So this project turns out to be harder than I thought. I’ve gone back to Josiah Royce and am one-quarter of the way through with the book in which he coined the phrase and the concept. I’ve also done some digging in Howard Thurman’s and Martin King’s writing.
The one thing I’m confident in saying is that all three of them thought of Beloved Community in very big terms. Royce equated it with the Commonwealth* of Heaven on earth. Thurman thought of it as a feasible better society. King considered it an end to be attained.
I’m not sure any of them would be comfortable with the idea of plural Beloved Communities. Maybe I’m wrong.
*Yes, Royce said Kingdom.