Themes

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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Different Meanings of Prehension

Dr. King outlines the different meanings of "prehension" in Alfred North Whitehead's books Science and the Modern World and Process and Reality.

Exodus

Dr. King cites several scriptures from the Biblical book of Exodus. Highlighted topics include knowledge, ethics, the doctrine of God, and sin.

Problems of Whitehead

Dr. King discusses the problem of metaphysical dualism as presented by philosopher Alfred North Whitehead. Dr. King reviewed much of Whitehead's work while at Boston University and later quoted him in his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech.

Miracle

Dr. King quotes statements from Harry E. Fosdick's "Modern Use of the Bible" regarding the definition of a miracle.

Augustine (Concept of Evil)

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

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."

Faith

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.

Religion

Dr. King quotes Albrecht Ritschl's "The Christian Doctrine of Justification and Reconciliation."

Jesus: Humanity and Ethical Character

Dr. King lists verses from the New Testament on Jesus as an ethical character and man as sinner.

Resurrection (Barth's View)

Dr. King quotes a passage from Hugh Mackintosh's "Types of Modern Theology" concerning Barth's views on resurrection.

Arnobius

Dr. King gives information on fourth century teacher, Arnobius and his conversion to Christianity.

Whitehead's Doctrine of Freedom

Dr. King examines Alfred North Whitehead’s doctrine of freedom as described in “Science and the Modern World.”

Man (Divided Against Himself)

Referencing the liberal German historian Friedrich Meinecke, Dr. King describes a philosophy on politics as it relates to humanity and one's morals.

Hegel

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

Worship Must Have Three Things

Dr. King states that "worship" must have three things: unity, movement, and rhythm.

Theology

Dr. King asserts that religion and theology must coincide with one another because, "religion without theology is blind; theology without religion is empty."

Resurrection

Dr. King writes about resurrection, according to Daniel 12:2.

Social Gospel

Dr. King describes the period of the social gospel.

Immaculate Conception

Dr. King reflects on the birth of Christ and the fact that Mary was "kept free from original sin."

Knowing God (Wieman)

Dr. King notes Henry Nelson Wieman's ideas on how man comes to know God.

Justice Versus Injustice

Dr. King explains that the power that establishes justice also generates injustice. He also references an ancient Egyptian story "The Eloquent Peasant" and James Henry Breasted's "The Dawn of Conscience."

Trinitarianism

Dr. King discusses the doctrine trinitarianism, the belief that God is one being, existing in three equal persons.

Time

Dr. King highlights a quote regarding time. [This quote is attributed to Henry Austin Dobson.]

Clement of Alexandria

Dr. King gives brief biographical information on Clement of Alexandria.

Van Til, Cornelius

Dr. King cites Cornelius Van Til's "The New Modernism."

Death

Dr. King writes on the "empty feeling" of death, citing St. Augustine's autobiographical book, "Confessions." This index card contains a quote from the work in which the philosopher reflects on the death of his closest friend.

Infralapsarianism

Dr. King defines infralapsarianism.

Atheism

Dr. King ponders atheism by quoting a short anecdote of L.P. Jacks' shoemaker.

Social Ethics

Dr. King cites the Old Testament book of Deuteronomy and expresses that "the death penalty is applied to anyone who steals from his brother or carries him away in slavery."

Nationalism

Dr. King refers to Jeremiah 1:5, explaining that this passage represents a departure from nationalism toward a more universal emphasis.