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Comparative Religion

Comparative religion is a field within religious studies that compares the history, themes, systems, myths and rituals of different religions. In the western world, the study of religion as distinct from theology is often rooted in the Enlightenment and the advent of Deism. Many of the Protestant theologians Dr. King studied shared an openness toward different cultures and religions. As a Christian theologian, King often engaged traditions other than his own. His interest in concepts of God, the topic of his dissertation, was not limited to Christian views. He learned from Jews, Hindus, Muslims and Buddhists and included some of those lessons in his speeches and writings. In Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community? he wrote of love as “that force which all the great religions have seen as the supreme unifying principle of life.”

Associated Archive Content : 98 results

"Discerning the Signs of History"

Dr. King believes that there are lessons in understanding the process of history, that evil carries the seed of destruction and that militarism is ultimately suicidal. Dr. King states that "history teaches the lesson that all reality hinges on moral foundations."

A Challenge to the Churches and Synagogues

In this document, Dr. King addressed the Conference on Religion and Race in Chicago, Illinois. He reprimands the Church and Synagogue for being silent or being a "silent partner of the status quo." Dr. King tells them that they must recapture its focus on human rights or risk becoming irrelevant. In closing, Dr. King challenges himself along with these religious institutions to make a choice; either continue to follow the "status quo" or "give ourselves unreservedly to God and his kingdom."

A Tough Mind and a Tender Heart

Dr. King uses Matthew 10:16 as the text for this sermon delivered August 30, 1959 at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery. Soft mindedness, he asserts, makes men gullible, superstitious, and fearful of change and fosters the belief that science and religion are in conflict. It contributes to racial prejudice and is capitalized upon by dictators. But tough mindedness, King says, must be tempered by a compassionate heart. The nonviolent struggle for freedom and justice must combine tough mindedness and tenderness of heart.

A Tough Mind and a Tender Heart

"A Tough Mind and a Tender Heart" by Dr. King discusses the importance of creating a synthesis of opposites and characteristics of one engaged in shrewd thinking with a loving spirit.

A Tough Mind and A Tender Heart

This outline to Dr. King's sermon "A Tough Mind and a Tender Heart" focuses on the premise that being a tough minded individual involves making critical decisions. The sermon emphasizes that those who possess a soft mind tend to be gullible and strictly follow the status quo. According to Dr. King, "We must come to the realization that life demands a tough mind."

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.

Address at a Conference of Religious Leaders Under the Sponsorship of the President's Committee on Government Contracts

Dr. King addresses a delegation of religious leaders at a conference hosted by the President's Committee on Government Contracts. In this pivotal speech, Dr. King outlines the responsibilites of clergymen and government officials in combating poverty and economic discrimination. He stresses the need for lay leaders and representatives of government to bodly speak out against the vestiges of discrimination that continuously hinder the economic and social progress of Negroes in America.

Appeal to Billy Graham Regarding Religion

Matakichi Saito questions Billy Graham about his views on religion as it relates to discrimination.

Atheism

Dr. King writes on the topic atheism.

Christian

Dr. King defines the Christian personality accroding the John McConnachie.

Christian Social Philosophy II

An outline briefly explains T.S. Eliot's opinion on culture and how it pertains to religion, specifically Christianity. Notes taken on the side of the outline insinuate that Western culture is beginning to disintegrate because the values it was built on are decreasing in importance.

Christianity and Civilization

Dr. King records a quote from Arnold J. Toynbee's "Civilization on Trial" and the view that "religious progress comes through the birth and death of civilization."

Christology

Dr. King outlines a quote from Ritschl regarding "Christology."

Critique of the Social Gospel

Dr. King used this outline while studying at Crozer Theological Seminary. The topics listed include: Social Contribution to Christianity, Contribution to Christian Social Philosophy, and the Sore Points of the Social Gospel.

Deism

Dr. King defines "deism" as a concept developed by a group of English and French religious thinkers who "interpreted God purely in terms of natural order" during the 17th and 18th century.

Dialectical Theology

Dr. King outlines dialectical theology, an approach to theology in Protestantism. King discerns that the "dogmatic arise primarily out of the demands of the religious consciousness."

Education Versus Religion

Dr. King records notes about the leadership of the intellectual and religious communities from Edwin E. Aubrey's "Present Theological Tendencies."

Eulogy for Robert W. Spike

Dr. King highlights the life and work of American clergyman, theologian, and civil rights leader, Robert W. Spike. Spike was a leader known for mobilizing church participation for the Civil Rights Movement. Less than one year after accepting a professorship at the University of Chicago, he was murdered.

Faith

Dr. King quotes English author and priest William Ralph Inge's "Lay Thoughts of a Dean," as well as English soldier and essayist Donald Hankey.

Founders Day Address

Dr. King addresses Spelman College at their Founders Day celebration. He discusses issues such as the Promised Land and the function of education.

God

These notes highlight various conceptions of 'God' as revealed through Dr. King's scholarship.

God

Dr. King cites and comments on a passage from I Chronicles about the gods that are idols.

God (Definition)

Dr. King records ideas on Karl Marx's and John Dewey's definitions of God.

God (His Love)

Dr. King writes that the answer to F. W. H. Myers' question about whether the universe is friendly lies at the basis of religion. His cites E. C. Wilm's "The Problem of Religion."

God Pronounces Judgement of America

God Pronounces Judgment of America is allegedly a prophecy from God, through his servant Reverend R. G. Hardy, given on Christmas Day 1966. It reveals that a horrible earthquake and war are in the future.

God: Judeo-Christian View vs. Greek View

Dr. King cites a passage from the Old Testament book of Psalms to compare and contrast the Jewish and Greek view of God.

Humanism (15th Century)

Dr. King reflects on a classical approach to learning.

Jesus (Did Jesus Ever Live)

Dr. King references "The Historical Jesus and the Theological Christ."

Jesus Christ

Dr. King quotes Albert Ritschl's "The Christian Doctrine of Justification and Reconciliation" on the place Christ holds in Christianity as its historical founders.

Letter from Arthur V. Hamman to MLK about Spirituality

In this letter, Mr. Hamman lectures Dr. King on the concept of heaven and hell, asserting that there is no race, nationality, etc., before God.

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