National Conference on Religion and Race

From January 14 to 17, 1963, religious leaders from the Catholic, Protestant, and Jewish organizations met in Chicago, Illinois. The conference was organized to bring “the joint moral force of the churches and synagogues to bear on the problem of racial segregation.” Rev Martin Luther King Jr was the keynote speaker at the Conference and Heschel delivered an address on “Religion and Race.” It was here that Heschel said:

Few of us seem to realize how insidious, how radical, how universal an evil racism is. Few of us realize that racism is man’s gravest threat to man, the maximum of hatred for a minimum of reason, the maximum of cruelty for a minimum of thinking.

“National Conference on Religion and Race” Program, Abraham Joshua Heschel Papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.

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