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

Sunday February 21, 2021

Updated: Feb 8, 2021

Dear Sisters and Brothers,

Please join us for Engaged Spirituality on Sunday February 21 from 10:30 AM – Noon PST on Zoom to discuss Chapter 3 “Suffering" of Disciplines of the Spirit by Howard Thurman. Here is an outline for that discussion:

(Black text is from the book. Blue text is from the recordings.)

A. Suffering is a part of man’s life. It is universal.

B. (Definition of Suffering)

C. Physical pain is fundamental to humanity’s experience as a creature.

D. Mental pain is less dramatic than physical pain, but it is more common and also (harder) to bear.

E. (A Dangerous Theory: Consciousness and Pain)

F. Suffering: A Discipline of the Spirit

G. 1. (Some suffering is caused by an accident, e.g. one falls down and breaks one’s arm.)

2. (Other suffering is due to one reaping what one has sown.)

H. (Why Do the Innocent Suffer?) Why does one become a victim of underserved suffering

over which one is unable to exercise any control?

I. (Why does suffering have such a negative effect on the behavior of some people?) Frankly, I

do not know the answer.

J. (Handling Pain)

K. (Transforming Pain)

I have attached notes on “Suffering” that combine the text from the book as well as Thurman’s recordings on “Suffering” from Boston University’s Howard Thurman Listening Room and Emory University’s Howard Thurman’s Archives.

Take care,


Click here for Boston University Thurman Listening Room

02-21 ES Updated Suffering
Download DOCX • 43KB

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