Themes

The Archive

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.

History

Dr. King cites Reinhold Niebuhr's definition of history and its relation to God.

Note Cards on God

Dr. King's writes on the possibility of finding God from the First Book of Chronicles.

God

Dr. King explores the topic of God and quotes the classical scholar Gilbert Murray.

Individualization

Dr. King cites philosopher and theologian Paul Tillich's definition of individualization. He explains, "it is implied in and constitutive of every self, which means that at least in an analogous way it is implied in and constitutive of every being."

Hegel

Dr. King outlines principles of Hegel's philosophy regarding rationality and reality.

Schleiermacher, Friedrich

Dr. King outlines the life and ideologies of Friedrich Schleiermacher.

Notecard Listing Various Scriptures from Isaiah

Dr. King lists numerous scriptures from the Old Testament book of Isaiah related to the topics of righteous living, anger and sin.

Social Ethics

Dr. King writes notes on social ethics from the Book of Nahum.

Progress

Dr. King quotes Herbert Spencer regarding the inevitability of progress.

Worship

Dr. King references William Ernest Hocking and James Bissett Pratt regarding religious worship.

Exodus

Dr. King cites several scriptures from the Biblical book of Exodus. Highlighted topics include knowledge, ethics, the doctrine of God, and sin.

God (I Chronicles)

Dr. King interprets I Chronicles 16:14 as implying monotheism.

God, Knowledge Of (Wieman)

Dr. King quotes Henry Nelson Wieman's article "How Do We Know God?" from the Journal of Religion.

The Categories

Dr. King contemplates the fourth level of ontological concepts, which focus on the categories of thought and being. Referencing Paul Tillich, King notes the categories that are most relevant to theology.

Descartes

Dr. King quotes Rene Descartes' discovery of his famous principle. The idea, "I think, therefore I am," Descartes says, is essential, irrefutable and fitting to be the first principle of his philosophy.

Fundamentalism

Dr. King cross-references fundamentalism with authoritarianism.

Education (Its Weakness in the Moral Realm)

Dr. King documents two quotes from St. Augustine's "Confessions." Both quotes address Augustine's view on education and how it affects one's relationship with God and other human beings.

Transition Period

Dr. King quotes an unknown source that links the transition period to Alfred North Whitehead’s rejection of his earlier view about science and philosophy.

Philosopher (definition)

Dr. King quotes poet William Wordsworth's definition of a philosopher.

Lenin

Dr. King labels a quote from Vladimir Lenin "a false dictum."

Man

Dr. King interprets Jeremiah 51:17 to mean that man compared to God is stupid and man's knowledge compared to God's infinite knowledge is nothing.

Prayer

Dr. King notes William James' description of prayer.

Ezekiel and Sin

Dr. King paraphrases the biblical verse Ezekiel 20:21. He states that the prophet makes it clear that among the greatest sins of the Israelites was "profaning the Sabbath."

Gregory the Great (540-604)

Dr. King outlines historical information regarding Gregory the Great otherwise known as Pope Gregory I.

Evil

Dr. King quotes Edgar S. Brightman's "Philosophy of Religion" on the topic of evil.

Selfishness

Dr. King cites Schopenhauer's book "The World as Will and Ideas" and records a passage on selfishness.

Manichaeism

Dr. King describes Manichaeism, a religion and philosophical doctrine that originated in Persia.

Poetry

Dr. King quotes Shelley's views on poetry from the book "Defiance of Poetry."

Religion

Dr. King writes that religion is paradoxical.

God

Dr. King quotes Plato's views regarding God.

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