Digital Archive brought to you
by JPMorgan Chase & Co.
In this essay fragment from his Crozer Seminary days, Dr. King writes that Christianity is a value philosophy whose values are embodied in the life of Christ. He begins to spell out what those values are. The first, King states, is the value of the world as something positive and life-affirming, in contrast to the negative view of the world of the ascetics and religions of India. The second value is that of persons, who have supreme worth. People must be used as ends, never as means to ends, although there have been periods in history where Christianity has fallen short.
Dr. King paraphrases Paul Tillich's view on the "self world polarity." Being a self, Dr. King writes, means being "both subject and object." This subject matter later appeared in Dr. King's dissertation "A Comparison of the Conceptions of God in the Thinking of Paul Tillich and Henry Nelson Wieman."
Dr. King quotes Friedrich Schleiermacher's "Speeches on Religion." The full title of this work is "On Religion: Speeches to Its Cultured Despisers.
The impractical and immoral effect of violence and testimony to the moral power and efficiency of nonviolence are discussed in this essay. Violence is recognized as achieving social justice with great results, but not without damage to society. Although a much tougher way of seeking social justice, nonviolence is a more satisfying lasting solution.