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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Social Ethics

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

God

Dr. King expounds on "the eternality of God" by using the Book of Psalms.

Barth

Dr. King notes Swiss theologian Karl Barth's favorite expression on revelation.

Semi-Arianism

Dr. King records a definition of semi-Arianism.

Schleiermacher (Religion as More Than Knowledge)

Dr. King quotes Friedrich Schleiermacher’s “Speeches on Religion.” The full title of this work is “On Religion: Speeches to Its Cultured Despisers.”

Man

Dr. King quotes Jonathan Swift’s scathing assessment of man.

Messianic Hope

Dr. King writes these notes on "Messianic Hope" from Isaiah 11:6 and 11:8. He quotes Ludwig Feuerbach, a German philosopher, from his work "The Essence of Religion."

God

Dr. King writes about God, according to the first chapter of the Old Testament book, Nahum.

Esther

Dr. King discusses the religious and moral teachings in the biblical book of Esther.

Evil (Natural)

Dr. King cites Albert Knudson on the topic of evil.

Social Ethics

Dr. King writes about "Social Ethics" as discussed in the second chapter of the Old Testament book, Malachi.

Actual Occasions

Dr. King quotes philosopher Alfred North Whitehead's "Religion in the Making." He interprets the phases in events and how such events are perceived.

Schleiermacher, Friedrich

Dr. King outlines the life and ideologies of Friedrich Schleiermacher.

Brunner & Niebuhr

Dr. King relates Swiss theologian Emil Brunner to American theologian Reinhold Niebuhr, in that they both argue that reason is for adjusting to the material world, and faith is for dealing with God.

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.

Schleiermacher (The Church and State)

Dr. King quotes Friedrich Schleiermacher’s “Speeches on Religion.” The full title of this work is “On Religion: Speeches to Its Cultured Despisers.”

Freudianism

Dr. King quotes Reinhold Niebuhr on the subject of Freudianism from "The Nature and Destiny of Man."

Schleiermacher (What Is the Operation of Grace)

Dr. King records a quote from Friedrich Schleiermacher's work "On Religion: Speeches to Its Cultured Despisers."

Freedom

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

Fascism

Dr. King paraphrases one of Benito Mussolini's thoughts on fascism in "The Political and Social Doctrine of Fascism.

Love

Dr. King quotes Ames' 1933 book entitled "Art" regarding the topic of love. "Love is the true life of man. God is love, and the kingdom of God is within us."

God (Evil)

Dr. King quotes Anicius Severinus Manlius Boethius, from "De Consolatione Philosophiae" (Consolation of Philosophy).

Social Philosophy

Dr. King documents Paul Tillich's view towards Marxism.

John Scotus Eriugena

Dr. King quotes philosopher John Scotus Eriugena.

Bernard of Clairvaux

Dr. King writes about Bernard of Clairvaux and his idea of the character of the ideal Christian.

Miracle

Dr. King quotes an excerpt from Fosdick's "Modern Use of the Bible."

Humanism (15th Century)

Dr. King reflects on a classical approach to learning.

1922 Work

Dr. King identifies different philosophical points of Alfred North Whitehead's 1922 publication, titled "The Principle of Relativity with Applications to Physical Science."

Sin

Dr. King offers two possible interpretations of Psalms 53:1.

Religion

Dr. King paraphrases H. G. Wells.