Bayard Rustin is largely an unknown name in theology and ethics, but this dissertation brings him into those conversations with a focus on an ethics of peripatetic friendship as an appropriate response to unjust wealth inequity. I explore how the life of Bayard Rustin, particularly his friendships, was a catalyst for much of the civil rights movement as well as broader justice movements that included charity and economic rights. Rustin, via his friendships, made possible many revolutionary changes in American society and beyond. After examining his life and contributions, I tie his life together with insights from the broader Christian tradition in order to create a moral theology that I am calling a Rustinian friendship response to wealth inequity. I suggest that friendships provide their own sort of wealth, but that they also contribute to spreading God’s abundance-wealth for the sake of human flourishing, and ultimately a witness to friendship with God.
D. Stephen Long
Theodore Walker, Jr.
Humanities, General/Other, Religion, Theology/Religious Education
Number of Pages
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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
Barringer, Justin, "Protest and Politics: A Biographical Theology of Bayard Rustin, Friendship, Charity, and Economic Justice" (2021). Religious Studies Theses and Dissertations. 25.
Available for download on Friday, May 05, 2023