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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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Jesus

Dr. King records some quotes about Jesus. He quotes a passage that describes Jesus as being the person who brought about a new trust in God. Dr. King also discusses suffering.

Catholicism

Dr. King references American theologian Niebuhr's ideas regarding Catholicism and quotes, "It pretended that the church could mediate the divine, mercy and judgement without itself standing under that judgement or requiring that mercy." This quotes derives from Niebuhr's book "The Pope's Domesticated God."

Religion

Dr. King quotes William Ernest Hocking's "The Meaning of God in Human Experience."

Freedom

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

Original Sin

Dr. King records his views regarding the doctrine of original sin.

Kierkegaard (Paradox)

Dr. King quotes Kierkegaard and comments on his view of paradox.

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

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

Typical Theistic Personalism

Dr. King sketches notes on theistic personalism with references to Friedrich Leibniz, George Berkeley, Immanuel Kant, and Hermann Lotze.

Metaphysics

Dr. King notes William James' view of metaphysics.

Materialism

Dr. King references author Emil Carl Wilm's publication, "The Problem of Religion."

Schleiermacher (The Immanence of God)

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

Jesus Christ (good will)

Dr. King references H. Richard Niebuhr's statement, "Christ is the Rosetta Stone of Christianity." He also talks about archaeological discoveries and translating languages.

Religion (Definition)

Dr. King quotes from D. Miall Edwards’ “The Philosophy of Religion.” Miall is misspelled on the note card.

Dr. King cites Albert C. Knudson.

Dr. King cites Albert C. Knudson's Doctrine of Redemption as a source for Henri Bergson's view of free will.

Theology

Dr. King quotes William Ernest Hocking's "The Meaning of God in Human Experience."

Ethics

Dr. King maintains the Prophet Amos was saying that Israel's privilege would be proportionate to its ethical responsibility. Failure to live up to this responsibility would result in retribution equal to the severity of the failure.

God

Dr. King quotes Friedrich Schleiermacher's "The Christian Faith."

Capitalism

Dr. King illustrates a relationship between capitalism and anarchism.

Moral Law

Dr. King quotes James A. Froude's "Short Studies on Great Subjects."

Social Justice

Dr. King notes that Isaiah 1:11-17 describes various forms of worship and declares that God will not hear them but demands righteousness and fulfillment of social obligations. He compares this passage with the prophet Amos.

Hegel

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

Ethics

Dr. King quotes a scripture from the book of Psalms discussing ethics.

Environmental Influence

Dr. King contemplates "environmental influence" by comparing Spencer and Darwin.

Mystery

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

Sin (Augustine's definition)

Dr. King records a note on St. Augustine's definition sin, referencing passages from Reinhold Niebuhr's "The Nature and Destiny of Man: A Christian Interpretation," volume 1: "Human Nature."

Grotius

Dr. King writes that Grotius' view was "that God should be thought of as 'a great moral ruler'" and that Christ's death was "but a tribute to the sanctity of a divine government."

Worship (Definition)

Dr. King quotes Henry Nelson Wieman's "Methods of Private Religious Living."

Man

Dr. King quotes Pascal's "Pensees" in this excerpt that focuses on man's greatness.

Buddhism

Dr. King quotes James Bissett Pratt's "The Religious Consciousness: A Psychological Study."