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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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Time

Dr. King quotes St. Augustine’s “Confessions.”

Origen

Dr. King records biographical information about Origen.

Augustinanism

Dr. King writes notes on Saint Augustine, Bishop of Hippo, and his "vast theological system" called Augustinianism. Dr. King describes the system as a comprehensive church philosophy that was very pessimistic about the nature of man.

Social Ethics

Dr. King cites the Old Testament biblical book of Exodus regarding social ethics.

Judgement or Justice

Dr. King quotes a book entitled "Sea Dreams," by Alfred Lord Tennyson, regarding judgement and justice.

Atheism

Dr. King records a Francis Bacon quote on atheism.

Descartes

Dr. King quotes the French philosopher Rene Descartes on the concept of "doubt."

The Self

Dr. King quotes Henry Nelson Wieman's book "The Source of Human Good."

Berkeley, George

Dr. King notes Berkeley's views on metaphysics.

Kierkegaard

Dr. King sketches notes on "the most original thinker in Danish history."

Barth

Dr. King writes on Barth's stance on the authoritative values of the Bible "in the tradition of Calvin."

Meister Eckhart

Dr. King outlines a brief history of German mystic philosopher Meister Eckhart.

Marx

Dr. King references German philosopher Karl Marx regarding his teachings. King states, "Marx teaching resolves into three principal elements: a philosophy of history, and economic theory, and a practical program for the realization of a new social order."

The Secular in Relation to the Holy

Dr. King quotes theologian and philosopher Paul Tillich's "Systematic Theology." Dr. King's doctoral degree is in systematic theology from Boston University and his dissertation is on Paul Tillich. According to Tillich, secular and holy correlate and cannot act separately. Tillich states, "The holy embraces itself and the secular."

Otherworldliness

Dr. King quotes the Epistle of Clement and Friedrich von Hügel's "Eternal Life."

Sin

Dr. King quotes Isaiah 9:17, a passage from the Bible concerning sin.

Godm (Micah)

Dr. King refers to the biblical book of Micah to write about Micah and Hosea's similar reference to the strength of the love of God.

Apollinarianism

Dr. King defines Apollinarianism.

Death

Dr. King meditates on death and a quotation from Thomas Carlyle in which Carlyle compares the death of his mother to the moon sinking into a dark sea.

Oxford Movement

Dr. King explains the Oxford Movement, a nineteenth century movement within the Anglican Church.

God

Dr. King records a note on French scholar Ernest Renan's prophecy in relation to God.

Schleiermacher

Dr. King quotes theologian Schleiermacher regarding the meaning of a miracle.

Kierkegaard (Paradox)

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

Suffering

Dr. King writes that the view of suffering in Job 20 is fallacious.

Class Notes: Obadiah

Dr. King writes about the book of Obadiah and knowledge.

Events

Dr. King quotes Lawrence's dissertation on the meaning of events in nature.

Toynbee: List of Twenty-One Societies

Dr. King notes the twenty-one civilizations described in Arnold Toynbee's "A Study of History."

Ritschl and Schleiermacher on Method

Dr. King sketches his view of methodologies employed by German theologians Friedrich Schleiermacher and Albrecht Ritschl.

Kant Critiques Other Philosophers

Dr. King contemplates Immanuel Kant's critique of other philosophers. Kant finds limitations in the ideologies of Hume, Leibniz, and Locke. He believes Hume and Leibniz to fall short on their understandings of knowledge. Kant further reproaches Hume and Locke as ignorant for viewing the senses as a viable explanation of consciousness.

God

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