A Faith to Live By, Part 6: Democracy, 1952 October 19


Do you “believe in democracy?” Thurman poignantly begins his sermon by asking the congregation to give serious thought to their commitments to the democratic process. Democracy, he claims, rests on a fundamentally metaphysical presupposition that the world is “grounded in creativity.” Human thought experiments with the raw material of life and of living that exist all around us, which is “shaped and reshaped” in accordance with “great aspiring and great hoping and great dreaming.” Human imagination is the fundamental pillar upon which the hope of democracy rests. More than the individual working alone, “collective imagining,” he says, yields wisdom and insight in their highest manifestations. Building consensus, however, takes time. People often feel that they do not have the time. In the fall of 1952, Thurman believed the proverbial clock was ticking. While the American experiment in democracy remained imperfect, Thurman was sure this “laboratory” for the democratic process could be instructive for societies across the globe. He calls upon the nation to resist dominating the world and rather, shed light on the divine path toward a more united human race.

Item Relations

This item has no relations.

Suggest a Correction to the Transcript