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The Responsibility for our Responses: Olive Schreiner and Howard Thurman

  • Broadcast in Education
Ethics Talk

Ethics Talk


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This show is second in a series in which we discuss the encounter between theologian and philosopher Howard Thurman (1899-1981) and pacifist-feminist author Olive Schreiner (1855-1920). Thurman first encountered Schreiner five years after Schreiner's death when Schreiner's allegory of "The Hunter" was read aloud at a conference which Thurman was attending as a 25 year old divinity student at Rochester Theological Seminary. After that encounter, Thurman read everything of Schreiner's that he could find. In the early 1940s, Thurman worked hard to publish an anthology of Schreiner's writings, a dream that would finally be realized in 1973 when he published "A Track to the Water's Edge". We discuss more of this encounter as well as their views on the moral psychology - the specific beliefs, desires and cultivated habits - that undergird the "non-violent way of life" endorsed by both Schreiner and Thurman.