The Beloved Community Connected by Overflowing Love with Bishop Rev. Dr. Marc Andrus

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Buddhist leader, Thich Nhat Hanh wrote a letter to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with an unexpected outcome. They met only two times and became not only allies in the peace movement but friends as they set aside their differences in religion, culture, and the fact that their countries were at war with one another. The vibrancy and inspiration of their friendship is alive today and has practical implications as we strive together to embrace a life more deeply connected with the capacity for transformation in this imperiled world. The two men bonded over a shared vision of what the late Congressman John Lewis called “The Beloved Community.” Bishop Andrus responded to the question about what this community is like and what the world would look like in which we are in mutual relationship. He said, “We live in a world where some people are objects, the Earth is an object… And thus, they're available to be used and abused. This is the prevailing worldview. The Beloved Community is quite different than that. It's a place where all those objects suddenly emerge as equal to each other and what binds them together is overflowing love… So, if you and I are connected by love that is different than being connected by profit desire, or by fear, or by hatred. We're connected by love. And a world connected by love, at peace with itself, is the beloved community.” (hosted by Justine Willis Toms)


Rt. Rev. Dr. Marc Andrus is the eighth Bishop of the Episcopal diocese of California, elected in 2006. Raised among the hills and lakes of East Tennessee, Bishop Marc developed an early love for the beauty of the earth and a call to protect it. His activism, grounded in contemplative prayer, has focused on key issues related to peace and justice, including immigration reform, civil rights for LBGTQ+ persons, health care, and climate change. Mark has led the Episcopal delegation to the annual UN Climate Conference. In service for Presiding Bishop Michael Bruce Curry, Bishop Marc serves as representative to the Anglican Communion Environmental Network.

 Marc Andrus is the author of:

  • Stations of the Cosmic Christ (Rev. Dr. Matthew Fox) (Unity 2018)
  • Brothers in the Beloved Community: The Friendship of Thich Nhat Hanh and Martin Luther King Jr.(Parallax Press 2021)

 To learn more about the work of Bishop Marc Andrus go to

 Topics explored in this dialogue include: 

  • How Bishop Marc first came in contact with Thich Nhat Hanh
  • How Thich Nhat Hanh called on Martin Luther King, Jr. to join him in the peace movement for Vietnam
  • The monks, who set themselves on fire in Vietnam, were performing an act of compassion and not a suicide
  • How Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “Mountaintop” speech the day before he was assassinated was an acknowledgement of his coming martyrdom
  • How being a martyr is being a witness as Thich Nhat Hanh was all of his life
  • How Thich Nhat Hanh instituted the ordination of women as nuns in Buddhism
  • How “engaged Buddhism” took monks out of the monastic walls into the society of everyday life
  • What is the “Beloved Community” and how is it leading us beyond hierarchy and patriarchy
  • What was the impact on Bishop Andrus of the late Congressman John Lewis’ speech on “The Beloved Community”
  • How “The Beloved Community” is not just secular but is a “world at peace”
  • Who was Josiah Royce who coined the term “Beloved Community” as a world connected by love
  • How prayer is available to every being at every moment to touch the ultimate
  • What is the untold story of Thich Nhat Hanh’s return to Vietnam after being exiled for decades
  • The ritual that ThichNhat Hanh created for healing the trauma of war and those who were lost

Host: Justine Willis Toms   Interview Date: 4/20/2023   Program Number: 3786

Music Playlist

From Album: Neurosphere
Artist: Eso-Terra
2012  EsoTerra

Opening Essay: Tracks 01 & 02 Seeking Samadhi & In This Moment
Music Break 1: Track 03 Sacred Desert
Music Break 2: Track 04 Lover’s Cage
Music Break 3: Track 09 Letters of Attunement