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The article contends that Dr King makes an other-typological illustrative use of the Exodus story in his preaching – one of the most significant biblical narratives that the Black church in the US holds dear. This peculiar use of the Exodus story differentiates itself from the conventional typological understanding and use of the same story in the Black church’s history. While in the latter the Exodus story has a symbolic meaning of the irreconcilable conflict between the oppressed and the oppressing reality, in the former the same story contains a spiritual lesson that what is really hoped for in the midst of the seemingly irreconcilable racial and social conflict is compassion, liberation, and reconciliation for both parties involved. This article, by examining a representative sermon of Dr King on the Exodus story, shows that his other-typological illustrative approach originates from his fundamental theological ideal of universal reconciliation.

Let us remember that as we struggle against Egypt, we must have love … (King 1992:III, 261)


Originally published HTS Teologiese Studies/Theological Studies 72(2),

ISSN: 0259-9422 (PRINT)

ISSN: 2072-8050