A Faith To Live By, Part 1, 1952 September 14


In the introductory sermon to “A Faith to Live By,” Thurman reflects on the sense of instability humans experience when confronting the fact of their finiteness within the expansive universe. He argues, that when an existential awakening occurs, what anchors the religious believer is becoming conscious of God as a "categorical fact" that exists at the center of all reality. It is the fact of the divine and its relation to the human spirit that allows one to be lifted from the despair of isolation and minuteness. God must be the focal point of any quest for self-respect and meaning for our living to “stand up against all this vastness,” Thurman says. Standing beneath the gaze of the divine strips men and women of all their phony devices – their strivings for self-validation – so that "a vitality of mind" might be achieved in which all may participate.

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