Themes

The Archive

Digital Archive brought to you
by JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Dr. King the Scholar

As a pastor and theologian, Dr. King modeled the life of a public intellectual. He was a consummate scholar, speaker and writer. Growing up the son and grandson of Baptist ministers, Dr. King was surrounded by opportunities for informal learning. In his life and studies, he had exposure to some of the nation’s brightest minds. He excelled in his days as a student at Morehouse College, Crozer Theological Seminary and Boston University. Dr. King knew the liberating power of education and this undoubtedly informed his efforts to make that power available to all children in America. This theme provides a selection of documents related to Dr. King’s life as a student and scholar.

Class Notes: Joshua

This eleven card series features Biblical verses from the Book of Joshua which Dr. King references under specific subject titles. The section titles range from "Knowledge" to "Passages for Homiletical Use."

Why We Chose Jail Rather than Bail

Dr. King cites seven reasons for choosing jail not bail. Among them is that ?the highest expression of nonviolence is self suffering.?

Abelard on Universals and theMethod of Descartes

Dr. King references Peter Abelard, medieval French philosopher and theologian. He discerns that universals cannot be things or words. Rather, the universal is a concept. King maintains that this quandary is relevant to "Schoolmen" and particularly the dogma of the Church. He continues by also noting philosopher Rene Descartes, and that "he was at fault in overemphasizing mathematical method."

Oberlin College Commencement

This issue of the Oberlin Alumni Magazine features commencement articles and photos as well as Remaining Awake Through a Great Revolution, Dr. King’s address to the graduating class.

MLK's Notes On the Influence of Radio

Dr. King records information regarding religious broadcasting. He list percentages of public influence, prize giveaways and other relevant historical details.

Bibliography Compiled by MLK

This handwritten bibliography documents texts that discuss theology.

Mars Lecture Series

,

This 1958 program features Dr. King as guest lecturer for the Mars Lectures at Northwestern University.

Tuesday, April 15, 1958

Letter from Morehouse College President to MLK

,

Morehouse College President Dr. Benjamin E. Mays appeals to Dr. King to contribute to the school on the occasion of the college?s 100th anniversary.

Saturday, May 7, 1966

Letter from William G. Broaddus to MLK

,

The Editor of the Dicta column from The Virginia Law Weekly writes Dr. King to request a contribution to their "Law for the Poor" series. Mr. Broaddus states that an ideal article will discuss landlord tenant problems and offer solutions. He tells Dr. King that his work in Chicago "on the landlord tenant problem...[makes you] well qualified to write on this subject."

Wednesday, August 30, 1967

MLK's Graduation Picture From Boston University

,

This photograph captures Dr. King in his graduation gown from Boston University.

Monday, June 1, 1959

Science Surpasses the Social Order

Dr. King wrote this essay during his career at Crozer Theological Seminary in 1951. In the paper, he discusses the disproportionate growth of science and technology compared with that of the social order. Referencing the sociological term, Dr. King refers to this predicament as "cultural lag." He attributes this problem to the "lack of world brotherhood" and asserts that the survival of civilization depends on global unity. Drawing on Republican politician Wendall Wilkie and Prime Minister Clement Attlee, Dr.

SCLC's Interest in the Chicago Education System

The Southern Christian Leadership Conference initiates improvement for Chicago's education system by making recommendations. It is believed that the inadequacies of education are not only a southern issue, but a national occurrence.

MLK Examination Blue Book

,

Dr. King used this "Blue Book" to record answers for a Bible exam taken on May 23, 1947.

Friday, May 23, 1947

The Pastor and His Reference Library

Here is "The Pastor and His Reference Library" by Edward C. Starr. Starr served as librarian at Bucknell. Dr. King more than likely used this resource to conduct research and organize citations while attending Crozer Theological Seminary in Upland, PA.

Evil

Dr. King references the religious philosopher William Ernest Hocking regarding the topic of evil.

MLK's Academic Record from Harvard University

,

This is an original copy of Dr. King's transcript from Harvard University, displaying his grades in two Philosophy courses.

Thursday, August 13, 1953

Seminar in Social Philosophy Notes

Dr. King records notes for his Seminar in Social Philosophy course. These notes consist of readings by and related to ancient Greek philosophers Plato and Aristotle.

The Strength of the Legacy

,

In this New York Herald Tribune article, Dr. King refers to the recent 1964 Presidential election as a decisive repudiation of segregation and extremism. He claims the election results honored the memory of President John F. Kennedy, assassinated a year earlier. Kennedy’s greatest contribution to human rights, King says, was his televised appeal to the American people on June 19, 1963 describing equal rights and equal opportunity as a moral issue as old as the scriptures and as clear as the Constitution.

Sunday, November 22, 1964

SCLC Newsletter: July 1963

This SCLC newsletter features numerous articles written by members of the SCLC regarding Birmingham, Alabama. Also featured is a graphic story of the crisis in Birmingham.

Three Dimensions of a Complete Life

,

Dr. King states that the key to an extended and fulfilling life is to live a life that is "three dimensional." He further identifies these dimensions as: "length, breadth and height." Dr. King proclaims these dimensions will ensure a life of self-love, community and love for God.

Sunday, April 9, 1967

Syllabus In Christian Education

This syllabus outlines the various elements of a course entitled "Christian Education" from Dr. King's experience at Crozer Theological Seminary.

MLK - Notes on Ranke

Dr. King discusses history and the power of man having " made voyages, extended commerce, founded cities, and established great universities."

Religion

Dr. King writes on the topic of religion, stating that the people living in the 18th century regarded religion as "the source of both political tyranny and social conflict."

Letter from Sankey Blanton to MLK

,

Sankey Blanton, of Crozer Theological Seminary, sends Martin Luther King, Jr. half of his fellowship grant for the 1951-1952 academic year. A second check will be sent when they have received his first semester grades and registration for the second semester.

Wednesday, October 3, 1951

Relation Between Esthetics and Science

Dr. King writes notes regarding "The Relation Between Esthetics and Science." King cites several philosophers, psychologists, and scientists, and their different theories regarding science, mathematics, art, and esthetics.

Those Who Fail To Speak

,

Dr. King discusses the stagnant progress of desegregation despite the fact that a decade has passed since the Supreme Court's ruling on Brown v. Board of Education.

Saturday, June 5, 1965

Class Syllabus: Sociology of Religion

This portion of a syllabus lists the basic bibliography and outline for the Sociology of Religion course taught by Kenneth Underwood. Included are several well known authors that influenced Dr. King's studies, e.g. Paul Tillich and Reinhold Niebuhr.

Strength to Love

,

This is the printer?s proof of Strength to Love, Dr. King?s book of sermons that was published in 1963. He drafted three of the sermons while serving a fifteen-day jail term in Albany, Georgia. Although his editors lauded the first draft, they later deleted strong phrases about segregation, colonialism and capitalism and many of his statements against war. The collection includes some of Dr. King's most popular sermons, including: Loving Your Enemies, Paul?s Letter to American Christians, A Knock at Midnight, A Tough Mind and a Tender Heart, and Three Dimensions of a Complete Life.

Sunday, August 11, 1963

MLK's GRE Scores

,

This report contains MLK's graduate record examination scores.

Thursday, February 1, 1951

God

Dr. King cites the Old Testament book of Deuteronomy regarding the topic of monotheism.

Pages