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Martin Luther King's Protesting Pastors
Published online by Cambridge University Press: 06 September 2018
Martin Luther King, Jr., led many of us to recognize that pilgrimages of the mind can take place in turmoil as well as in tranquility. My own journey to understanding the connection between the transcendent and social change was facilitated by King's call to “the Movement.” That journey was shared by countless other churchmen of the 1960's. I have engaged in extended conversations with hundreds of Christian clergy who responded to King's call and were arrested for their nonviolent resistance and civil disobedience. Structured interviews took place in settings as varied as a Selma parsonage, an Atlanta jail cell, a Midwestern farmhouse, a penthouse suite atop the National Council of Churches building in New York City, and a sharecropper's cabin in Philadelphia, Mississippi. What follows is an abridged “profile” of these men of the cloth. The profile sharply challenges some common stereotypes.
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