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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.

"Where Do We Go From Here?" Asks Negro King

In this article, Palmer Van Gundy reviews Dr. King's most recent book, "Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community?." He calls the book a must for all Americans, naming Dr. King not just the greatest civil rights leaders, but also a "leader for peace with freedom and justice."

1964 Election

Dr. King explains "a sizable number of Negro voters" will register for the 1964 presidential election, recognizing the significance of political participation.

A Look to 1964

This is a draft of the article "A Look to 1964" written by Dr. King. Published on January 1, 1964 in the New York Amsterdam News. In the article, Dr. King addresses the strides the African American people have taken towards the struggle for equality.

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."

Abstract of MLK's Dissertation "A Comparison of the Conceptions of God in the Thinking of Paul Tillich and Henry Nelson Wieman"

Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.'s abstract of his doctoral dissertation in Systematic Theology at Boston University details the fundamental problem of evaluating the concept of God in the philosophical and theological thoughts of Paul Tillich and Nelson Wieman; methods of procedure implemented throughout his research; and his conclusions drawn from the teachings of Tillich and Wieman.

Bible 252

This exam from a course entitled "Bible 252" lists forty-eight questions regarding Biblical knowledge.

Bibliography Compiled by MLK

This handwritten bibliography documents texts that discuss theology.

Blue Spiral Notebook

Contained in this notebook is a draft of Dr. King's statement to Judge James E. Webb following his arrest during the Rich's Magnolia Tea Room Sit-In. There is also an outline of a letter to female students who were arrested during the sit-in. On other pages a child practices handwriting.

Book Fair at Hofstra University

Mrs. Wilbur Scott requests that Dr. King donate an autographed book, picture or any memento for the Hofstra University Book Fair to raise funds in support of the new university library.

Citation for MLK

This document contains the passage read on the occasion of the conferral of an honorary doctoral degree from University of Bridgeport to Dr. King.

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."

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.

Commencement Ceremony at Boston University

This photograph shows a commencement ceremony at Boston University in June of 1959.

Crozer Theological Seminary Brochure

This brochure provides information about Crozer Theological Seminary in Chester, Pennsylvania. The brochure lists full details of the campus, programs of study, and admissions.

Dr. King Acceptance as an Honorary Member of Wellesley College

Dr. King often had delayed responses due to his strenuous schedule, traveling obligations, and completion of the necessary duties as the President of the SCLC. Dr. King's letter to Miss Knight provides an example of the unintentional unpunctuality as he accepts an award as an honorary member of Wellesley College class of 1966.

Dr. King's Schedule October 1967

This schedule lists Dr. King's travel itinerary and speaking engagements, October 1967.

Draft Speech for Atlanta Nobel Peace Prize Reception

Dr. King drafts a speech that he will make in Atlanta for the reception honoring his Nobel Peace Prize winning. In the speech he offers his gratitude to friends and family who supported him in his efforts. Dr. King also briefly discusses the issue of racial injustice and the continued fight for equality.

Error

This set of note cards written by Dr. King explores the causation of error. King quotes Alfred North Whitehead's "The Concept of Nature" noting several reasons as to the rise of error.

Essay Outline by John Mates on Helmut Richard Niebuhr

John Mates contests the influence of Helmut Richard Niebuhr written contributions to the church through his congruent philosophy with Jesus Christ's message. Mr. Mates further discusses the churches relations to the societal influences of politics and economics.

Evil

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

Exam for Bible 252 at Morehouse

This is an exam for Dr. King's Bible course, which lasted from September 1946 to May 1947, at Morehouse College. Dr. George D. Kelsey was the professor. Dr. King's notes are in the margins.

Foreword of "The Power of Nonviolence"

This is a copy of a foreword written by Dr. King to Richard Gregg's "The Power of Nonviolence."

Friends Journal: A Quaker Weekly

Dr. King's article, "Nonviolence and Racial Justice" is included in this edition of the Friends Journal. Dr. King's entry discusses the various implications of race relations in America and the beneficial elements of nonviolence.

God

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

How Do You View the Progress in School Desegregation?

In this special for the New York Times, Dr. King shares his opinion on the progress made in desegregating schools.

How My Theology Has Changed

Dr. King highlights seven main ways in which his theological views have changed since his final year at Crozer Theological Seminary.

In a Word- Now

This is a draft of the article "In a Word-Now" written by Dr. King. It was published in the New York Times on September 29, 1963.

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."

Instructions for Honorary Degree Recipients

This document reflects instructions for Dr. King as the recipient of an honorary degree from Yale University. The program also includes some random handwritten notes by Dr. King and information regarding his seating arrangement.

Invitation from Manitoba New Democratic Party

B. Swailes, Provincial Secretary of the Manitoba New Democratic Party, extends a speaking invitation to Dr. King to discuss human rights.

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