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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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Class Notes

Dr. King records notes from the biblical Book of Judges regarding topics such as knowledge, sin, the doctrine of God and ethics.

Class Notes Psalms

Dr. King writes several scriptures from the Book of Psalms found in the Old Testament of the Bible.

List of Historical Theologians and Events

Here, Dr. King lists a series of historical theologians and events dating from the second to nineteenth centuries.

God, Knowledge Of (Wieman)

Dr. King quotes Henry Nelson Wieman's article "How Do We Know God?" from the Journal of Religion.

History: Ecclesiastes

Dr. King examines the "author's philosophy of history" recorded in the biblical text Ecclesiastes 1:9. He notes that Ecclesiastes' view of history as "a series of endless cycles which has no underlying theology" is in stark contrast to general Bible philosophy, and is more in line with a Greek view of history.

Man

Dr. King quotes Jeremiah 17:5 and suggests that “those of us who oppose humanism” might speak against it like Jeremiah did and provide a rational defense of theism.

Augustine (Concept of Evil)

Dr. King quotes theologian St. Augustine's "Confessions."

Monotheism

Dr. King cites passages in the sixth century BCE Second Isaiah (chapters 40-55) as the first clear evidence of monotheism.

Ritschl, Albrecht

Dr. King provides a biographical sketch of German theologian Albrecht Ritschl.

Man

Dr. King quotes Reinhold Niebuhr’s “The Nature and Destiny of Man,” noting that modern culture has come to understand more of nature and less of man.

Man

Dr. King quotes a line from Homer's epic poem "The Iliad."

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."

Freedom

Dr. King quotes from Hegel's "The Philosophy of History."

Freedom

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

Santayana

Dr. King records George Santayana’s poem, “Oh World, Thou Choosest Not the Better Part!”

God in the Book of Psalms

Dr. King references Bible verse Psalm 71:19. He outlines why the idea of a finite God is incongruent with the "theistic absolutism" found in the Old Testament.

Evil

Dr. King outlines his views on evil and categorizes it into three types.

MLK's Perception of God and Repenting

Dr. King quotes a scripture from the Bible elaborating on God's inability to repent or do evil.

Religion

Dr. King quotes Ernest J. Chave's "A Functional Approach to Religious Education."

Suffering

Dr. King notes that Deuteronomy 8:3 suggests that the purpose of suffering is to teach higher spiritual truths.

Eutychius

Dr. King gives brief biographical detail on Eutychius.

Christianity

Dr. King outlines Angus' interpretation of Hegel's views on Christianity in the book, "The Mystery Religion and Christianity."

Pantheism Versus Living God

Here Dr. King sketches out his views on "...the Biblical idea of the 'Living God,'" and the substitution of Christ for God "as far as piety is concerned."

Cyprian of Carthage

Dr. King briefly outlines the life of Saint Cyprian of Carthage.

Buddhism

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

Aristotle in Thomas

Dr. King outlines aspects of St. Thomas Aquinas' philosophy, which are structurally Aristotelian. Points he discusses include similarities between the two philosophers' ontology and epistemology, while also outlining a point of divergence in Aquinas' view of God as an "efficient cause."

Worship

Dr. King discusses the topic of religion and asserts, "religion is a binding force."

Aristotle's Answer to Parmenides

Dr. King outlines Aristotle's response to Parmenides regarding being and nothingness.

Categories

Dr. King quotes Paul Tillich’s "Systematic Theology.”

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.