Download PDF by Keith D. Miller: Martin Luther King's Biblical Epic: His Final, Great Speech

By Keith D. Miller

In his ultimate speech "I've Been to the Mountaintop," Martin Luther King Jr. added his help of African American rubbish employees on strike in Memphis. even if a few examine this oration King's best, it truly is mostly identified for its concluding mins, in which King compares himself to Moses and turns out to foretell his personal assassination. yet King gave an hour-long speech, and the concluding phase can in simple terms be understood with regards to the total. King students as a rule specialize in his theology, now not his relation to the Bible or the situation of a Baptist conversing in a Pentecostal environment. even if King stated and explicated the Bible in 1000's of speeches and sermons, Martin Luther King's Biblical Epic is the 1st booklet to research his method of the Bible and its value to his rhetoric and persuasiveness.Martin Luther King's Biblical Epic argues that King challenged dominant Christian supersessionist conceptions of Judaism in prefer of a Christianity that affirms Judaism as its wellspring. In his ultimate speech, King implicitly yet strongly argues that you can actually seize Jesus merely by way of first greedy Moses and the Hebrew prophets. This publication additionally strains the roots of King's speech to its Pentecostal atmosphere and to the Pentecostals in his viewers. In doing so, Miller places forth the 1st scholarship to credits the regularly unknown, yet very good African American architect who created the massive but compact church sanctuary, which made attainable the original connection among King and his viewers at the evening of his final speech.

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Extra resources for Martin Luther King's Biblical Epic: His Final, Great Speech (Race, Rhetoric, and Media)

Sample text

Or does he navigate differently the vexed relationship between Christianity and Judaism? And how in the world does the relationship between different genres of an ancient book impinge on a current labor dispute in Memphis? From the pulpit and the podium, King never approaches the Bible in a piecemeal or scattershot fashion. Instead, he adapts specific oratorical traditions to construct his own highly imaginative interpretation of the Bible. He consistently blends his biblical appeals with his advocacy of African American rights in Montgomery, Birmingham, Selma, and Memphis.

This book also explores the setting for King’s final speech—Mason Temple, the national headquarters for the Church of God in Christ, a large denomination of African American Pentecostals. Unfortunately, Mason Temple has been largely ignored and sometimes outright misrepresented by those who write about King. I argue that it is an absolute marvel of design made possible by Pentecostal loyalists and crafted by an amazing architect who deserves kudos rather than the obscurity that he has received.

32 According to Stewart Burns, King, in a staff meeting, narrated by memory a story from Numbers. 33 Burns explains that, upon hearing this story, one staffer declared that Alabama would become a land of milk and honey when everyone could vote. 34 King’s typological interpretation of the Exodus in “The Birth of a New Nation” and “Death of Evil on the Seashore” extends and reconfigures a traditional African American biblical interpretation that depicted blacks as slaves groaning in the Egypt of the slave-owning South.

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