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Note Cards

Education was essential in the development of the mind of Martin Luther King, Jr. From his matriculation at Morehouse College through his doctoral studies at Boston University, Dr. King took notes on various subjects and referenced some of the most important philosophers of all time. The note cards shown in this section give you a glimpse into the molding of one of the world’s most brilliant thinkers and orators. Religion, natural law, metaphysics and the meaning of wisdom are just a few of the topics highlighted. These subjects and many more helped Dr. King’s capacity to expand his intellectual and spiritual capacity three dimensionally.

Liberalism

Dr. King notes a view of liberalism in Harry Emerson Fosdick’s “The Modern Use of the Bible.”

Patripassianism

Dr. King gives a definition of patripassianism.

Worship

Dr. King critiques the Protestant Church worship services.

Sin (Augustine's definition)

Dr. King records a note on St. Augustine's definition sin, referencing passages from Reinhold Niebuhr's "The Nature and Destiny of Man: A Christian Interpretation," volume 1: "Human Nature."

History

Dr. King references a quote from St. Paul regarding a theological perspective of history.

Knowledge

Dr. King notes several New Testament passages that pertain to knowledge.

Buddhism

Dr. King quotes James Bissett Pratt's "The Religious Consciousness: A Psychological Study."

Man The Christian View

Dr. King outlines Reinhold Niebuhr’s three ways in which the Christian view of man differs from all others, citing “The Nature and Destiny of Man.”

Scientific Method (Its Importance)

Dr. King quotes Henry P. Van Dusen’s article “How Do We Know?” from The Christian Century on the scientific method as central to Henry Nelson Wieman’s thinking. He used this quote in his doctoral dissertation, “A Comparison of the Conceptions of God in the Thinking of Paul Tillich and Henry Nelson Wieman.”

Righteousness

Dr. King records a quote on righteousness from Karl Barth's "The Epistle to the Romans."

Rauschenbusch on Sin

Dr. King references and outlines Rauschenbusch's view on sin. Rauschenbusch was a Baptist minister and a key figure in the Social Gospel movement.

Barth

Dr. King writes about Karl Barth's theology regarding revelation.

Miracle

Dr. King references the Old Testament Biblical Book of Numbers regarding the topic of miracles.

Restorationism

Dr. King defines restorationism.

Justification (Ritschl)

Dr. King quotes Albert Ritschl's "The Christian Doctrine of Justification and Reconciliation."

Man (Divided Against Himself)

Referencing the liberal German historian Friedrich Meinecke, Dr. King describes a philosophy on politics as it relates to humanity and one's morals.

Man (John Scotus Eriugena)

Dr. King outlines Erigena's theory of how the current state of complexity in the universe came about.

God

Dr. King records a note on French scholar Ernest Renan's prophecy in relation to God.

The Scope of Philosophy

Dr. King notes that Alfred North Whitehead, in “Concept of Nature,” “Religion in the Making” and “Principles of Natural Knowledge,” seeks to isolate the philosophy of science from metaphysics.

Angels

Dr. King writes on angels, according to Daniel 10:13, 21, and 12:1.

Freedom

Dr. King quotes from Hegel's "The Philosophy of History."

Immortality

Dr. King finds the best description of the unknowable nature of immortality in the New Testament of the Bible. It is a fragment of 1 Corinthians 2:9 regarding heaven.

Jesus

Dr. King cites a quote from Claude J. Montefiore's book, "Some Elements of the Religious Teaching of Jesus."

Pride

Dr. King quotes Bertrand Russell’s “Power: A New Social Analysis.”

God

Dr. King uses a verse from the Book of Nehemiah to illustrate God's faithfulness.

God

Dr. King references a quote from Proverbs regarding creation and God's wisdom.

War

Dr. King quotes Napoleon, Gen. Dwight Eisenhower, Gen. Douglas MacArthur, and Gen. Omar Bradley on war as impractical.

The Transcendental Dialectics

Dr. King writes on the "soul" and the "world" as two ideas of reason. He speaks to the human tendency to apply the categories of quantity, quality, relation, and modality to our understanding of the self. King ends these notes by contemplating "two absolutely contradictory propositions [that] seem to be established by the refutation of the other."

Progress

Dr. King quotes from Browning's "A Death in the Desert."

God

Dr. King cites a scripture from the Old Testament biblical book of Isaiah demonstrating God's wrath.

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