The Archive

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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Ritschl, Albrecht

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

Evil (Problem of)

Dr. King discusses the concept of evil.

Schleiermacher (Dogmas & Creeds)

Dr. King references Friedrich Schleiermacher's notions of dogmas and creeds, stating that they are mere descriptions of feeling.


Dr. King writes about sin, according to Jeremiah 31: 29, 30.

Schleiermacher (The Church)

Dr. King quotes Friedrich Schleiermacher’s “The Christian Faith.”

Charles Renouvier

Dr. King outlines the philosophical career of Charles Renouvier.


Dr. King records class notes from the biblical Book of Numbers regarding ethics, knowledge, and sin.

Contradiction and the Power of God

Dr. King reflects on man's understanding of God and salvation.

William James

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

Philosophy of Life (Its Importance)

Dr. King quotes G. K. Chesterton’s “Heretics.”


Dr. King outlines some insights regarding moral duty and sin.

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.

The Scope of Philosophy

Dr. King notes that Alfred North Whitehead, in “Concept of Nature,” “Religion in the Making” and “Principles of Natural Knowledge,” seeks to isolate the philosophy of science from metaphysics.

Humanism (15th Century)

Dr. King reflects on a classical approach to learning.

God (Niebuhr Conception)

Dr. King quotes American theologian Reinhold Niebuhr regarding the subject of God.


Dr. King defines latitudinarianism, a term "applied to a liberal opinion which allows the diversity of opinion."

Christianity (History Of)

Dr. King quotes Harkness on the history of Christianity. Likely this is American theologian Georgia Harkness.


Dr. King quotes Ernst Haeckel's "The Riddle of the Universe."


Dr. King quotes English author and priest William Ralph Inge's "Lay Thoughts of a Dean," as well as English soldier and essayist Donald Hankey.

Philosopher (definition)

Dr. King quotes poet William Wordsworth's definition of a philosopher.


Dr. King quotes Soren Kierkegaard's "Einübung im Christentum" ["Practice in Christianity"].

The Christian Year

Dr. King records a quote from William D. Maxwell's "An Outline of Christian Worship Its Developments and Forms." The quote describes how the Christian year came to be formed.


Dr. King quotes John Watson's "Behaviorism" on the two things that incite fear.

Man (Hamlet)

Dr. King quotes from the Shakespearean play.

Religious Leadership

Dr. King cites Henry Nelson Wieman's "Normative Psychology of Religion."


Dr. King writes about man, as discussed in the Old Testament passages, Hosea 10: 13 and 14.

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.

Resurrection of Jesus

Dr. King quotes George Hedley’s “The Symbol of the Faith.”


Dr. King interprets Leviticus 4:3, a verse which implies that a community can incur guilt for the sins of its high priest.

Moral Law

Dr. King documents a statement from the Federal Council of Churches concerning the significance of moral law. King writes, "This statement from the Federal Council of Churches is pertinent."