Jesus and the Disinherited Book Summary - Jesus and the Disinherited Book explained in key points

Jesus and the Disinherited summary

Howard Thurman

Brief summary

Jesus and the Disinherited by Howard Thurman is a thought-provoking exploration of how Jesus' teachings can empower and offer hope to those marginalized and oppressed in society, particularly African Americans.

Give Feedback
Table of Contents

    Jesus and the Disinherited
    Summary of key ideas

    Understanding the Disinherited

    In Jesus and the Disinherited, Howard Thurman, a prominent African American theologian, explores the teachings of Jesus Christ in relation to the marginalized and oppressed. He begins by defining the 'disinherited' as those who live in fear, poverty, and social exclusion, and who are constantly subjected to the threat of violence and discrimination. Thurman argues that the teachings of Jesus, who himself was a member of a marginalized community, offer a way for the disinherited to respond to their circumstances with dignity and strength.

    Thurman emphasizes that the disinherited live in a state of constant fear, which is a result of their social and economic conditions. He explains that fear can lead to a sense of powerlessness and can cause individuals to act in ways that are contrary to their true nature. He then explores how Jesus, as a member of a marginalized community, faced similar fears and yet responded with courage and love.

    Response to Fear

    Thurman delves into the ways in which Jesus responded to fear, emphasizing that he did not allow it to dictate his actions. Instead, Jesus responded with love, compassion, and a deep sense of self-worth. Thurman argues that Jesus' response to fear was rooted in his understanding of God as a loving and caring father, and in his belief in the inherent worth and dignity of every individual.

    Thurman then draws a parallel between Jesus' response to fear and the potential response of the disinherited. He suggests that by embracing the same sense of self-worth and dignity, the disinherited can overcome their fear and respond to their circumstances with courage and love. He emphasizes that this response is not passive acceptance of their situation, but rather an active and powerful stance against the forces that seek to oppress them.

    Nonviolent Resistance

    Thurman further explores the concept of nonviolent resistance as a response to fear and oppression. He argues that Jesus' teachings and actions were rooted in nonviolence, and that this approach was not a sign of weakness, but rather a powerful force for social change. He suggests that the disinherited can similarly use nonviolent resistance as a means to challenge and transform their circumstances.

    Thurman acknowledges the difficulty of embracing nonviolence in the face of oppression, but he argues that it is the most effective way to break the cycle of fear and violence. He emphasizes that nonviolent resistance requires immense courage and strength, and that it is a powerful tool for the disinherited to claim their dignity and demand justice.

    Hope and Transformation

    In the final section of Jesus and the Disinherited, Thurman offers a message of hope and transformation. He suggests that by embracing the teachings of Jesus and responding to their circumstances with courage, love, and nonviolent resistance, the disinherited can transform their lives and their communities. He emphasizes that this transformation is not only possible, but necessary for the creation of a more just and compassionate society.

    In conclusion, Jesus and the Disinherited presents a powerful interpretation of Jesus' teachings in relation to the marginalized and oppressed. Thurman's work offers a message of empowerment and hope, and provides a compelling argument for the transformative potential of nonviolent resistance in the face of fear and oppression.

    Give Feedback
    How do we create content on this page?
    More knowledge in less time
    Read or listen
    Read or listen
    Get the key ideas from nonfiction bestsellers in minutes, not hours.
    Find your next read
    Find your next read
    Get book lists curated by experts and personalized recommendations.
    Shortcasts
    Shortcasts New
    We’ve teamed up with podcast creators to bring you key insights from podcasts.

    What is Jesus and the Disinherited about?

    Jesus and the Disinherited by Howard Thurman explores the teachings of Jesus in relation to the marginalized and oppressed. Drawing from his own experiences as an African American man, Thurman discusses how the principles of love, nonviolence, and resistance can empower those who are socially and economically disadvantaged. This thought-provoking book offers a unique perspective on the message of Jesus and its relevance to the struggles of the disenfranchised.

    Jesus and the Disinherited Review

    Jesus and the Disinherited (1949) explores the teachings of Jesus and their relevance for marginalized communities. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • Thurman's analysis of the three fears experienced by the disinherited provides a powerful understanding of the psychological and social dynamics of oppression.
    • The book offers a profound spiritual perspective on social justice, emphasizing love and nonviolence as transformative tools for change.
    • Thurman's personal experiences and stories of the marginalized create a deep connection with the reader, inspiring empathy and motivating action.

    Who should read Jesus and the Disinherited?

    • Individuals seeking a deeper understanding of Jesus' teachings and their relevance to social justice
    • Readers interested in exploring the intersection of spirituality and activism
    • Those who have experienced oppression or marginalization and are looking for spiritual guidance and empowerment

    About the Author

    Howard Thurman was a prominent African American author, theologian, and civil rights leader. He played a significant role in the American civil rights movement and was a mentor to many activists, including Martin Luther King Jr. Thurman's book, Jesus and the Disinherited, explores the teachings of Jesus and their relevance to marginalized and oppressed communities. His other notable works include Deep River and The Luminous Darkness.

    Categories with Jesus and the Disinherited

    People ❤️ Blinkist 
    Sven O.

    It's highly addictive to get core insights on personally relevant topics without repetition or triviality. Added to that the apps ability to suggest kindred interests opens up a foundation of knowledge.

    Thi Viet Quynh N.

    Great app. Good selection of book summaries you can read or listen to while commuting. Instead of scrolling through your social media news feed, this is a much better way to spend your spare time in my opinion.

    Jonathan A.

    Life changing. The concept of being able to grasp a book's main point in such a short time truly opens multiple opportunities to grow every area of your life at a faster rate.

    Renee D.

    Great app. Addicting. Perfect for wait times, morning coffee, evening before bed. Extremely well written, thorough, easy to use.

    4.7 Stars
    Average ratings on iOS and Google Play
    31 Million
    Downloads on all platforms
    10+ years
    Experience igniting personal growth
    Powerful ideas from top nonfiction

    Try Blinkist to get the key ideas from 7,000+ bestselling nonfiction titles and podcasts. Listen or read in just 15 minutes.

    Start your free trial

    Jesus and the Disinherited FAQs 

    What is the main message of Jesus and the Disinherited?

    The main message of Jesus and the Disinherited is empowerment and the pursuit of justice for oppressed communities.

    How long does it take to read Jesus and the Disinherited?

    The reading time for Jesus and the Disinherited varies depending on the reader's speed. However, the Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Jesus and the Disinherited a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Jesus and the Disinherited is a thought-provoking read that sheds light on the marginalized. It's definitely worth checking out.

    Who is the author of Jesus and the Disinherited?

    Howard Thurman is the author of Jesus and the Disinherited.

    What to read after Jesus and the Disinherited?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Jesus and the Disinherited, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • Coaching for Performance by Sir John Whitmore
    • The Portfolio Life by Christina Wallace
    • The Power of Less by Leo Babauta
    • Start-up of You by Reid Hoffman and Ben Casnocha
    • The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs by Carmine Gallo
    • Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi
    • Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg
    • How to Win Friends & Influence People# by Dale Carnegie
    • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
    • Getting to Yes by Roger Fisher, William Ury & Bruce Patton