Howard Thurman, Jesus and the Disinherited
Jesus and the Disinherited is easily one of the most influential books I have ever read. Yet, it is one that is not readily grasped until one is ready to be upended in one’s religious piety. Thurman’s work in Jesus and the Disinherited asked questions of Christianity that unsettles its validity: “Why is it that Christianity seems impotent to deal radically, and therefore effectively, with the issues of discrimination and injustice on the basis of race, religion and nation origin?”
Thurman introduced a diversity that was not complacent in/to racism but strived for a radical “authentic realism” that proposed everyone be themselves. Howard Thurman deconstructs the reality of how racism is camouflaged in/by one’s faith and often categorized as a benefit for those being oppressed. Evangelicalism has been doing this for years. Thurman writes: “…there is no basic relationship between the simple practice of brotherhood in the commonplace relations of life and the ethical pretensions of our faith.”
Ultimately, Thurman introduced an evocative way to question the most outdated norms and theologies that were problematic, especially for Black life. Jesus and the Disinherited is the book that your top 5’s, top five suggest to their top five..