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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.

Hegel

Dr. King references German philosopher, George Hegal, in this handwritten notecard.

Contradiction

Dr. King writes a quote expressing the bounds of consciously living in contradiction.

Social Ethics

Dr. King cites a scripture from the Old Testament book of Deuteronomy to show that anyone who gives to the poor will be blessed.

Religion (Definition)

Dr. King quotes from D. Miall Edwards’ “The Philosophy of Religion.” Miall is misspelled on the note card.

Ritschl (Christology)

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

The Cultural Crisis

Dr. King quotes Edward Hallett Carr's "Conditions of Peace."

Catholicism

Dr. King references American theologian Niebuhr's ideas regarding Catholicism and quotes, "It pretended that the church could mediate the divine, mercy and judgement without itself standing under that judgement or requiring that mercy." This quotes derives from Niebuhr's book "The Pope's Domesticated God."

Leibnitz's Doctrine of Evil

Dr. King cites Albert C. Knudson's "Doctrine of Redemption."

Schleiermacher, Friedrich

Dr. King records a note on Friedrich Schleiermacher's "Speeches on Religion."

Schleiermacher (Christianity)

Dr. King cites a quote by philosopher Schleiermacher regarding "the God-consciousness."

Optimism

Dr. King quotes F. S. Marvin's "The Living Past."

Worship

Dr. King provides a definition of worship.

Schleiermacher (Definition of Theology)

Dr. King quotes and interprets Friedrich Schleiermacher's definition of dogmatic theology in "The Christian Faith."

Knowledge

Dr. King outlines epistemological claims that deal with the "universals" and the "particulars" of knowledge. In doing so, he references the philosophical views of Socrates and St. Thomas Aquinas.

Religion

Dr. King comments on Plato's view of religion and records a quote from A.G. Keller's "Science and Society."

War- Treitschke

Dr. King quotes Heinrich von Treitschke’s “Politics.”

Humanism (15th Century)

Dr. King reflects on a classical approach to learning.

Scientific Method and God

Dr. King quotes Henry Nelson Wieman on the knowledge of God being unscientific. The content of this card appears verbatim in King's doctoral dissertation, "A Comparison of the Conceptions of God in the Thinking of Paul Tillich and Henry Nelson Wieman."

Original Sin

From "The Epistle of the Romans," Dr. King records Karl Barth's observations regarding original sin, which are compared to views of the Bible, Saint Augustine and the Reformers.

Matter (Aristotelian Concept)

Here, Dr. King discusses the functional differences between matter and form.

Secular

Dr. King identifies the origin of the term secular as "meaning 'century,' that in time as distinguished from eternity." He explains that eternal things were more important that the things deemed to be belonging only to the present.

Kingdom of God

Dr. King notes the origin of the ideology of God having sovereign rule over the universe.

Robert L. Cope

Dr. King references Robert L. Cope’s article “Nature and/or Grace.”

God

Dr. King writes about God, according to Isaiah 6:1.

Christianity (History Of)

Dr. King quotes Harkness on the history of Christianity. Likely this is American theologian Georgia Harkness.

Hope

Dr. King quotes John Milton, who lost his sight, on the brilliance of the divine light that he experiences in his darkness.

Original Sin

Dr. King records his views regarding the doctrine of original sin.

War (Just War)

Dr. King cites Francisco Suarez's definition of a "just war" from his "Tractibus de. Legibus."

Reason

Dr. King quotes Edgar S. Brightman's "The Finding of God."

The Purpose of the State

Dr. King records some thoughts on the functions of the state.

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