Anchored in the Current: Discovering Howard Thurman as Educator, Activist, Guide & Prophet

Luke A. Powery (Contributor)
Westminster John Knox Press
Published Year: 
Cover image of book on Howard Thurman

Duke Chapel Dean Luke A. Powery, Th.D., an associate professor of homiletics at Duke Divinity School, has contributed an essay in a new book illuminating how Howard Thurman's life and wisdom serve as a powerful influence and guide for educators, spiritual guides, activists, and artists in these changing times. 

The book, Anchored in the Current: Discovering Howard Thurman as Educator, Activist, Guide & Prophet, was published by Westminster John Knox Press in October. The editor is Gregory C. Ellison II, associate professor of pastoral care and counseling at Candler School of Theology and cofounder of Fearless Dialogues, a grassroots community initiative that draws unlikely partners together to create positive change in self and others.

Contributors to the book, in addition to Powery and Ellison, are noted theological leaders: Barbara Brown Taylor, Patrick Clayborn, Elesa Commerse, Martin Doblmeier, Marian Wright Edelman, Mari Evans, Walter Earl Fluker, Stephen Lewis, Parker J. Palmer, Liza J. Rankow, Tyler Sit, Luther E. Smith, Jr., Shively T. J. Smith, Matthew Wesley Williams, and Starsky Wilson. Anchored in the Current illuminates how Thurman’s life and wisdom lead these influential names on the ancient quest to connect with God, all while discovering the contemporary need to seek racial justice and sharpen the minds and faith of those who come afterward.

The book examines the manifold contributions of Thurman, known as one of the towering giants of American religion in the twentieth century. His writings have influenced some of the most important religious and political figures of the last century, from Martin Luther King Jr. to Barack Obama. Theologians such as James Cone and Cornel West regularly signal their indebtedness to him. He was a mystic, a preacher, an educator, a theologian, and more.

Powery, a national leader in the theological study of the art of preaching, regularly delivers sermons at Duke Chapel as well as at churches throughout the U.S. and abroad. He is often a keynote speaker and lecturer at educational institutions, conferences, symposia, and retreats. His teaching and research interests are located at the intersection of preaching, worship, pneumatology, and culture, particularly expressions of the African diaspora. The author of several books, his latest one is titled Were You There? Lenten Reflections on the Spirituals (Westminster John Knox Press, 2019). He is also a general editor of the nine-volume lectionary commentary series for preaching and worship titled Connections: A Lectionary Commentary for Preaching and Worship.

A virtual book launch and Q&A on Anchored in the Current: Discovering Howard Thurman as Educator, Activist, Guide & Prophet featuring the Rev. Dr. Luke Powery and other book contributors will be held Sat., Oct. 24 at 5:30 p.m. Registration for the webinar via Zoom is required.