The Preacher King

by Richard Lischer
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It appears that the interpretative lenses of this book are the African Baptist tradition that formed Martin Luther King as a preacher and the white liberal theological tradition that shaped him as an American religious activist. In the preface, how does Lischer describe the relationship between the two traditions that influenced King, and the commonalities and differences in chapter 2 between liberalism and the Black church/Black gospel tradition

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In the preface, Lister says that King was both "a black preacher and a social reformer" because he followed the African-Baptist tradition as well as the liberal theological tradition. King's...

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We're only allowed to answer one question per request on eNotes, so I've chosen to focus on the first one.

In the preface, Lister says that King was both "a black preacher and a social reformer" because he followed the African-Baptist tradition as well as the liberal theological tradition. King's ability to preach also shaped his ability to be an activist because he used the knowledge and language of one profession to inform his work in the other. Lister says that King's movement was meant to be a Christian one and that this is something that separated his movement from other civil rights organizations.

In his religious studies, King learned to get people ready for action and to sustain them through hard times. These were skills that translated to his work as an activist. He also learned to preach, which made him good with language and skilled at drawing and captivating a crowd. At the same time, he was learning the liberal theological tradition that emphasized values like the "infinite worth of human personality" and "the essential unity of freedom and the human spirit." These helped him chart a path to work toward civil rights.

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