Themes

The Archive

Digital Archive brought to you
by JPMorgan Chase & Co.

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.

Kierkegaard

Dr. King quotes Soren Kierkegaard's "Einübung im Christentum" ["Practice in Christianity"].

The Christian Year

Dr. King records a quote from William D. Maxwell's "An Outline of Christian Worship Its Developments and Forms." The quote describes how the Christian year came to be formed.

War

Dr. King records a quote regarding war from General Omar Bradley in 1950.

Man

Dr. King quotes a line from Homer's epic poem "The Iliad."

Suffering

Dr. King notes his thoughts on the question of the Biblical prophet Habakkuk: "why do the wicked prosper?"

Class Notes: Deuteronomy

Dr. King discusses the theological concepts of God, man, sin, individual ethics, and social ethics. He also outlines the history of the Biblical book, Deuteronomy.

Worship

Dr. King describes Edgar S. Brightman’s four attitudes of worship in “Philosophy of Religion.”

Pragmatism

Dr. King documents a J.B. Pratt quote from "What is Pragmatism."

Dort, Canons of

Dr. King documents a brief history of the Arminian judicial decision, officially titled "The Decision of the Synod of Dort."

Psychology

This series of note cards addresses psychology through the means of human unity. The concept of human unity is indicated by the presence of the body and the soul working in conjunction to inform the human experience. Dr. King references the views of St. Augustine and St. Thomas as it pertains to "the close union between body and soul."

Man

Dr. King writes about man, as discussed in the Old Testament passages, Hosea 10: 13 and 14.

God (Knowledge of)

Dr. King references St. Thomas Aquinas' "Summa Contra Gentiles" in a quotation focusing on man's "threefold knowledge of divine things."

Forgiveness

Dr. King gives examples of what it means to forgive. Among other definitions, forgiveness means "that the past is overlooked" and that there is "a renewal of higher fellowship."

Schleiermacher

Dr. King quotes Friedrich Schleiermacher's "Speeches on Religion" on temporal things so filling people's minds that they don't have room for the eternal. He contrasts this with pantheism. The full title of this work is "On Religion: Speeches to Its Cultured Despisers."

Sermon Text (Habakkuk)

Dr. King examines Habakkuk chapter 1, verses 2 through 4 to discuss whether the inequalities of life are justification to question God.

God

Dr. King wrote these notes on the concept of God while reading "Science and the Modern World" and "Religion in the Making" by Alfred North Whitehead. He quotes Whitehead, stating that God is the "perpetual vision of the road which leads to the deeper realities."

Schleiermacher (The Church)

Dr. King quotes Friedrich Schleiermacher’s “The Christian Faith.”

Freedom

Here, Dr. King defines freedom.

Mysticism

Dr. King cites a passage from American philosopher William Ernest Hocking's "Meaning of God in Human Experience," in which he discusses various forms of mysticism.

The Trinity

Dr. King provides the historical origin and ideology of the Trinity.

Prayer

Dr. King records a prayer.

Niebuhr, Reinhold

Dr. King references the preface to Reinhold Niebuhr's book, "Reflection on the End of an Era."

Ethics

Dr. King quotes a scripture from the book of Psalms discussing ethics.

Schleiermacher (Religion as a Social Experience)

Dr. King quotes Friedrich Schleiermacher’s “Speeches on Religion.” The full title of this work is “On Religion: Speeches to Its Cultured Despisers.”

God (His Love)

Dr. King writes notes regarding God and his love for humanity. King states, "God is a God who takes initiative... [He] seeks His creatures before they seek him."

Revelation

Dr. King quotes Reinhold Niebuhr's "The Nature and Destiny of Man."

Sin

Dr. King references the Old Testament biblical book of Leviticus regarding the topic of sin.

God

Dr. King elaborates on Thomas Aquinas' views on the existence of God.

Transcendence and Immanence of God

Dr. King quotes Jeremiah 23:23, and he provides his interpretation of the biblical passage.

Wisdom

Dr. King quotes and comments on Proverbs 2:6, saying that wisdom is a supreme virtue for the author of Proverbs and involves moral character and knowledge.

Pages