(March 4, Indianapolis, IN) – A half-century has passed since the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King called on Americans to live up to the founding principle that all are created equal. As our nation prepares to observe the 50-year anniversary of the March on Washington, Christian Theological Seminary (CTS) is convening scholars, pastors, and social justice advocates to examine how far we’ve come on the journey to social justice and what must be done to achieve the dream King so eloquently articulated in 1963.
On Friday, April 12, four of the nation’s leading theological and social justice thought leaders will examine King’s legacy and what the civil rights movement looks like 50 years after the historic events of 1963. During an afternoon of workshops, participants will remember King’s dream, explore how the dream has evolved and examine how the dream applies in today’s world where poverty, injustice and despair remain prevalent.
A panel of renowned scholars, faith leaders and social justice activists will discuss King’s work from three perspectives: “The Dream in Context,” “The Dream Around the World” and “The Dream Today”.
Discussion leaders include Allan Aubrey Boesak, founder of South Africa’s largest anti-apartheid movement, the United Democratic Front; Dr. Walter Bruggemann, perhaps the most well-known biblical scholar in North America; Rufus Burrow, one of America’s leading scholars on Martin Luther King and a CTS faculty member; and Rev. Frank Anthony Thomas, who recently joined CTS from Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church to lead a new CTS institute focused on preaching and worship.
According to CTS President Rev. Dr. Matthew Myer Boulton, the event will not only honor King’s legacy, but challenge the community to push forward in attaining his dream. “Dr. King’s vision and passion captured a generation’s imagination. Yet we won’t do justice to his memory unless we consider how we continue along the path today,” Boulton said.
More than a decade into the 21st century, many Americans cannot remember 1963, yet the nation continues to struggle with the same issues that captivated King. “The gap between the wealthiest and the poorest in America is wider than ever and continues to grow,” said Carol Johnston, director of Lifelong Theological Education at CTS. She commented that the legislative achievements emerging from King’s legacy have not eradicated the injustices they sought to address. “Racism and injustice have not gone away, but the struggle today is less about unjust laws and more about entrenched social systems that hold people back,” Johnston added.
Registration for the April 12 event held in CTS’s Shelton Auditorium begins at 1 p.m., with discussion workshops beginning at 1:30 and concluding at 8:30. Tickets are available at www.cts.edu or by calling 317-931-4224. Ticket prices are $25 for the discussion only, or $35 for discussion and an evening dinner. A free public worship service will be held on Sunday, April 14, at Saint John’s Baptist Church in Indianapolis.
CTS is a fully accredited ecumenical seminary and is affiliated with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). It offers eight graduate-level degree programs, including theology, ministry and counseling, with specializations in ministries that emphasize the arts and programs for life-long learning. More than 30 denominations are represented among its faculty and students.