Speaking to his supporters at the end of the Montgomery bus boycott in 1956, Martin Luther King, Jr., declared that their common goal was not simply the end of segregation as an institution. Rather, "the end is reconciliation, the end is redemption, the end is the creation of the beloved community." King's words reflect the strong religious convictions that motivated the civil rights movement in the South in its early days. Standing courageously on the Judeo-Christian foundations of their moral commitments, civil rights leaders sought to transform the social and political realities of twentieth-century America. In "The Beloved Community," Charles Marsh shows that the same spiritual vision that animated the civil rights movement remains a vital source of moral energy today. "The Beloved Community" lays out an exuberant new vision for progressive Christianity and reclaims the centrality of faith in the quest for social justice and authentic community.
"One of the most original books I've read in a long time...[Charles Marsh] has reminded us of what is required to keep America moving toward social justice."--Bill Moyers
"Among the finest studies of the civil rights movement...Marsh writes lucidly and lyrically, fusing theology and history with a vigorous and unobtrusive intelligence."--Books and Culture
"This book will want to make you stand up and should; and kneel and pray; and then go out and do something remarkable."--Lauren F. Winner, author of Girl Meets God and Mudhouse Sabbath
"[Marsh] traces the influence of faith on the civil rights movement and argues that the spiritual underpinnings of that movement can serve as a source of moral energy today...an argument for the enduring power of progressive Christianity."--Ruth Graham, Slate
"A stirring account of Christian faith in action...the author makes a fervent pleas for spiritual renewal and recommitment."--Christian Science Monitor
"[Marsh is] part historian, part raconteur, and part preacher...I found myself both moved to nostalgia and stirred to action as a I read his gripping account."--Philip Yancey, author of What's So Amazing About Grace