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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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Dr. King agrees with Justin Martyr on faith and rationality.

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.

God's Omniscience

Dr. King references the Biblical Book of Psalms regarding God's omniscience. King notes that God knows everything before it is even done. This, however, does not have an effect on human free will.


Dr. King compares and contrasts God's place in the Catholic and Protestant church.


Dr. King interprets Psalm 90, which he explains discusses the transience of man as compared to God.


Dr. King expounds on German philosopher Karl Marx and his belief that "material conditions furnished the cause of all historic movements."


Dr. King describes neoplatonism as "ideas of God." Neoplatonism is focused on the thoughts of Greek Philosopher, Plato.

Tillich's Philosophy of Religion

Dr. King quotes Paul Tillich's "The Protestant Era."


Dr. King gives brief biographical detail on Eutychius.


Dr. King wrote these notes on Man from Psalms 89:48. He describes that while the Bible describes man as mortal, here appears the direct affirmation that every man shall die.


Dr. King notes Niebuhr's definition of sin as the unwillingness to acknowledge the effect God has on one's existence.


Dr. King mentions the concept of patron angels that appears in Daniel 10:13, 20, and 21.


Dr. King describes the power of God.


Dr. King quotes William Ernest Hocking’s “The Meaning of God in Human Experience.”

Philosophy of History

Dr. King writes about the philosophy of history according to Isaiah 41: 1-7.

Evil (Problem of)

Dr. King discusses the concept of evil.

The Bible

Dr. King records his views of Scott regarding "The Bible." Scott believes that beyond being an "anthology of the noblest religions," the Bible is also an account of history. Even though there is the ambiguity that comes with history, there is also an unambiguous message of the purpose of God and the destiny of man.

Schleiermacher (Christology)

Dr. King outlines an excerpt from the author Schleiermacher in referencing an idea of Christ.


Dr. King gives a brief description of the timeline for Abraham Lincoln. He describes Lincoln's many defeats and eventual presidential triumph.


Dr. King notes the definition of tritheism.


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

Niebuhr (Christ)

Dr. King writes on Niebuhr's perception of Christ.

Christianity and Civilization

Dr. King records a quote from Arnold J. Toynbee's "Civilization on Trial" and the view that "religious progress comes through the birth and death of civilization."

Spencer, Herbert

Dr. King quotes Herbert Spencer's "First Principles" on the subject of evolution.


Dr. King records a note on the function of dogmatic theology and a quote from Karl Barth's "Church Dogmatics: The Doctrine of the Word of God."

Wycliffites: Followers of John Wycliffe

Dr. King writes on the ideas of English philosopher John Wycliffe's followers, "Wycliffites."


Dr. King cites a page in "The Personalist" on the existentialism in Kierkegaard's philosophy.


Dr. King cites a quote concerning "war" from Oswald Spengler's "The Return of the Caesars," an article featured in The American Mercury.


Dr. King records a definition of religion from Wieman and Wieman's "Normative Psychology of Religion."

The Kingdom

Dr. King references New Testament passages related to The Kingdom.