King, Martin Luther, Jr. - Research Article from Encyclopedia of Religion

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King, Martin Luther, Jr.

KING, MARTIN LUTHER, JR. (1929–1968), was a Baptist minister and civil rights leader. The son and grandson of Baptist preachers, Martin Luther King, Jr., was born into a middle-class black family in Atlanta, Georgia. As an adolescent, King grew concerned about racial and economic inequality in American society. Sociology classes at Morehouse College taught him to view racism and poverty as related aspects of social evil, and reading Henry David Thoreau's essay "Civil Disobedience" (1849) convinced him that resistance to an unjust system was a moral duty. At Morehouse, King decided to become a minister, and after graduation he enrolled at Crozier Theological Seminary to study divinity. There he acquired from Walter Rauschenbusch's Christianity and the Social Crisis (1907) the conviction that the Christian churches have an obligation to work for social justice. In Mohandas Gandhi's...

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This section contains 739 words
(approx. 3 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the King, Martin Luther, Jr. Encyclopedia Article
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King, Martin Luther, Jr. from Macmillan. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.