Kingdom Come: King and the Third Way of Nonviolence (video)

Posted on December 2, 2021 by PLT Staff

Lecture given by Guy Aiken at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, VA (November 10, 2021). Aiken presents a comprehensive overview of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s philosophy of nonviolence by drawing out some of the oppositions that were always at work in his mind. Aiken then demonstrates how King saw nonviolent resistance as a third way between fight or flight. According to Aiken, King argued that agape love, which motivates nonviolent resistance, is a decision that a person makes as an act of love toward an opponent. Finally, Aiken shows how King thought of nonviolence as morally, strategically, and tactically superior to both violence and passive resistance. To find a listing of all our Occasional Lectures, click here.

Excerpt: “In his understanding, analysis, and implementation of agape love, I think, is where King really transcends [Reinhold] Niebuhr in particular…Agape love, as King understands it, is an act of the will, a decision to work for the good of your opponent as well as of yourself…Agape love is not an emotion. It is not a feeling. You don’t have to like your opponent in order to love them in the agape sense…It serves you by serving the other person.”

  • Video Information
  • Date Recorded:November 10, 2021
  • Location Recorded:Charlottesville, VA
This video is published by the Project on Lived Theology (PLT). For any questions related to its use, please contact PLT ( Copy available for use subject to Creative Commons License CC-BY-NC-ND (Attribution required, Non-Commercial use, No Derivatives, 3.0, Unported).