Mysticism and Social Change

The Social Witness of Howard Thurman

by Alton B. Pollard, III (Author)
Others 219 Pages


Academics and activists alike have long dismissed mysticism as an «otherworldly» and escapist form of religion. Alton B. Pollard III, in a ground breaking study of the noted African-American mystic, Howard Thurman, presents an analysis of religious experience that challenges prevailing interpretations of mysticism and social change. Drawing on perspectives from sociology, phenomenology, and history, the author examines the meaning of mystical religion for the «underside» of contemporary American society. What he uncovers is significant: an activist form of mysticism, compelled by the dictates of spiritual experience, that defies social conventions and engenders social change.


ISBN (Hardcover)
New York, Bern, Frankfurt/M., Paris, 1992. 219 pp.

Biographical notes

Alton B. Pollard, III (Author)

The Author: Alton B. Pollard III is an assistant professor of Religion at Wake Forest University. He is a graduate of Fisk University and Harvard Divinity School, and received his Ph.D. from Duke University. Dr. Pollard has published widely in the areas of religion and culture and is an associate editor of Black Sacred Music: A Journal of Theomusicology.


Title: Mysticism and Social Change