“Finding this volume of Howard Thurman’s sermons is like finding the first layer of a life-changing archaeological discovery—one that shifts your view of your place in the world, along with your understanding of why you are here. Read this book for its historical value or for your own soul’s health. Either way, you will not be disappointed.”—Barbara Brown Taylor, Author, Holy Envy and Learning to Walk in the Dark
“The Way of the Mystics leads readers into the vast labyrinth of Howard Thurman’s inner landscape. Introducing an intergenerational cadre of mystical guides, this book is a map to the interior for all sojourners questing from head to heart.”—Gregory C. Ellison II, PhD, Candler School of Theology, Emory University
Howard Thurman (1899-1981) was one of the leading religious thinkers of 20th-century America, a mentor to the leaders of the civil rights movement, and a minister who devised a way of preaching to a congregation that sought “support, strength, and guidance.” He found that the most creative method was a “sermon series,” a group of sermons organized around a common theme.
This volume highlights his series on the mystics. Thurman tended not to speak of his own mystical inclinations, conscious that the word mysticism was likely to be misunderstood. And yet he is commonly recognized as a mystic in the sense that he used the word to describe someone who had an acute experience of the Divine Life.
Furthermore, the kind of mysticism to which he was attracted was not something airy or otherworldly, but one that promoted the world and its transformation. In this sermon series, Thurman reflects on his personal canon of mystics, ranging from William Blake and Buddha, to Gandhi, St. Francis, and his teacher Rufus Jones.
Walter Earl Fluker, senior editor of the Papers of Howard Washington Thurman and director of the Howard Thurman Papers Project, is Professor Emeritus of Ethical Leadership at Boston University and Dean’s Professor of Spirituality, Ethics and Leadership at Candler School of Theology. Peter Eisenstadt, associate editor of the Papers of Howard Washington Thurman, is author of Against the Hounds of Hell: A Life of Howard Thurman.