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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.

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William James

Dr. King briefly discusses philosopher William James and his lectures entitled "The Variety of Religious Experience."

Some Things We Can Do

In this series of note cards entitled "Some Things We Can Do," Dr. King provides several suggestions pertaining to the African American community.

Prayer

Dr. King notes William James' description of prayer.

Evil

Dr. King quotes the definition of evil and conceptualizes it as a "frustration."

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."

Anaximenes

Dr. King writes notes about the views of philosopher Anaximenes on the universe, comparing them to those of Thales and Anaximander.

Freedom

Dr. King quotes Tillich in sketching his views on man's freedom in relation to destiny.

Immortality

Dr. King highlights a quote from Harry Emerson Fosdick's book "Assurance of Immortality."

Comte (A Criticism by Dr. R. flint)

Dr. King quotes a statement from Robert Flint's "Philosophy of History in France and Germany" which criticizes French philosopher, August Comte. Robert Flint was a Scottish philosopher.

Augustine's Doctrine of Evil

Dr. King cites Albert Knudson's "The Doctrine of Redemption.

History: Voltaire

Dr. King references a quote from the philosopher and historian Voltaire.

Conscience

Dr. King ponders the meaning of the word 'conscience.' He questions the nature of conscience and ultimately sees it as a necessary sense of obligation that makes a difference in the life of a civilization.

Communism

Dr. King quotes a statement from Jacques Maritain's "True Harmonism" regarding communism. Jacques Maritain was a famous French Catholic philosopher.

Job and Suffering

Dr. King writes on the biblical figure Job and his view of suffering.

Otherworldliness

Dr. King quotes the Epistle of Clement and Friedrich von Hügel's "Eternal Life."

Barth, Karl

Dr. King comments on Karl Barth's view that Christ assumed fallen human nature.

Jesus: Mission

Dr. King notes passages in Matthew and Luke related to Jesus' mission.

Hegel

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

Reason

Dr. King cites several scriptures from the Bible regarding reason.

Self-World

Dr. King paraphrases Paul Tillich's view on the "self world polarity." Being a self, Dr. King writes, means being "both subject and object." This subject matter later appeared in Dr. King's dissertation "A Comparison of the Conceptions of God in the Thinking of Paul Tillich and Henry Nelson Wieman."

Original Sin

From "The Epistle of the Romans," Dr. King records Karl Barth's observations regarding original sin, which are compared to views of the Bible, Saint Augustine and the Reformers.

Godm (Micah)

Dr. King refers to the biblical book of Micah to write about Micah and Hosea's similar reference to the strength of the love of God.

Evil (The Problem of)

Dr. King records thoughts on the problem of evil with references to the British philosopher John Stuart Mill and Job.

Ritschl (God)

Dr. King quotes Albrecht Ritschl’s “The Christian Doctrine of Justification and Reconciliation.”

Humanism (15th Century)

Dr. King reflects on a classical approach to learning.

God (His Existence)

Change title to conform to Dr. King’s filing system.

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.

Schleiermacher

Dr. King quotes Friedrich Schleiermacher's "Speeches on Religion" on temporal things so filling people's minds that they don't have room for the eternal. He contrasts this with pantheism. The full title of this work is "On Religion: Speeches to Its Cultured Despisers."

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.

Job, Ecclesiastes and Daniel

Dr. King quotes several scriptures from the biblical Books of Job, Ecclesiastes and Daniel concerning each author's views on mortality and immortality.