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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

Letter From David Fishman to MLK

Mr. Fishman, a disciple of Robert Ingersoll, praises Dr. King for a lecture he delivered at Orchestra Hall in Chicago Illinois. He concludes by comparing his personal religious beliefs to common pedagogy.

Letter from Gerald H. Anderson to MLK

Gerald Anderson, the Academic Dean at Union Theolgical Seminary, writes Dr. King asking him to contribute to a volume of sermons for publishing.

Letter from Harl Douglass to MLK and the SCLC

Harl Douglass writes in disgust at the position Dr. King has taken on Vietnam War. As a once full supporter of the civil rights movement, he believes that Dr. King "is somewhat unstable and he has made millions of enemies for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference....." Douglass warns Dr. King and SCLC officials that if they continue to go down the same track they will lose support of white moderates.

Letter from John Yungblut to MLK

John Yungblut writes to Dr. King to confirm his ability to lead a seminar for the Atlanta Meeting's Quaker House on the Philosophy and Practice of Non-violence.

Letter from MLK to Ruth Huston

Dr. King sends a copy of "Strength to Love" and "Letter from Birmingham City Jail" to his friend Ruth Huston of New York City. Jokingly, Dr. King characterizes what Huston's reaction might be to "Strength to Love," due to Huston's own personal beliefs about religion. He emphasized that she may be disinterested in reading the book of sermons, but "on the other hand they may give you some religion."

Letter from Mrs. Ray Mitchell to MLK

Mrs. Ray Mitchell constructs this thoughtful letter to Dr. King thanking him not only for sending her a copy of his book, "Strength to Love," but also for his diligence as a clergyman.

Letter from Prarthana Samaj Bombay (India) to MLK

The former ambassador of India to the United States previously wrote Dr. King, inviting him to the Centenary Celebrations. The author recalls this invitation and references the history of Bombay's Prarthana Samaj. The organization is founded on the betterment of society, religion and education. The Prarthana Samaj would be proud to welcome Dr. King, as he is an "apostle" of Mahatma Gandhi.

Letter from Rev. Oliver W. Holmes to Dora McDonald

Reverend Oliver Holmes confirms the possibility of a meeting between Dr. King and Mrs. Leonard Faber, a graduate student in religion. Her dissertation involves Dr. King, German monk and theologian Martin Luther and Jewish philosopher Martin Buber.

Letter from Robert T. Handy to MLK

Robert Handy of the Union Theological Seminary invites Dr. King to be the "major evening speaker" for their Conference on Race and Religion.

Letter from Sharon J. Brown to MLK

Sharon Brown, a fifth grader at Our Lady of Perpetual Help School, asks Dr. King how his congregation worships. She explains that this question is for a class project.

Letter from Viva Sloan to MLK

Viva O'Dean Sloan commends Dr. King on his efforts, but calls on his support to promote denominational integration of religions.

Love

Dr. King quotes Ames' 1933 book entitled "Art" regarding the topic of love. "Love is the true life of man. God is love, and the kingdom of God is within us."

Love in Action

Dr. King expounds on the love of God by referencing a verse from the Bible in the Book of Luke. The verse states, "Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do." Dr. King notes the truth of this verse is also revealed in race relation of today.

Mastering Our Fears

Dr. King discusses fear, the healthy and unhealthy fears humanity has, the need to overcome fear, and steps in mastering fear.

Messianic Hope

Dr. King writes these notes on "Messianic Hope" from Isaiah 11:6 and 11:8. He quotes Ludwig Feuerbach, a German philosopher, from his work "The Essence of Religion."

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.

MLK's Remarks to Swedish Audience

Dr. King delivers a speech in Stockholm, Sweden applauding the nation's commitment and support of racial justice in America. King further articulates his belief that despite several social ills people will "be able to sing together in the not too distant future."

Monism

Dr. King cites the many ways in which the concept of Monism is applied.

Morality and Religion

Dr. King quotes Albert Knudson's "The Doctrine of God."

Mystery

Dr. King records a quote on mystery from Robert Flint's "The Philosophy of History."

Nobel Lecture by MLK

This is a copy of the Lecture given by Dr. King in Oslo, Norway upon his winning the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize. He thanks the Norwegian Parliament for honoring him with this award. He speaks of the evils of racially injustice and the belief that "oppressed people cannot remain oppressed forever." He speaks of the need to peacefully come together in harmony as humanity because a peaceful world cannot be built based on a "negative path."

Papal Encyclicals by George W. Lawrence

George W. Lawrence elaborates on the traditions and methodologies of the Catholic Church. Lawrence clarifies the Social Doctrines and states that men are governed by four laws located in "the Natural," "the Eternal," "the Human," and the "(positive) Divine laws." Furthermore, Lawrence discourses additional political relations to the Catholic Church.

Paul Tillich

Dr. King references the theologian, Paul Tillich, by asserting, "If philosophy of religion does not consider the revelation claim of religion, it misses its object and doesn't deal with real religion."

Perceiving God (Wieman)

Dr. King writes notes on perceiving God using Nelson Henry Wieman's text, "The Source of Human God."

Religion

Dr. King quotes Robert Flint’s “The Philosophy of History.”

Religion

Dr. King records a definition of religion from Wieman and Wieman's "Normative Psychology of Religion."

Religion

Dr. King comments on Plato's view of religion and records a quote from A.G. Keller's "Science and Society."

Religion

Dr. King records a quote on religion from William Ernest Hocking's "The Meaning of God in Human Experience."

Religion

This document is a notecard titled "Religion," in which Dr. King expounds on John Dewey's definition of religion in "A Common Faith" as a "purely ethical meaning" of religion.

Religion (Definition)

Dr. King cites W. K. Wright's "A Student Outline of Philosophy of Religion."

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