Themes

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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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Spirit of Law[s]

Dr. King summarizes “The Spirit of the Laws,” written by Montesquieu, a political philosopher of the Enlightenment period.

The Bible

Dr. King records notes regarding Protestant Orthodoxy and its great error in dealing with the Bible.

Jeremiah

Dr. King records several scriptures from the biblical Book of Jeremiah.

Rauschenbusch on Sin

Dr. King references and outlines Rauschenbusch's view on sin. Rauschenbusch was a Baptist minister and a key figure in the Social Gospel movement.

Right & Wrong

Dr. King quotes James Martineau’s “Types of Ethical Theory, Volume II.”

God

Dr. King expounds on points made about the idea of "God," by Immanuel Kant, William James, and W.E. Hocking.

Freudianism

Dr. King quotes Reinhold Niebuhr on the subject of Freudianism from "The Nature and Destiny of Man."

Ezekiel and Sin

Dr. King paraphrases the biblical verse Ezekiel 20:21. He states that the prophet makes it clear that among the greatest sins of the Israelites was "profaning the Sabbath."

MLK Index Card

Dr. King outlines Montesquier and his combination of historical and economical science.

Metaphysic[s]

Dr. King quotes William James’ “The Sentiment of Rationality” on Arthur Schopenhauer’s view of metaphysics.

Worship

Dr. King provides a definition of worship.

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.

God: Hosea

ISRAEL

Dr. King explores God as it relates to the book of Hosea.

Faith

Dr. King quotes William James' "The Sentiment of Rationality."

God

Dr. King quotes astronomer William M. Smart's concept of God in "The Origin of the Earth."

Hope

Dr. King quotes John Milton, who lost his sight, on the brilliance of the divine light that he experiences in his darkness.

Religion and Intelligence

Dr. King posits a theory on a battle between "semi-intelligent religion" and "irreligious intelligence."

Education (Its Weakness in the Moral Realm)

Dr. King documents two quotes from St. Augustine's "Confessions." Both quotes address Augustine's view on education and how it affects one's relationship with God and other human beings.

Methodology (Wieman)

Dr. King outlines the methodology of religious philosopher Henry Wieman.

Religion

Dr. King writes about the role of religion as an ideal and as a unifying force.

Sin (Definition)

Dr. King quotes Henry Nelson Wieman’s “Normative Psychology of Religion.”

Knowledge

Dr. King refers to Ecclesiastes 1:18 which says that increased knowledge brings increased sorrow.

Freedom

Dr. King quotes Paul Tillich's "Systematic Theology" on the concept of freedom.

Man

Dr. King quotes Psalms 144:4 and comments briefly on this biblical passage.

Schleiermacher (Religion as a Social Experience)

Dr. King quotes Friedrich Schleiermacher’s “Speeches on Religion.” The full title of this work is “On Religion: Speeches to Its Cultured Despisers.”

Philosophy

Dr. King records a note on G. K. Chesterson's view on man's personal philosophy.

Judgment

Dr. King cites the Old Testament Book of Isaiah regarding the subject judgment.

Ritschl and Schleiermacher

Dr. King compares the thoughts of German theologian's Friedrich Schleiermacher and Albrecht Ritschl.

God

Dr. King references the Old Testament book of Numbers regarding the topic of God.

Dewey

Dr. King records John Dewey's views on philosophy and religion.