The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.

- Dr Martin Luther King, Jr (after Theodore Parker). 1964, Middletown, Connecticut.

Something a little different this week! In an essay in 1853, Theodore Parker set up ideas on social responsibility, justice, conscience, and the nature of God reflected in human beings that still resonate today. The quotation made famous by Dr King, is actually a paraphrase from this essay, in which Parker critiques both church and state to present the gospel of a human Jesus bringing good news to the rest of humanity.

Read transcript

Theodore Parker was a Unitarian Christian, and he believed that the human conscience as created by God had a natural affinity for justice. For him, the work of the gospel is choosing to work with and towards that affinity, rather than against it and for one's own self; and, in common with all Unitarians (like me and my faith community), Jesus is the proof of the fundamental goodness of human nature that God intends to redeem in us.

In a short introduction to the episode I explain why this essay really resonated with me, and give a brief overview of Parker's flow. I hope this essay strikes you as squarely in the face as it did me; and you'll be hearing more from me on this subject soon!

Join the discussion on Facebook and listen via iTunes, Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts. If you're enjoying the show, you could even leave a review, and share the podcast on social media!


Parker, Theodore (1853). Ten Sermons of Religion. Boston, MA: Crosby, Nichols, and Company.
Google Books    Amazon



Tobit 8, Job 20, Matthew 27, James 2, Genesis 9