Monday, January 18, 2016

Strength to Love by Martin Luther King Jr.

Strength to Love

Paperback: 192 pages
Publisher: Fortress Press ()
ISBN-13: 978-0800697402

Available on Amazon

The Heart of Martin Luther King's Philosophy

This is, of course, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the day we honor the great civil rights leader. He was born in Atlanta, Georgia on Januray 15, 1929. I don't know if they teach this in schools, but he was actually born as Michael King, after his father who was also named Michael King. In 1934, on a trip to a Baptist conference in Berlin, father and son changed their names to Martin Luther to honor the father of the Reformation. We can see that from an early age MLK Jr's destiny as a reformer was set. But few of us really go beyond knowing the outlines of MLK's life and career as an activist, and his famous "I Have a Dream" speech. 

Strength to Love is a collection of 15 of Martin Luther King Jr.'s sermons, many of them written while he was in prison. Taken together, they give us a deep insight into his philosophy of being a non-violent non-conformist. They are deeply reflective, and strongly intellectual. Reading them you can understand how this man rose to prominence as moral and spiritual leader of a movement that changed America and the world. 

In her foreword, his wife Coretta Scott King says that this is the book that people most often tell her have changed their lives. It is certainly a collection that will challenge and enrich the reader intellectually and spiritually. If you want to understand Martin Luther King Jr.'s philosophy, you should read Strength to Love.

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