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In King's own words: "Niebuhr helped me to recognize the complexity of man's social involvement and the glowing reality of collective evil."In what is perhaps Niebuhr's most relevant statement on the subject of non-violent direct action, he professes, "Even in a just and free society, there must be forms of pressure short of violence, but more potent than the vote, to establish justice in collective relations." This is obviously a thought that King both liked and followed.
He felt that Niebuhr led him to a fuller understanding of group behavior, human motives, and the connection between power and morality.He assisted in the organization of voter registration drives, participated in the NAACP, and sat on the board of Morehouse College.As pastor of the local church, he embedded strong religious ideals in his son and linked him to the church.and one of the principal influences in molding his personality.King's father was constantly concerned with social and political issues.Even though King recognized how greatly Black Americans were outnumbered and that it was, in effect, hopeless to attempt violence as a solution, he was skeptical of pacifism at this point. His warming toward nonviolence began on a Sunday afternoon in Philadelphia, where in 1948, he attended a lecture by Dr. Academic Influences It was with a strong Christian faith in hand that Martin Luther King embarked upon his formal education.He said that Henry David Thoreau's essay, "Civil Disobedience," was his "first intellectual contact with the theory of nonviolence and resistance." It was primarily Thoreau's concept of refusing to cooperate with an evil system which so intrigued Dr. As Martin moved on to the seminary, he began to pass countless hours studying social philosophers, including Plato, Aristotle, Rousseau, Hobbes, Bentham, Mill, and Locke.Niebuhr played a vital part in stimulating the renaissance of theology in the United States.King was intrigued by the key ideas in Niebuhr's theological book, The Nature and Destiny of Man (1941).