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Troubled By Paradise

Visions of a Better World: Howard Thurman's Pilgrimage to India and the Origins of African American Nonviolence

The first biographical exploration of one of the most important African American religious thinkers of the twentieth century--Howard Thurman--and of the pivotal trip he took to India that ultimately shaped the course of the civil rights movement.

In 1935, Howard Thurman took a trip to India that would forever change him. He became the first African American to meet with Mahatma Gandhi and found himself called to create a version of American Christianity that was intolerant of self-imposed racial and religious boundaries. Deeply influenced by Gandhi's philosophy and practice of satyagraha, his translation of the idea into a Black Christian context became one of the key tenets of the civil rights movement, influencing an entire generation of black ministers--most notably Martin Luther King, Jr. Visions of a Better World explores this pivotal trip and its effect on the very shape of the civil rights tradition. Drawing from previously untapped archival material and obscurely published works, Quinton Dixie and Peter Eisenstadt outline, for the first time, Thurman's development into the towering theologian who would so profoundly influence the epochal shift in U.S. race relations in the mid-twentieth century.

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Introduction, Visions of a Better World