‘Psychic Screams’: Reflections on a Howard Thurman Sermon


  • Ivory Lyons, PhD University of Mount Union




Environmental Science, Environment, Ethics, Philosophy, English, Psychic Screams, Reflections, Howard Thurman Sermon


The 20th century mystic/writer Howard Thurman makes a claim that there is a symbiotic relationship between the earth adn humans such that what humans experience as violence against each other is actually a reflection of the violence that humans do to the earth. The major contentions of this paper are (i) the curse as laid out in Genesis assumes that there is an intended harmony between the various elements of creation, but this harmony was disrupted ultimately by human mistrust of the divine; and (ii) that healing is possible if humans learn how to live in peace with the Earth. The paper will also explore possible ramifications for human life and for spiritual life on this plant if indeed this is the sort of harmony envisioned or entrusted to humans, animals and plant life.

Author Biography

Ivory Lyons, PhD, University of Mount Union

University of Mount Union


Kidner, David. Genesis: An Introduction and Commentary, Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries Ser. Downers Grove, II. Inter-Varsity Press, 1967.

Thurman, Howard. "The Search for Common Ground." Sermon at Friends Meeting, Virginia Beach, Virginia, 11 Nov 1971. Thurman papers (Box 194), Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center, Boston University.

Thurman, Howard. The Search for Common Ground: An Inquiry to the Basis of Man's Experience of Community, Richmond, IN: Friends United Press, 1986.




How to Cite

Lyons, I. (2012). ‘Psychic Screams’: Reflections on a Howard Thurman Sermon. Tattva Journal of Philosophy, 4(2), 87-98. https://doi.org/10.12726/tjp.8.6