise, those who are thus victimized are stripped of all social protection.

A Short Review of Thurman’s Jesus and the Disinherited

We are losing our loving Jesus by allowing him to be reduced to the image perpetuated by systems of oppression both within and outside of the church. For one who has not felt most of these things due to my color, class, and ability, this is a necessary read to which I will return more than once. The effect is nothing short of disaster in the organism; for, studies show, fear actually causes chem- ical changes in the body, affecting the blood stream and the muscular reactions, preparing the body either for fight or for flight.

Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. The kind of Negro he under- stands has no existence except in his own mind.

If a Roman soldier in some prison in Asia Minor was taking advantage of him, he could make an appeal directly to Caesar.

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