What Makes You Come Alive: A Spiritual Walk with Howard Thurman

Broadleaf. Feb. 2023. 213p. ISBN 9781506474656. $26.99. SPIRITUALITY
Brown’s (emerita, psychology, Agnes Scott Coll.; When the Heart Speaks, Listen) book is a gentle entry point into the life and writings of the theologian, civil rights leader, and 20th-century mystic Howard Thurman. It is also a contemplative work of spiritual direction that combines Brown’s own experiences encountering Thurman’s insights and stories, with guidance for readers to enter into an inclusive, everyday mysticism. Realizing that the word “mystic” itself can be off-putting and esoteric for some, Brown is eager to introduce possibilities for a spirituality that can underlie and empower social action. She does this by tracing the life of Thurman through his childhood intuitions of God and nature, his studies with Quakers, his pilgrimage to meet Gandhi in India, and his influence and mentoring presence in the life of Martin Luther King Jr. and the civil rights movement.
VERDICT Brown’s vibrant portrait is sure to pique curiosity into Thurman’s writings and open meaningful conversation about what the relationship between spirituality and social action can be today.
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