James Kenneth Echols, president of the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, is the editor for the recently-released collection of essays, I Have A Dream: Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Future of Multicultural America (Fortress Press, Minneapolis.)
The essays by Peter J. Paris, Linda E. Thomas, Robert M. Franklin, Emilie M. Townes, Dwight N. Hopkins, Justo L. Gonzalez, and James A. Forbes, Jr. were originally delivered as the 2003 Hein-Fry Lecture Series of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America to commemorate the 40th anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech. The essays focus on four themes: the influences in Martin Luther King, Jr.'s life which shaped his ministry; analysis of King's "I Have a Dream" speech; the continuing importance and relevance of King's dream in contemporary America; and the divine call to all God's people to participate in the ongoing struggle for human equality and justice.
"With the publication of these important lectures, their wisdom can continue to inform discussions in churches and classrooms throughout the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the nation," said Dr. Mark Wilhem, Director of Ministry Leadership Planning at the ELCA's Division for Ministry. He added,"The Division for Ministry was pleased to sponsor the 2003 Hein-Fry Lectures on the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s 'I Have a Dream' speech."
James Echols is a native of Philadelphia and was dean at the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia prior to becoming president of the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. He is published in the areas of church history, theology and Black American Lutheran ism. Echols received his master of divinity degree from the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia and the master of arts, master of philosophy and doctor of philosophy degrees from Yale University.