The Preacher King: Martin Luther King, JR. and the Word That Moved America

Richard Lischer, Author
Richard Lischer, Author Oxford University Press, USA $30 (360p) ISBN 978-0-19-508779-6
Reviewed on: 04/03/1995
Release date: 04/01/1995
Paperback - 368 pages - 978-0-19-511132-3
Hardcover - 359 pages - 978-0-19-977195-0
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Martin Luther King, Jr.'s quest for justice, his insistence on nonviolence and his prophetic rage are themes that resound in the sermons he delivered as a preacher. Beginning with his formative years in Atlanta's Baptist-African church, where his father was a minister, through his own pastorate in Montgomery, Alabama, this careful, illuminating study shows how King transposed the Judeo-Christian themes of love, suffering, deliverance and justice into the civil rights arena. Lischer, professor of homiletics at Duke University's Divinity School, draws heavily on audiotapes and transcripts of King's unedited, original sermons and speeches. He devotes particular attention to King's final three years, when he abandoned liberal rhetoric, accused America of racial genocide, warned of possible urban riots and called for a redistribution of wealth. Lischer argues persuasively that King was influenced by his fellow African-American preachers as much as by Gandhi's philosophy of nonviolence. (Mar.)
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