The book Jesus and the Disinherited written by Howard Thurman is devoted to the religious and race aspects and their positions in the modern world. The work discloses the main sides if the biblical positions and gives an opportunity to evaluate the level of racism, the relation of the poor and oppressed people to the religion and their interdependence.
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The analysis of the oppression on the people and its effects are deeply highlighted by the author. He managed to show how Jesus Christ and poor people living at that period of time appeared to follow one common purpose of love understanding promotion. The poor and oppressed people tried to live in accordance with the Jesus’ “laws”; they adopted survival strategies focused on fear, hate and deception. It can be explained by the fact that fear teaches people avoiding any confrontation with the dominant class and attract no negative attention using double talk.
The author describes the time of the Jesus’ life and teaching promotions and the situation of African-Americans at the same time. In order to improve the life of those people who got used to suffer Jesus taught to love enemies. The love can be presented as the mutual recognition of the oppressed, poor and the dominant communities as one general class of human beings. But the love should be promoted on the social level rather than individual one; otherwise the hatred between people of different classes would never be removed.
According to the teachings of the Jesus Christ the poor and oppressed people are to feel the hatred, fear and deception in order to be able to destroy all these aspects and never let them in. it will help to render immune to the dominance position of these factors in every day life. Only in case of personal experience people can get to know how to fight such feelings forever.
The strategies of the Jesus Christ were aimed at making and promotion of the social equality. Thus, he stated that one should love enemies because it can help to reach harmony and mutual understanding. It was never considered to be betrayal for the oppressed and poor people to love their enemies, because it is not a failure but victory. Jesus believed that dominant communities of the society and the oppressive one should express respect to each other as to equal human beings.
The author raised the problem of people of color position in the society and the racial equality promotion. It is important to stress that Jesus Christ tried to call everyone for understanding racism spreading. The author showed the relations between the classes; Jesus strived to explain how people should treat the poor and what their main goal is. The promotion of love and mutual respect is the key element in building socially equal country.
Thus, to conclude everything it should be underlined that the book Jesus and the Disinherited discloses all the major events of the biblical teachings. The life of the Jesus Christ and his strategies are described in detail; the author wanted to highlight the role and benefits of the Christ and his teachings. He strived to help the oppressed and poor people promoting the atmosphere of calm and order. Mutual love and respect could help to change the situation for the better; decrease the spreading of the racism and provide social equality of all people without taking into consideration the nationality and social position status.
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Thurman, H. (1996). Jesus and the Disinherited. Beacon Press. 112 pages.