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Lotan Harold Dewolf
L. Harold DeWolf (1901?1986), an American personalist. He received the Ph.D. in Philosophy from Boston University in 1935, under Edgar S. Brightman. He taught at Boston University, a cradle of American Personalism, as Professor of Philosophy and later Systematic Theology until 1965. Then L. Harold DeWolf served as Dean and Professor of Systematic Theology at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C., until his retirement in 1972.
His major works are: Responsible Freedom (New York 1971) and Crime and Justice in America. A Paradox of Conscience (New York 1975).
"From our American perspective we shall look back upon the history of personalism."
The first use of the term "personalism" in American published print was probably by Walt Whitman in an article entitled Personalism, which was published in The Galaxy in 1868.
1. Definition of personalism
It may be, as Ralph Tyler Flewelling believes, that Whitman had picked up the word from oral usage by Bronson Alcott, though the principal piece of evidence, which is in Alcott's Journal for April 28, 1868, hardly implies that.
Relationship with Martin Luther King, Jr.
Dr. Lotan Harold DeWolf taught theology at Boston University from 1934 to 1965, where he was the dissertation advisor for a young Martin Luther King, Jr. After Dr. King's graduation, Harold continued to correspond with him and accompanied him on the 1965 Selma, Alabama protest marches.
Dr. King wrote to Dr. DeWolf: “Both your stimulating lectures and your profound ideas will remain with me so long as the cords of memory shall lengthen. I have discovered that both theologically and philosophically much of my thinking is DeWolfian” (Letter from King to DeWolf, 2 June 1955).
Funeral Tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr.January 13, 2006 Episode no. 920http://www.pbs.org/wnet/religionandethics/week920/tribute.html
Funeral Tribute to Martin Luther King Jr. Ebenezer Baptist Church, Atlanta April 9, 1968 By L. Harold DeWolf
It was my privilege to teach Martin Luther King, to march with him in Mississippi, agonize and pray with him in the midst of the worst violence at St. Augustine, to spend many hours counseling with him, to go through great volumes of his private papers organizing them, to spend many days and nights in his home. I know the innermost thoughts of this man as deeply as I know that of any man on earth. It has been the highest privilege of my life, this personal friendship.
Martin Luther King spoke with the tongues of men and of angels. Now those eloquent lips are stilled. His knowledge ranged widely and his prophetic wisdom penetrated deeply into human affairs. Now that knowledge and that wisdom have been transcended as he shares in the divine wisdom of eternity.
The apostle Paul has told us that when all other experiences and virtues of humanity have been left behind, faith, hope, and love remain. But the greatest of these is love.
Martin exemplified all three in the rarest intensity. Amid the tempestuous seas and treacherous storms of injustice, hate, and violence which threatened the very life of mankind, his faith was a solid, immovable rock. He received hundreds of threats upon his life, yet for 13 years he walked among them unafraid. His single commitment was to do God's will for him; his trust was in God alone.
On that rock of faith God raised in him a lighthouse of hope. No white backlash nor black backlash nor massive indifference could cause him to despair. He dreamed a dream of world brotherhood, and unlike most of us, he gave himself absolutely to work for the fulfillment of this inspired hope. In that lighthouse of hope, God lighted in Martin a torch of love. He loved all men. Even the hate-filled foe of all he represented he tried sympathetically to understand.
He sought to relieve the slavery of the oppressors as well as that of the oppressed. While overborne by incredible pressures upon his time and energy, he yet had time to bring comfort and counsel to a bereaved boy he had never seen before or to park a car for a confused woman who was a complete stranger.
What a legacy of love is left to this faithful and gifted wife and these four dear children. They now share his dream, his faith, hope, and love -- they and the faithful little band of nonviolent crusaders who have been unfailingly with him from Montgomery all the way to Memphis. They are too few, they who have already made such a costly sacrifice.
It is now for us, all the millions of the living who care, to take up his torch of love. It is for us to finish his work, to end the awful destruction in Vietnam, to root out every trace of race prejudice from our lives, to bring the massive powers of this nation to aid the oppressed and to heal the hate-scarred world.
God rest your soul, dear Martin. You have fought the good fight. You have finished your course. You have kept the faith. Yours is now the triumphant crown of righteousness. Your dream is now ours. May God make us worthy and able to carry your torch of love and march on to brotherhood. Amen.
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