Martin Luther King Jr. said and wrote as much or more about the meaning, nature, and power of truth as any other prominent figure in the 1950s and '60s. King was not only vastly influential as an advocate for and defender of truth; he also did more than anyone in his time to organize truth into a movement for the liberation, uplift, and empowerment of humanity, efforts that ultimately resulted in the loss of his life. Drawing on King's published and unpublished sermons, speeches, and writings, The Arc of Truth explores King's lifelong pilgrimage in pursuit of truth.
Lewis Baldwin explores King's quest for truth from his inquisitive childhood to the influence of family and church, to Morehouse College, Crozer Theological Seminary, Boston University, and other academic institutions in the Northeast. Continuing on, the book follows King's sense that he was involved in experiments of truth within the context of the struggle to liberate and empower humanity, to his understanding of the civil rights movement as unfolding truth, to his persistent challenge to America around its need to engage in a serious reckoning with truth regarding its history and heritage. Baldwin investigates King's determination to speak truth to power, and his untiring efforts to actualize what he envisioned as the truthful ends of the beloved community through the truthful means of nonviolent direct action. King believed, taught, and demonstrated by example that truth derives from a revolution in the heart, mind, and soul before it can be translated into institutions and structures that guarantee freedom, justice, human dignity, equality of opportunity, and peace.
Ultimately, King's significance for humanity cannot be considered only his contributions as a preacher, pastor, civil rights leader, and world figure--he was and remains equally impactful as a theologian, philosopher, and ethicist whose life and thought evince an enduring search for and commitment to truth.
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|Publisher:||Augsburg Fortress, Publishers|
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About the Author
Lewis V. Baldwin is professor emeritus of religious studies at Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee. He is the author of There Is a Balm in Gilead: The Cultural Roots of Martin Luther King, Jr. (1991); To Make the Wounded Whole: The Cultural Legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. (1992); and Never to Leave Us Alone: The Prayer Life of Martin Luther King, Jr. (2010).
Table of Contents
1 Paths to Truth: The Enduring Search 9
2 Symphony of Truth: Meanings and Categories 55
3 Strange Ambivalence: Truth and the Dialectical Nature of Persons and Society 99
4 Courageous Maladjustment: Speaking Truth to Power 149
5 The New Advancing Truth: The Spirit of a Movement 203
6 A Distorted Legacy: Remembering Martin Luther King Jr. in a Post-Truth Age 271