Monday, March 01, 2021

Dean Powery on Howard Thurman's Example of Revering Others

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In his latest Chronicle column, Chapel Dean Luke A. Powery offers an insight he learned from studying the life and writings of the minister and theologian Howard Thurman. "Rather than seek revenge, Thurman calls us to revere," Dean Powery writes. "Revere one another."

"As his grandmother, a former slave, told [Thurman], the key message of slave preachers to the enslaved was in short: 'You are not slaves. You are God’s children,'" Dean Powery says. "He believed no one should be denied their humanity and all people are children of God."

In recounting Thurman's teaching on reverence, Dean Powery notes some of the theologian's connections to Duke including Dean Powery's Divinity School course on Thurman, the Duke Chapel Reads program this semester on Thurman's book Jesus and the Disinherited, and the sermons Thurman preached at Duke Chapel in 1979.

The column concludes, "In these times of great loss and death all around due to a pandemic or just due to the normal course of life, I encourage you to revere others as you remember those who carry broken dreams with them everywhere they go, because a small act of reverence may be all that is needed to restore a broken dream."

Read the column.