Friends General Conference

Together we nurture the spiritual vitality of Friends

Howard Thurman: Civil Rights Leader, Theologian, Modern Day Mystic

Public ContentAnyone can view this post

Howard Thurman: Civil Rights Leader, Theologian, Modern Day Mystic

Sunday, April 3rd, 12:15pm - 1:45pm

Community Friends (Quaker) Meeting

3960 Winding Way, North Avondale

Professor Adam Clark will share the importance of Howard Thurman (1899-1981) and his legacy in the study of radical nonviolent activism, Black liberation theology, and the role of mysticism and contemplative spirituality. Thurman’s theology shaped a generation of civil rights activists, including Martin Luther King, for whom he was a key mentor. His own affinity for the mystical was deepened and encouraged while studying under Quaker philosopher and mystic, Rufus Jones, at Haverford College. Thurman’s writings are true inspiration, both in understanding the nature of oppression and the spirituality it evokes, and in understanding that all of life is alive with creative intelligence. 

Adam Clark is an Associate Professor of Theology at Xavier University where he teaches courses on Faith and Justice, Jesus and Power, and Black Theology. He received his master’s degree from Colgate Rochester Divinity School, where Howard Thurman and Martin Luther King, Jr.  graduated and his doctorate from Union Theological Seminary, Home of Liberation Theology. He worked on the Howard Thurman Papers Project and is active in contemplative education at Xavier University. Like Rufus Jones and Howard Thurman, Adam strives to maintain his own contemplative spirituality in a world of academia. 

Come in person or attend via Zoom! If you attend in person, we request that you be fully vaccinated (with booster shot) and wear a mask at all times.  If you prefer to attend via Zoom, please email John Sniegocki at for the Zoom link.

Who we are: Community Friends Meeting is a welcoming faith community in the Quaker (Religious Society of Friends) tradition.   As Friends, we believe that every person has the capacity to inwardly experience and faithfully respond to God’s love and guidance. At the heart of our spiritual community is the practice of deep, prayerful listening based in silence.  Visit our website:

A film about Howard Thurman's life - Backs Against the Wall: The Howard Thurman Story - will be shown at Community Friends Meeting House on Sunday, March 27th, at about 11:30am, following our Meeting for Worship.  Or you can watch it on youtube: