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PHL 278 Philosophy of Martin Luther King (3 credits)

While much attention has been given to King as an activist, little has been written about his philosophical development and the further implications of his philosophical positions. Much of what King preached, wrote, taught, believed, and lived has its origin in his engagement with philosophy. In his writings one can see him struggle with such thinkers as Marx, Hegel, Kant, Nietzsche and others as he attempts to make sense of and transform the human condition. King’s struggle against the dehumanization of African Americans and the poor often led him to an interesting synthesis of theology and philosophy. For this reason we must also address the philosophical and emancipatory aspects of the works of Paul Tillich, Reinhold Niebuhr, Howard Thurman, and Walter Rauschenbusch.