Grace Forum Online with The Rt. Rev. Dr. Marc Handley Andrus: Brothers in the Beloved Community
Wednesday, November 10 @ 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm
The never-before-told story of the friendship between Martin Luther King Jr. and Thich Nhat Hanh—icons who changed each other and the world
The day after Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in 1968, Thich Nhat Hanh wrote a heartbroken letter to their mutual friend Raphael Gould. He said: “I did not sleep last night. . . . They killed Martin Luther King. They killed us. I am afraid the root of violence is so deep in the heart and mind and manner of this society. They killed him. They killed my hope. I do not know what to say. . . . He made so great an impression in me. This morning I have the impression that I cannot bear the loss.”
Only a few years earlier, Thich Nhat Hanh wrote an open letter to Martin Luther King Jr. as part of his effort to raise awareness and bring peace in Vietnam. There was an unexpected outcome of Nhat Hanh’s letter to King: The two men met in 1966 and 1967 and became not only allies in the peace movement, but friends. This friendship between two prophetic figures from different religions and cultures, from countries at war with one another, reached a great depth in a short period of time. Dr. King nominated Thich Nhat Hanh for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1967. He wrote: “Thich Nhat Hanh is a holy man, for he is humble and devout. He is a scholar of immense intellectual capacity. His ideas for peace, if applied, would build a monument to ecumenism, to world brotherhood, to humanity.”
The two men bonded over a vision of the Beloved Community: a vision described recently by Congressman John Lewis as “a nation and world society at peace with itself.” It was a concept each knew of because of their membership within the Fellowship of Reconciliation, an international peace organization, and that Martin Luther King Jr. had been popularizing through his work for some time. Thich Nhat Hanh, Andrus shows, took the lineage of the Beloved Community from King and carried it on after his death.
In Brothers in the Beloved Community, Marc Andrus tells the little-known story of a friendship between two giants of our time.
Each year the cathedral chooses a theme for inspiration and reflection, and in 2021 our theme is healing. Join Dean Malcolm Clemens Young for a conversation with Bishop Marc about the little-known story of a friendship between two giants of our time, and the healing potential of the Beloved Community.
Register here to join the Zoom webinar:
Space is limited. The Forum will also be broadcast on Facebook, and posted on our Youtube channel for viewing following the livestream.
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About the Guest
The Rt. Rev. Dr. Marc Handley Andrus is the eighth bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of California. Prior to his election in 2006, he served as Bishop Suffragan in the Episcopal Diocese of Alabama. Andrus is from Oak Ridge, Tennessee and has a BS in Plant Science, a Masters in Social Sciences and a Master of Divinity degree from the Virginia Theological Seminary. He received his Ph.D. from the California Institute of Integral Studies in 2019. His leadership has focused on key issues related to peace and justice, including immigration reform, civil rights for LBGTQ+ persons, health care, and climate change. His advocacy work has taken him to the Paris UN Climate Conference in 2015 (COP21), the 2016 conference in Marrakesh (COP22), as well as the Dakota Access Pipeline demonstrations at Standing Rock, North Dakota. Bishop Andrus is a member of the We Are Still In Leaders’ Circle, a diverse group of ambassadors for American climate action. He also serves on the boards of the Episcopal Impact Fund, the Episcopal School for Deacons, Episcopal Community Services, the Bishop’s Ranch, St. Dorothy’s Rest, and the American Bach Soloists, among other organizations. Andrus is married to Sheila Andrus, Ph.D., former director of the Sparkman Center at the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s School of Public Health, and they have two adult daughters, Chloé and Pilar.
About the host
The Very Rev. Dr. Malcolm Clemens Young is the dean of Grace Cathedral. He is the author of The Spiritual Journal of Henry David Thoreau and The Invisible Hand in Wilderness: Economics, Ecology, and God, and is a regular contributor on religion to the Huffington Post and San Francisco Examiner.
About The Forum
The Forum is a series of stimulating conversations about faith and ethics in relation to the important issues of our day. We invite inspiring and illustrious people to sit down for a real conversation with the Forum’s host, Malcolm Clemens Young, the dean of Grace Cathedral, and with you. Our guests range from artists, inventors and philosophers to pop culturists and elected officials, but the point of The Forum is singular: civil, sophisticated discourse that engages minds and hearts to think in new ways about the world. More about Grace Forum Online.