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  • Writer's pictureThe Church for the Fellowship of All Peoples

October 23, 2021 - Prophetic Healing: Howard Thurman's Vision of Contemplative Activism

Updated: Oct 22, 2021

My Dear Siblings,


Please join us for Engaged Spirituality on SATURDAY October 23 at 10:30 AM for our first Zoom discussion of Prophetic Healing: Howard Thurman’s Vision of Contemplative Activism by Bruce Epperly. Our first discussion on Prophetic Healing will focus on pages 1-62.

Zoom information will be posted below before the date.

Randy Thomas, who has graciously agreed to co-host Engaged Spirituality for this book, poses a pondering question for this first discussion of Prophetic Healing: How does your understanding of Howard Thurman calling us to Beloved Community relate to his central vision of prophetic healing?

Randy has also sent us a great article, "Mysticism and Social Action", by Bruce Epperly, attached below. Thank you so much for all you do for Engaged Spirituality, Randy!

Notes for this first discussion of Prophetic Healing are also attached. I have attached the notes as both a word document and a pdf.

Hope you can make it!

Take care,



Olivia Chase sent me this note to share with all. Thank you so much for sending this great information, Olivia!

“At the last session of Engaged Spirituality, I mentioned a couple of books for those who may want to take a look at some companion reads to Wilkerson's Caste and go a little deeper in thinking about the etiology of racist/white supremacist ideology. While there are many, many fine volumes from back in the day and newer works, I think there are two worth taking a look at:

  • Faces At the Bottom of the Well: The Permanence of Racism, Derrick Bell, 1992; Professor Bell was a legal genius, law professor, activist and best known as the godfather of critical race theory; his acolytes include Kimberle' Crenshaw, known as the originator of intersectionality theory; Bell was a wonderful writer who was able to convey complex legal ideas and theories using storytelling, imaginative characters and allegory.

  • Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America, Ibram X. Kendi, 2016; award-winning must-read for all who want to trace the etiology of white supremacist ideology in this country. The guides for this sweeping historical discussion are Puritan minister Cotton Mather; American founding father Thomas Jefferson; abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison; academic, sociologist, historian and activist turned Pan Africanist W.E.B. DuBois; and activist, academic Angela Davis. Their lives and work offer the perspectives for the ongoing ideological struggle between racist, assimilationist and anti-racist ideas; Dr. Kendi's latest book is How To Be An Anti-Racist; Dr. Kendi is also one of the historians referenced in Wilkerson's Caste.

To support the idea of this and that, melding deep dialogue, knowledge-building and re-education initiatives, like Engaged Spirituality, with engaging and/or taking inspiration from historic organizing efforts that have brought lasting change, I mentioned a couple of documentaries that focus on the extraordinary organizing across differences work in Chicago at the very end of the 60s that brought lasting change. Both films were featured in the 2021 (In)Justice for All Film Festival International (IFAFF), an initiative of Trinity United Church of Christ's Prison Ministry advocacy arm, The Next Movement.

  • The First Rainbow Coalition, 2019, Ray Santisteban, USA, 53:40, Documentary; one of our juried films that won our Impact Award, The First Rainbow Coalition charts the history and legacy of the set-apart organizing across differences in Chicago during the late 60s, led by Fred Hampton and the Illinois Chapter of the Black Panther Party, in partnership with The Young Patriots, the Young Lords, the Inter-Communal Survival Committee, et al. We requested and received special permission from the filmmaker, Ray Santisteban, to screen his film just for your group. Our IFAFF associate director, Robin Williams, will set up a special virtual screening through our film festival platform with a 72-hour video-on-demand feature. All you need to do, Eileen, is select a 72-hour window date and we will send you the link for the Engaged Spirituality audience.

  • Power to the People, is a short documentary directed by a local Chicago documentarian, Peter Kuttner, who serves on the committee of IFAFF. This film was released in 1989 to commemorate the work of "The Rainbow Coalition" twenty years after the murder of Chairman Fred Hampton. Here is the link: Power to the People _ 25:44 _

Mysticism and Social Action Article
Download DOCX • 17KB

10-23-21 Prophetic Healing Notes
Download DOCX • 65KB

10-23-21 Prophetic Healing Notes
Download DOCX • 65KB

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