|About the Book|
This is a strong and sophisticated treatment of Martin Luther King, Jr., that makes an important contribution. It reflects Burrows immense knowledge of personalist philosophy and the thought of King. —Gary Dorrien, Reinhold Niebuhr Chair of SocialMoreThis is a strong and sophisticated treatment of Martin Luther King, Jr., that makes an important contribution. It reflects Burrows immense knowledge of personalist philosophy and the thought of King. —Gary Dorrien, Reinhold Niebuhr Chair of Social Ethics, Union Theological SeminaryThis scholarly, courageous, insightful work, which fuses so successfully Kings academic career with his heritage from the Black Church, is a much needed addition to Martin Luther King studies and breaks new ground for all of us who pursue truth of the whole King. No book more clearly illustrates how pervasive an influence the philosophy of personalism was on Kings life and thought. It is an obligatory read. —Ira G. Zepp, Jr., Professor Emeritus, McDaniel CollegeAlthough countless books have been devoted to the life and work of Martin Luther King, Jr., few, if any, have focused on Kings appropriation of, and contribution to, the intellectual tradition of personalism. Burrow argues that Kings adoption of personalism represented the fusion of his black Christian faith and his commitment not only to the social gospel of Walter Rauschenbusch, but most especially to the social gospel practiced by his grandfather, his father, and black preacher-scholars at Morehouse College. Burrow devotes much-needed attention both to Kings conviction that the universe is value-infused and to the implications of this ideology for Kings views on human dignity and his concept of the Beloved Community. Burrow also sheds light on King’s doctrine of God. He contends that Kings view of God has been uncritically and erroneously relegated by black liberation theologians to the general category of theistic absolutism and he offers corrections to what he believes are misinterpretations of this and other aspects of King’s thought. He concludes with an application of King’s personalism to present-day social problems, particularly as they pertain to violence in the black community.